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2024 Mazda CX-50

Starting from CAD $39,300

Vehicle Score 8.7/10
Disclaimer: Vehicles are provided by manufacturers. Content is produced independently and is not sponsored by them.

It’s clear that Mazda wants to compete in the luxury segment, especially when you look at its new lineup, including the CX-50. The CX-50 combines utility and luxury, making it one of the better compact SUVs in the class. It has a luxurious interior, a spacious cabin, and, most importantly, offers a fun driving experience—something Mazda is known for and the rest of the segment struggles with.

However, it isn’t all great. The CX-50 has mediocre fuel economy and it’s quite pricey, with the fully loaded model costing around $50,000. No hybrid or electric options are available either, which is disappointing at this price point.

Performance

Mazda’s CX-50 sticks with gasoline engines for now, without hybrid or electric options. Shoppers have two choices: a 2.5L 4-cylinder Skyactiv-G engine, which makes 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, and a turbocharged version with 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque on 93 octane fuel, or 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque on 87 octane fuel. I tested the turbocharged model, which lives up to Mazda’s reputation for being fun to drive. The turbo engine has good power for acceleration and always feels responsive whether in the city or at higher speeds. It’s paired with a reliable six-speed transmission that Mazda has used for years. Whether in stop-and-go traffic or accelerating, the transmission shifts quickly and stays in the right gear.

The CX-50 does well in the handling department, something Mazda is known for. While it may not drive like a sports car, it corners well for an SUV. Driving experience has always been a priority for Mazda, and it shows in the CX-50.

The CX-50 is marketed as the off-road/rugged variant of the CX-5, and its exterior design reflects this focus. While nothing remarkable, the CX-50 offers decent off-road capability. Mazda’s drive select system includes a dedicated off-road mode for going off the paved roads and tackling rough terrain. The Meridian Edition trim also enhances the off-road experience with a distinctive exterior colour, all-terrain tires, side rocker garnishes, and roof rack, all adding to a rugged look and feel.

Interior & Comfort

The interior is arguably one of the best parts of any Mazda vehicle, and the CX-50 is no exception. Its interior rivals those of luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. The build quality is excellent, with everything positioned for the driver’s convenience. The cabin is spacious, offering good legroom and headroom in both rows. The seats are comfortable, with good adjustability, and come with heated and ventilated settings. Visibility is also excellent from all sides, and the available 360° View Monitor camera helps with navigating tight spots.

Comfort is prioritized in the cabin, with the suspension effectively absorbing bumps to provide a smooth ride. However, one area where Mazda could improve is cabin noise at high speeds. While it is not overly intrusive, competitors offer quieter interiors. This is an area where Mazda needs to improve across its lineup, as some of its vehicles can be a bit noisy at higher speeds. They have improved significantly over the years compared to the previous generation lineup. However, as they aim for the luxury segment, addressing this aspect is essential.

Technology

The CX-50 comes with a large 10.25″ infotainment screen that not only looks great but also offers a great UI. Touch functionality is available, but only when Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is connected. The screen can be a little hard to reach, which is why the rotary dial system works better, and its great placement makes it easy to use. The gauge cluster is a mix of analog and digital and is starting to show its age. While it looks pleasing, it lacks customization options, which is a drawback compared to competitors with fully digital clusters. Despite this, the CX-50’s tech offering remains impressive overall.

Most driving aids come standard on all CX-50 models and are offered as part of the i-Activsense safety features package. Common features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist work well, making rush-hour commutes easier.

Cargo Storage

The CX-50 offers a decent amount of cargo space, with 889L behind the second row and 1,595L with the second-row seats folded down. While this should be good enough for most buyers, it isn’t class-leading, as some competitors offer more.

The interior doesn’t disappoint in terms of storage space, providing good room for smaller items. The cabin is thoughtfully designed to maximize space for both passengers and their belongings.

Fuel Economy

The Turbo variant is rated at 9.4/10.4/8.2 L/100km (Combined/City/Highway), while the non-turbo is rated at 8.9/9.7/7.9 L/100km (Combined/City/Highway). In my week-long test of the turbo engine, I averaged 11.3 L/100km with mostly city driving. For a compact SUV, the fuel efficiency isn’t that great and considering the price tag of the vehicle, it would make sense to have a hybrid option available.

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