Flash Drive: 2023 Mazda CX-50 AWD


Past Pavement into Nature

Mazda has added one other SUV to their lineup. The all-new 2023 CX-50 joins the CX-30, CX-5, and CX-9. This previous week in Santa Barbara, Mazda invited the automotive media to drive the CX-50 on the freeway, twisty mountain roads after which off-road to expertise delicate sand, steep climbs and descents. This drive route was to display the dealing with, journey capabilities and traits of what could develop into the best-selling Mazda.

2023 Mazda CX-50
Mazda provides one other SUV

This Flash Drive evaluation highlights the CX-50. Clear Fleet Report will write a extra detailed Highway Take a look at evaluation within the coming months. Till then, listed below are some notes to get began.

  • All Mazda SUVs will now come solely with all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • The CX-50 is just not a substitute for the CX-5. These are two utterly completely different autos, constructed on completely different platforms and in numerous international locations
  • The CX-50 is constructed on the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) plant in Huntsville, Alabama
  • The CX-50 was designed for, and is initially solely being bought in North America
  • There are 10 completely different CX-50 trim ranges
  • 14 manufacturing facility equipment can be found, together with attachments for a surfboard, SUP, kayak, skis, bicycles and a roof tent
  • The CX-50 is slated to be supplied with electrified powertrains (date to be introduced), together with as a hybrid
  • Seven exterior colours; 4 inside colours
  • 3,500-pound most tow score with the turbocharged engine
  • Wi-fi Apple and Android cellphone compatibility
  • Wi-fi cellphone charging

Getting There

2023 Mazda CX-50
A bit extra on the hip

Mazda says the CX-50 is a “rugged and succesful crossover SUV, purpose-built for energetic existence” that permits drivers “to enterprise additional into the outside and off-road.”

The Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter engine is normal, which is a easy and responsive four-cylinder that places out 187 horsepower (hp) and 186 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque, whereas working on 87 octane. Throughout our 6+ hours driving, Clear Fleet Report’s CX-50 was powered by the elective 2.5-liter twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces both 227 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque when utilizing 87 octane or 256 hp and 320 lb.-ft. of torque when pumping 91 octane. Primarily based in your funds and the necessity for extra oomph, going for high-test may very well be worthwhile.

The two.5L turbo is quiet and supplies respectable acceleration, with 0 to 60 occasions round 7.5 seconds. Gasoline financial system is rated at 24 mpg metropolis/30 freeway/27 mixed mpg for the bottom engine and 23/29/25 for the turbocharged CX-50 we drove.

The CX-50 comes normal with i-Lively AWD and Clever Drive Choose, which Mazda calls Mi-Drive. This enables the motive force to pick out the drive modes of Regular, Sport, Off-Highway and, when related to a trailer, Tow. The graceful shifting 6-speed automated transmission (with paddle shifters) instantaneously makes use of driving information, based mostly on the chosen drive mode, to ship the most effective traction in all situations.

Hitting the Paved Highway

Mazda persistently produces the best-handling automobiles and SUVs that aren’t bought as a sport or efficiency mannequin. Their engineers know how one can design a chassis that produces prime quality driving dynamics. The CX-50 continues this lengthy custom because the journey was easy and assured at freeway speeds, and agile when attacking the twisties. This isn’t stunning coming from an organization that makes the implausible dealing with MX-5 Miata.

2023 Mazda CX-50
Grip to go

The checklist of suspension and chassis expertise is lengthy on the CX-50, starting with the G-Vectoring Management system that adjusts engine torque, shifts weight to the entrance wheels in response to the steering wheel movement, will increase steering response, and applies a little bit of the anti-lock brakes to ease cornering. The three,907-pound curb weight by no means feels heavy, leading to a stable, secure and assured journey in all driving situations.

Mazda’s objective was to create a suggestions loop between the motive force’s enter and the automobile’s response. Throughout our time pushing laborious by corners above their posted velocity, the CX-50 dealt with very properly and with no surprises. When diving into a decent nook, the CX-50 dug in properly the tougher we turned. On a unbroken arc radius or a double apex, there was little steering enter wanted to appropriate and keep planted. Our solely want is for the brakes to have a bit extra pedal really feel, which might assist with path braking to set the CX-50 right into a nook.

Taking part in within the Filth

With 8.6 inches of floor clearance, the MX-50 rides excessive sufficient to securely go away the pavement and hit gravel and washboard dust roads on the best way to the lake cabin or tenting spot. The i-Lively AWD system has been designed to ship driving dynamics for a diverse array of floor situations, and on the higher trim ranges, the 245/45 Goodyear Eagle Touring all-season tires, mounted on black and brilliant machine alloy wheels, had been as much as the duty after we ascended a steep, loose-dirt hill.

The suspension has been tuned to deal with dust roads (assume unpaved and never rock crawling) so the motive force and passengers really feel assured getting the underside soiled. In low-speed off-road conditions, there may be most torque from a standstill and the traction management is optimized for torque switch from proper to left/left to proper. The underside line is–if occasional off-roading is a part of your journey, then the CX-50 must be best for you.

Soul of Movement Exterior Design

2023 Mazda CX-50
Kodo even standing nonetheless

Mazda has been positioning itself to be extra upscale previously few years, hoping to develop into a close to premium model. Using its Kodo: Soul of Movement design theme, the CX-50, in comparison with the CX-5, is wider, longer, decrease, and squarer. The entrance grille has fortunately gone on a weight-reduction plan, now slimmer and extra mature. The slender LED head and daytime working lights take up as little actual property as potential on the entrance fenders, and the flip indicators are mere slits sitting simply above the brilliant decrease fascia. Observe how the flip indicators have a delicate fade-out as they blink.

