The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is an all-new, rugged, and capable crossover SUV that will appeal to fleets that require vehicles that can be used in both on-road and off-road fleet applications. I recently had an opportunity to test drive the new CX-50 in a variety of on-road, off-road, and trailering applications.
Here is my report.
A Multi-Terrain Vehicle
As a the newest addition to the Mazda lineup, the CX-50 has superior on-road driving characteristics and offers excellent driving dynamics for off-road driving, enabling drivers to venture into various terrains as dictated by the fleet application. It is equipped as standard with the latest i-Activ All-Wheel Drive (AWD) technology and new Mazda Intelligent Drive Select, or Mi-Drive. The new drive modes can be selected with the Mi-Drive switch and will help the crossover SUV drive naturally in a wide variety of conditions, such as off-road terrain or providing excellent towing capabilities for light-duty applications.
The Mazda CX-50 as a high ground clearance keeping the underbody above rocks and other obstructions that expands the terrain you can navigate in fleet applications that require off-road driving.
Towing & Cargo Capabilities
Mazda engineered the CX-50’s engine cooling to be more robust to increase towing capacity. Equipped with the optional turbo engine, the CX-50 can tow up to 3,500 pounds. There are Towing and Off-Road drive modes to optimize these driving applications, in addition to the Normal and Sport selections to provide different calibrations for the steering, transmission, and throttle response.
The vehicle’s height and length facilitates loading and securing equipment that needs to be transported to a job location. The high strength roof rails and reinforced B-pillars and door jambs add to the usability of securing equipment on the roof of CX-50.
The interior of the CX-50 provides plenty of cargo space to haul equipment and tools, with a cockpit design that is focused on driver ergonomics.
Choice of Two Powertrains
The CX-50 is available with a choice of two powertrains – the Skyactiv-G 2.5 naturally aspirated engine or Skyactiv-G 2.5 Turbo engine and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Mazda said a later model of the CX-50 will be offered with an electrified powertrain, including a traditional hybrid model.
The Mazda CX-50 is built at the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) plant in Huntsville, Ala., a $2.3 billion joint venture partnership between Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation.