Mazda recently released the first image of the 2023 CX-50, a compact crossover that caters to outdoor enthusiasts and other lifestyle-oriented buyers.
Mazda is holding back detailed specifications until closer to the market launch, but we know the CX-50 will come with a standard all-wheel-drive and initially be offered with the choice of a 2.5L inline-4 or 2.5L turbocharged inline-4 engine. In each case, a 6-speed automatic transmission will be standard.
These engines are found in other Mazda vehicles where they rate in at 187hp and 250hp respectively. Mazda said electrified powertrains are planned for the CX-50 at a later date, including a conventional hybrid.
The CX-50 will also come standard with a drive mode selector known as Mazda Intelligent Drive Select, or Mi-Drive. This system provides the vehicle with specific settings for handling a variety of conditions, including off-road terrain and towing, according to Mazda.
Further alluding to the lifestyle nature of the CX-50, Mazda has added underbody protection similar to what you find on off-road vehicles.
The outdoor theme continues inside where trim choices have been inspired by the technical material found on outdoor gear. A panoramic moonroof, a first for Mazda, will also be available on the CX-50.
Contrary to previous reports, the CX-50 doesn’t ride on Mazda’s recently announced SKYACTIV Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture capable of supporting inline-6 engines and rear-wheel drive. The CX-50 shares its platform with the existing CX-30 and MX-30 compact crossovers, though its size is closer to the larger CX-5. CX-5 fans need not worry as this model will continue to be offered for buyers seeking a more urban-style runabout.
The price hasn’t been announced, but is likely to begin higher than the starting price of the CX-5 with all-wheel drive, which is R446 750,00.
Mazda has confirmed that its CX-50 model will be built at the new plant in Huntsville, Alabama, which shares space with Toyota. It’s where Toyota manufactures the Corolla Cross. Production of the CX-50 is scheduled to start in January 2022. The plant has the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually.