The CX-50 is an all-new vehicle in the Mazda lineup. It has all the upscale comfort and sleek styling that’s a hallmark of the Mazda brand, but with a more rugged focus and off-road capability. Two engines and a range of ten trim levels make it easy to find a CX-50 to fit your needs, but pricing is higher than many of its rivals. But what Mazda delivers that those competitors lack is a sense of luxury in every level. Only top trims get the turbocharged engine, so you do pay a premium for performance. There are two available infotainment screen sizes, but neither offers full touchscreen functionality. It takes time to master the rotary controller. The rival Hyundai Tucson has fewer trim levels, but a lower starting price option for a hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The Nissan Rogue has a four-trim lineup that also has lower pricing, but it lacks the CX-50’s refined interior. The Toyota RAV4 provides gas, hybrid, plug-in hybrid options with seven trims and lower pricing, but without the upscale look and feel of the Mazda.
TRIM LEVELS & PRICES
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is available in ten trim levels: S, Select, Preferred, Preferred Plus, Premium, Premium Plus, Turbo, Turbo Premium, Turbo Premium Plus, and Turbo Meridian Edition. The Preferred Plus is the popular model and it’s what we’d pick, too. We’ll explain why.
The base S starts at $28,025 (with a $1,225 destination fee). Standard features include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, 17-inch wheels, Sport and Off-Road drive modes, dual exhaust outlets, power-adjustable side mirrors, an 8.8-inch infotainment display screen, an eight-speaker audio system, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, a four-way manually adjustable passenger seat, and cloth seat upholstery. There’s also advanced smart city brake support with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, driver attention alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Priced from $29,435, the Select adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, LED interior lighting, cloth and imitation leather seats, a 40/60-split folding rear seat, a 10.25-inch infotainment display screen, two rear USB ports, and tinted privacy glass.
Starting at $30,725, the Preferred adds heated side-view mirrors and windshield wipers, front and rear center armrests with storage, a power-operated liftgate with programmable height, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, and heated front seats.
Priced from $33,165, the Preferred Plus adds more convenience features and a power-sliding panoramic moonroof. We recommend this trim as the best-equipped CX-50 under $35K.
The Premium ($35,625) features a 12-speaker Bose audio system, SiriusXM, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, and leather seats.
The Premium Plus ($37,625) adds 20-inch wheels, automatic power-folding side mirrors, ventilated front seats, and a color head-up display.
Pricing for the Turbo starts at $37,625. It includes a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, tow mode, a Terracotta-colored interior with orange contrast stitching, Turbo badging, larger exhaust pipes, LED tail lights, and adaptive LED front lights with auto-leveling headlights.
The Turbo Premium ($40,775) adds a 12-speaker Bose audio system, a color head-up display, heated steering wheel, and ventilated front seats.
Turbo Premium Plus
The Turbo Premium Plus ($42,775) gets a frameless, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated rear seats, wireless phone charging, navigation, blind-spot warning, a 360-degree surround-view camera, traffic jam assist, front and rear parking sensors, and rear smart brake support.
Turbo Meridian Edition
The Turbo Meridian Edition provides 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, distinctive side rocker and headlight trim, hood graphics, and a range of available outdoor accessories. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
The all-new Mazda CX-50 is a rugged two-row SUV with a wide range of trim levels and standard all-wheel drive. It’s beautifully styled with a heavy dose of luxury in top trims, but pricing climbs quickly, and the infotainment system lacks functionality for an all-new vehicle.