When Mazda announced that it was going to double down on the utility market, we were intrigued. The Japanese auto giant was already in the midst of a shift towards utilities. Still, it had a lot of ground to make up in the face of rivals that already had a sizable headstart in prepping for the strong demand in utility models. One of the cogs of this broader sales machine is the CX series, and Mazda has now given us our first glimpse of what one would look like with the unveiling of the all-new 2023 Mazda CX-50.
CX-50 Fills Void, Adds More Features For Buyers To Enjoy
Mazda revealed that the CX-50 would help fill a gap between the CX-30 and the bigger CX-5 while giving buyers a better size and value ratio. The exterior of the CX-50 is much more rugged, and from some angles, it looks much more aggressive than the bigger CX-5. The front fascia flaunts wider fenders, and the front grille is sharper and comes with a more expressive front bezel too. Mazda’s hero model for all of its press photography even features an optional graphics pack that helps add some personality to the CUV.
The interior shares many of its core characteristics with other Mazda models, and a lot of the basic controls are largely carried over. But the CX-50 features select pieces that are more squared off in appearance, and it even gets vertically mounted air vents versus the horizontal units that are a staple of current Mazda models. The CX-50 will also get an impressive array of colors, including a new hue called Terracotta. It’s unknown if the Terracotta color will be a one-year special or part of the long-term lineup, but we like how it works well with the aforementioned graphics pack.
Carryover Performance, For Now, But Stay Tuned For Green Touches Soon
When the 2023 Mazda CX-50 makes its way to dealerships, it will do so using some familiar but very reliable performance hardware. All base models will be powered by the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder and higher grade models to be powered by the turbocharged version of the 2.5 liter. The company is not quite ready to talk horsepower numbers just yet, but look for the turbo to retain its 250 hp rating while the lesser engine sits somewhere between 180 and 190 hp.
After the CX-50 has some time to settle in the marketplace, Mazda will unleash a hybrid version of the model. Details about this variant are even harder to come by, but look for it to be the first formal hybrid CUV in Mazda’s arsenal and help form part of a broader push into the hybrid category as Mazda rapidly expands its footprint into the green vehicle segment.
In the meantime, Mazda is also enhancing capability with all CX models featuring standard all-wheel-drive, paired with the six-speed automatic. Mazda insists that the CX-50 will be more trail-ready than past Mazdas, and the addition of a newly minted Off-Road mode and even a towing mode will help ensure that the CX-50 is ready to tackle a wide range of adventures and challenges.
When Can I Buy A 2023 Mazda CX-50?
Mazda didn’t reveal any pricing information in today’s release but did confirm that the first models will begin arriving in dealerships this spring. The CX-50 will be produced at Mazda and Toyota’s joint plant in Alabama and is slated to go up against some critical rivals in the segment, including the Hyundai Tucson, Toyota RAV4, and the Ford Escape.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.