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Is The 2024 Mazda CX-50 AWD (Video Demo) Better On-Road or Off-Road on Everyman Driver

2024 Mazda CX-50: A Rugged, Upscale Performer in the Compact Crossover Segment

The 2024 Mazda CX-50 is a standout in the crowded compact crossover market. As Mazda transitions into a premium brand, the CX-50 exemplifies this vision with its sophisticated design, high-quality interior, and impressive performance. Although it’s similar in size to the Mazda CX-5, the CX-50 is a distinct model with standard all-wheel drive, mild off-road capability, and a higher price point. It immediately carved out a niche in its debut year, offering an upscale alternative to the typical compact crossover.

Positives and Considerations


  • Ruggedly handsome design, inside and out
  • Powerful turbocharged engine available
  • Standard all-wheel drive


  • Infotainment system could be simpler to use
  • Not as fuel-efficient as some rivals, especially hybrids


The 2024 Mazda CX-50 is a top choice among small SUVs because it drives even better than it looks, delivering an engaging, upscale driving experience.


What’s New for 2024

Since the CX-50 was all-new last year, the 2024 model sees only a few updates:

  • Improved suspension and steering for enhanced handling
  • Mid-tier Premium trims now include a 12-speaker Bose stereo system and wireless phone charger

Trims and Pricing

The 2024 Mazda CX-50 is available in eight trim levels:

  • Select: $31,675
  • Preferred: $33,025
  • Premium: $35,375
  • Premium Plus: $38,875
  • Turbo: $39,375
  • Turbo Meridian Edition: $42,175
  • Turbo Premium: $42,675
  • Turbo Premium Plus: $44,675

Turbo is the most popular model and our pick due to its powerful engine and competitive price.

Select: Starting at $31,675

  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • All-wheel drive
  • 10.25-inch infotainment display
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Advanced safety features

Preferred: Starting at $33,025

  • Heated mirrors and windshield wipers
  • Power rear liftgate
  • Heated front seats

Premium: Starting at $35,375

  • Power-sliding panoramic sunroof
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 12-speaker Bose audio system

Premium Plus: Starting at $38,875

  • 20-inch wheels
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Head-up display

Turbo: Starting at $39,375

  • 2.5-liter turbocharged engine
  • Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • Tow mode, adaptive LED front lights

Turbo Meridian Edition: Starting at $42,175

  • 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires
  • Distinctive side rocker and headlight trim
  • Available outdoor accessories

Turbo Premium: Starting at $42,675

  • 12-speaker Bose audio system
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Head-up display

Turbo Premium Plus: Starting at $44,675

  • Frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Heated rear seats
  • Surround-view camera

Engine and Performance

  • 2.5-liter Four-Cylinder (Select to Premium Plus): 187 hp, 186 lb-ft of torque
  • 2.5-liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder (Turbo to Turbo Premium Plus): 256 hp, 320 lb-ft of torque

Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

Fuel Economy

  • Base Engine (2.5L, AWD): 24/30 mpg city/highway
  • Turbo Engine (2.5L, AWD): 23/29 mpg city/highway

Interior and Cargo

The CX-50’s cabin is spacious and comfortable, with high-quality materials throughout. Base models feature premium cloth upholstery, while higher trims offer leather seats and wood trims. Despite a sleek design, the cabin remains practical with 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, expanding to 56.3 cubic feet when folded down.

Infotainment and Connectivity

  • Standard: 10.25-inch infotainment display, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Available: 12-speaker Bose audio system, navigation

Drawback: Limited touchscreen functionality, with most features controlled via rotary dial.


The 2024 Mazda CX-50 is equipped with a suite of safety features, including:

  • Advanced smart brake support with pedestrian detection
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

Mazda CX-50 vs. the Competition

  • Hyundai Tucson: Offers more cargo space but lacks the upscale feel of the CX-50.
  • Toyota RAV4: Provides better fuel efficiency but lacks the driving engagement of the Mazda.
  • Nissan Rogue: More affordable but not as refined.

Final Thoughts

The 2024 Mazda CX-50 sets itself apart in the compact crossover segment with its upscale design, refined performance, and mild off-road capability. Though its infotainment system could use some improvements, the CX-50’s high-quality interior, engaging handling, and strong turbo engine make it a compelling choice for drivers seeking an elevated driving experience.

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