The lengthy hood, laid-back windshield, and brief entrance and rear overhangs full the look. The most important design change are the extensive rear fenders, giving the CX-50 a extra commanding look. The black physique cladding wraps utterly across the CX-50 and provides to the rugged look, however could be a bit a lot, so it seems to be higher towards darkish paint.

The body-color shark fin antenna, brilliant roof rails, panoramic roof, built-in spoiler over the raked energy elevate gate, brilliant twin exhaust ports, and LED tail lights finish-off the brand new design. Had the rear wiper been tucked below the spoiler it might have taken Mazda a step nearer to near-premium.

Class-Above Inside

The inside is driver-centric with spectacular supplies Mazda says are “impressed by the outside.” What we skilled had been snug seats and easy-to-use controls in a pleasing setting.

2023 Mazda CX-50
The motive force wins

5 inches longer than the CX-5, the CX-50 makes use of this additional house for a spacious inside and for ample cargo space. The CX-50 is designed for individuals with energetic and out of doors existence; the rear space can accommodate a powerful quantity of substances, even with the rear seat upright. Decrease it, and two adults, together with a roof high tent, may comfortably stay out of the CX-50.

Up entrance, a easy, clear and logical sprint format has loads of delicate contact supplies. Three, easy-to-read spherical black face and white letter gauges are a part of a 7-inch LCD multi-information show for the speedometer, odometer, common gas financial system and lots of different readings.

The middle show, which isn’t a contact display screen, is 8.8 inches within the base mannequin that homes an eight-speaker sound system, however that will increase to 10.25 inches (additionally not a contact display screen) for the 12-speaker Bose Centerpoint premium sound system that rocks the cabin. A notice concerning the coloration display screen: it turns into a contact display screen when utilizing Apple Automobile Play or Android Auto, the place apps and maps will be managed with the contact of a finger. However when returning to the native Mazda system, controls are made by the Commander wheel positioned on the middle console, or the controls on the leather-wrapped steering wheel.

In our Highway Take a look at evaluation later in 2022, Clear Fleet Report will go into element on the infotainment system, consolation, security options, and expertise. To summarize, the all-new 2023 CX-50 on the high trim ranges is just not wanting for something. It’s extremely geared up and can match options with any of its rivals.


All costs embrace the obligatory $1,225 vacation spot and dealing with price.

2023 Mazda CX-50
The place the additional inches present up

2.5 S                                      $28,025

2.5 S Choose                          $29,425

2.5 S Most well-liked                    $30,625

2.5 S Most well-liked Plus           $33,065

2.5 S Premium                    $35,525

2.5 S Premium Plus           $37,625

2.5 Turbo                             $37,625

2.5 Turbo Premium           $40,775

2.5 Turbo Premium Plus  $42,775

Observations: 2023 Mazda CX-50

Mazda is on a roll with 2021 its largest gross sales yr since 1994. The corporate additionally made information with its first step into electrification with the MX-30 EV, to be adopted by two new plug-in hybrid SUVs that shall be launched in 2023. Now, the all-new CX-50 is Mazda’s first adventure-oriented SUV.

They could not be utilizing Zoom-Zoom as their slogan, however fun-to-drive is the DNA that comes with the Mazda identify, and none of that is misplaced on the CX-50. Whereas it isn’t marketed as a sport SUV, it has lots of these capabilities. Will probably be positioned to the adventurer who has the will to go off-road occasionally.

2023 Mazda CX-50
Able to get away

The entrance cabin comfortably seats two, with the rear seat able to carrying three adults (two for longer journeys). The rear cargo capability is loads giant sufficient for 2 on that lengthy weekend tenting journey, however could also be a decent squeeze for all of the gear mandatory for 4. Then once more, the roof has been strengthened to deal with a three-person tent, so it could possibly simply deal with a cargo service and even hook-up a trailer for extra flexibility. So, seize your mates and take off for a number of days.

Mazda needs you to discover and uncover with the 2023 Mazda CX-50, possibly by heading-out to that mountain lake for some fishing and kayaking, or to the highest of a mountain street for some mountain biking. Go to your Mazda vendor to see the enchantment of the CX-50 that begins with a brand new recent design, and results in it being constructed on an all-new platform with an enhanced AWD system.

Be certain to opt-in to the Clear Fleet Report publication (high proper of web page) to be notified of all new tales and car critiques.

Story and pictures by John Faulkner.

Rugged Compact SUV Choices:

Highway Take a look at: 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness

Highway Take a look at: 2018 Toyota RAV4 Journey

Highway Take a look at: 2021 Jeep Wrangler Limitless Rubicon 4xe


Clear Fleet Report is loaned free take a look at autos from automakers to guage, usually for per week at a time. Our street assessments are based mostly on this one-week drive of a brand new car. Due to this we don’t tackle points equivalent to long-term reliability or whole price of possession. As well as, we are sometimes invited to producer occasions highlighting new autos or expertise. As a part of these occasions we could also be supplied free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our greatest to current our unvarnished evaluations of autos and information irrespective of those inducements.

Our focus is on autos that provide the most effective gas financial system of their class, which leads us to emphasise electrical automobiles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We additionally function these environment friendly gas-powered autos which can be among the many high mpg autos of their class. As well as, we purpose to supply critiques and information on superior expertise and the choice gas car market. We welcome any suggestions from car homeowners and are devoted to offering a discussion board for different viewpoints. Please tell us your views at [email protected].


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