Compact Driving Fun: 2024 Mazda CX-50

The Mazda CX-50 makes its return for its second year, one of two compact utility vehicles sold by this Japanese manufacturer. This model pushes the premium envelope by delivering a look and experience that rivals luxury makes, especially at the top trim. It can get costly too, therefore customers should carefully examine their choices, including the many amenities offered by grade.

2024 Mazda CX-50 front fascia

What is the Mazda CX-50?

The Mazda CX-50 is a compact crossover utility vehicle that distinguishes itself within its class through its focus on comfort and the inclusion of advanced technological features. Designed to accommodate up to five passengers, it balances the demands of daily utility with the desire for an engaging driving experience. It offers two engine options along with a standard all-wheel drive system, aiming to provide a responsive and stable ride under a variety of road conditions. This approach reflects an effort to cater to both performance enthusiasts and those looking for a versatile vehicle.

How Much Does the CX-50 Cost?

The 2024 Mazda CX-50 is available in a range of trims, starting with the base model costing $30,300 and extending to the fully loaded 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus, priced at $43,300. An additional $1,420 covers the delivery fee. All but the base model come well equipped, giving customers a range of grades to consider. Opting for the turbo, though, immediately adds thousands of dollars to the cost.

What Makes the Exterior Stand Out?

Mazda’s design philosophy shines brightly in the CX-50, with its sharp styling and modern vibe elevating it above competitors like the ongoing CX-5. Its distinctive exterior features, including alloy wheels, roof rails, and dual-exhaust outlets, are complemented by LED lighting, a rear roof spoiler, and automatic headlights, contributing to a premium look and feel. The vehicle’s design is a consonant blend of form and function, reflecting Mazda’s ambition to rival luxury brands through meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to excellence.

How Does the Interior Compare Between Trims?

The interior of the CX-50 aims to elevate the standard for compact crossovers, featuring a range of finishes and amenities across its various trims. The base model starts with quality finishes, and as one moves up to higher trims, features like luxurious leather upholstery and additional comforts, including heated and ventilated seats, become available.

2024 Mazda CX-50 Interior

These options cater to a wide range of preferences and needs, emphasizing both functionality and comfort. The design of the CX-50’s interior focuses on making efficient use of space while striving to create an environment that is both welcoming and sophisticated.

Which Technologies are Available?

The CX-50 is equipped with technology aimed at meeting the needs of today’s drivers in a straightforward manner. It comes standard with a 10.25-inch display and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for easy smartphone integration.

On the higher trims, additional features like a Bose audio system and wireless charging are available, providing extra convenience and improved sound quality. Mazda’s technology strategy appears to focus on integrating advanced features in a user-friendly way, aiming to enhance both the driving experience and passenger comfort without making the systems too complex to navigate.

What Kind of Safety Features are Offered?

Safety is a cornerstone of the Mazda CX-50’s design, featuring a comprehensive array of technologies aimed at ensuring protection and assistance for its occupants. Among these features, blind-spot monitoring alerts drivers to vehicles in adjacent lanes that may not be visible in the side mirrors, enhancing lane-changing safety.

Adaptive cruise control automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead, which is especially useful in varied traffic conditions. Additionally, lane-departure warning alerts drivers when the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane unintentionally, promoting attentive driving.

The CX-50’s safety credentials are bolstered by strong performance in evaluations conducted by reputable safety institutions. These organizations have awarded the vehicle high ratings for its ability to withstand and mitigate the impacts of collisions, underscoring its status as a trustworthy option for both families and individual drivers. Such recognition is a testament to Mazda’s rigorous approach to safety, prioritizing not just the inclusion of advanced features but also the overall structural integrity and crashworthiness of the vehicle.

What are the Engine Choices?

The CX-50 comes with two 2.5-liter engine options, designed to suit various performance demands. The standard engine produces a reliable output for daily use, while the turbocharged version offers an enhanced driving experience through higher horsepower and torque.

Specifically, the standard engine generates 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, and the turbocharged engine, depending on the fuel grade, can produce up to 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. All models are equipped with standard all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission, providing a balanced mix of efficiency and performance.

This range of engine choices and drivetrain configurations demonstrates Mazda’s intent to accommodate a wide array of driving preferences and requirements.

How Does the CX-50 Drive?

The CX-50 delivers a satisfying driving experience no matter how it is configured. The base engine supplies ample power with decent step-off acceleration and passing power. Our test model, though, was the turbo and that one ups the performance experience considerably.

Regardless of trim, we noticed the similarity between Mazda’s crossovers and its cars. Despite its high profile, the CX-50 offers direct steering, nimble handling, and accompanying strong braking. Though not designed for the track as some versions of the Mazda3, the CX-50 handles curves and corners with distinction. Notably, body roll is kept at a minimum.

The performance champ, though, is the turbo. It was also our test model. This one delivers excellent performance all around, particularly on the open road where it picks up speed fast and keeps going. The automatic transmission finds the right gear for the moment, enabling this vehicle to move without effort.

Notably, we haven’t found another model in this segment that comes close to performing as well as the CX-50 Turbo. The Ford Escape comes close, but the Mazda rules the segment.

Who Are the CX-50’s Competitors?

The compact utility vehicle segment is the largest in the automotive market. This means every mainstream manufacturer is represented. Some, like Mazda, have more than one model.

GM offers the GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Equinox, and the Buick Envista. Kia delivers the Sportage and Soul. Other competitors include the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Taos, Nissan Rogue, and Dodge Hornet. The Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Jeep Compass are also included.

Typically, most models offer standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. Only Mazda and Subaru make AWD standard equipment.

2024 Mazda CX-50 rear

Mazda CX-50 Parting Thoughts

The Mazda CX-50 succeeds even if its strongest competitor is sold by its side. Customers shopping for a compact model have two stellar choices when visiting their Mazda dealership. We encourage consumers to compare both the CX-5 and CX-50, as there is considerable overlap between them.

See AlsoMazda’s Remarkable Sales Performance in 2023

Photos supplies by Mazda USA.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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