The CX-50 is an all-new compact SUV that was designed specifically for the U.S. market with rugged looks and a touch of off-road capability.
Dimensionally, the CX-50 is longer than the CX-5, with an additional 6.7 in of body length and 4.6 in of wheelbase. It’s a little more than two inches shorter and half an inch wider. The CX-50 offers up to 8.5 in of ground clearance, about an inch more than the CX-5. And it gets a more aggressive look, with wide fender flares and chunky rectangular wheel cladding. The CX-50 also offers an additional towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds with a special Towing mode on the drive mode selector.
The design looks like a more rugged and butch version of the CX-5. It has broader fenders with more detailed plastic flares. The grille has a bolder bezel and can be had in gloss black. There are even sporty matte black decals available for the hood. Mazda also noted that the rear doors were given particularly wide openings to make it easier to step on the sills for access to the roof rack.
the CX-50 offers space for five passengers in two rows of seats. Inside, large square dashboard vents give the 50 a slightly more truckish look than the smaller CX-30, but the overall vibe is tastefully upscale, especially on the loaded Premium Plus trim. The front seats are comfortable and supportive; rear seat space is generous as well, but it should be noted that the CX-5 offers more headroom. All models come with a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, push-button start, and a partially-digital gauge display.
While the base CX-50 comes with a smaller 8.8-inch infotainment display, all other trims get a larger 10.3-inch screen; both versions run the latest version of the Mazda Connect interface and are controlled via a click wheel mounted on the center console. All models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both with wireless connectivity. An eight-speaker stereo is standard but Premium and Premium Plus models come with a 12-speaker Bose stereo with SiriusXM satellite radio. A wireless phone charger is available, but only on the top Turbo Premium Plus.
All models will come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder but the one to get is the more powerful turbocharged variant offering 256 horsepower; the base non-turbo offering makes just 187 hp. A six-speed automatic is standard, as is all-wheel drive, and Mazda has baked-in crisp handling to the CX-50 so that it carries on the company’s tradition of offering fun-to-drive vehicles.
Mazda starts the CX-50 at $26,800 — about $900 more than the CX-5. The more powerful turbocharged 2.5-liter engine starts at $36,400.
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