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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Mazda CX-50 of 2023 turned out to be a compact outdoor SUV with an upcoming hybrid

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Mazda announced a whole expanded range of new SUVs coming in the next few years, and the first of them has finally been unveiled. The 2023 Mazda CX-50 will fill a space above the CX-30 with a size similar to the CX-5. And it will have a number of interesting features, including an upcoming one hybrid thruster.

The design feels like a more robust and masculine version of the CX-5. It has wider fenders with more detailed plastic flares. The grille has a bolder bezel and is available in glossy black. Sporty matte black decals for the hood are also available. Mazda also noted that the rear doors have been fitted with particularly wide openings to make it easier to get on the sills for access to the roof rack. The interior is reminiscent of other Mazdas, with its minimal dash, large hidden air vents and emphasis on the instrument panel. But it gets touches like the vertical vents around the instruments that make it unique and a little more boxy in shape. It also features a new interior color called terracotta.

Mazda has been quiet about a number of details regarding the CX-50, but will have a couple of familiar engines to begin with. The base engine will be a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with a turbo version available as an option. Expect base engine power to be around 185-190 horsepower and 250 horsepower for the turbo model. Both come coupled with Mazda’s six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive will be standard on all models, as this model aims to be more suitable for outdoors and off-roading than other Mazdas. And while it sounds odd that Mazda is looking at a more “active lifestyle” type of vehicle, it shouldn’t. In addition to the growing number of off-road-oriented options for sale, we’ve learned from press materials from a rival carmaker that the CX-5 is actually one of the most popular vehicles used for camping and off-road hiking. While it doesn’t come close to rivaling the popularity of a Subaru Forester or Jeep Cherokee for such buyers, it is more popular than the medium compact SUV. The CX-50, presumably, is bound to lean on that trend as Mazda is supposed to be looking at similar market data.

More driving modes will also be available, rather than just normal and sporty. The additions are a Tow mode and an Off-Road mode. According to Mazda engineer Dave Coleman, only an off-road mode is offered to keep things simple. It makes some interesting changes like making the G-Vectoring system more aggressive, which is the system that reduces torque when cornering to shift weight to the front wheels for added grip. Plus, it engages all-wheel drive more fully to help keep the wheels spinning at the same speed for stability. Climbing uphill grip comes into play, idle is raised to smoothly switch to the accelerator and the torque converter doesn’t lock right away to help the car overtake objects.

There are a number of other interesting tidbits. The CX-50 will be the first Mazda to be offered with a panoramic sunroof, and will be the first to be produced at the new Mazda joint and Toyota factory in Alabama. It will go on sale next spring and the price will likely be announced closer to release.

Update (November 15, 2021 12:52 pm): More details and images added.

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