I recently had the opportunity to spend a week with the 2023 Mazda CX-50. As Mazda’s compact crossover, it ranks above the Mazda CX-5 and, frankly, there’s a lot to like about it. Our CX-50 came with the optional turbocharged engine and standard all-wheel drive, making it a nice package overall. But one feature might have some owners scratching their heads.
Is it worth buying the Mazda CX-50?
If you need an SUV, the 2023 CX-50 does what it says on paper. The unit is quite comfortable, has modern security technology, and is attractively designed. With the turbocharged engine, you get 256 horsepower. That power is more than enough to get the CX-50 up to highway speeds. And add some pep to this little SUV.
The interior of this Mazda SUV is quite usable. The rear cargo area has an adjustable floor that allows you to store taller items. And, with the upper trimmings, the interior materials are comfortable. Be very careful in high contact areas.
Although the 2023 Mazda CX-50 isn’t designed for serious off-roading, there is an off-road drive mode. But most will probably leave their SUV in normal or sport mode. Another plus for this vehicle is the long list of standard safety features, including:
- automatic emergency braking
- Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist
- adaptive cruise control
Where does the 2023 CX-50 fall short?
Although all Mazda CX-50 models come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the infotainment system takes some getting used to. Some other manufacturers seem to have infotainment systems that just work better.
Part of this is due to controls. The software itself is quick to respond and you can use the split screen functionality. But, instead of having a touchscreen front and center, Mazda opted to scoop it down a bit. And most of the time, you’ll control it via the control knob seen above.
In terms of daily use, after a couple of days behind the wheel of the 2023 Mazda CX-50, I started to feel used to the system. So keep that in mind if you’re considering buying a new Mazda SUV.
The Mazda CX-50 is a worthy SUV
Although it’s only slightly larger than the Mazda CX-5, the CX-50 certainly feels sturdier. According to car and driver, things like AWD come standard. And that makes it ideal for things like inclement weather. Also, this SUV does not feel boring to drive.
With the turbocharged engine, the CX-50 manages to feel engaging and handles corners well. Although it does make the ride a bit rougher, Sport mode keeps the revs going longer, which is nice to see.
Overall, this Mazda SUV is a good package. But it is not the only option that exists. Because of that, much of your decision will probably come down to your personal preferences. A hybrid variant is reportedly coming in the future, but for now, there are only two engine options.