2023 Mazda CX-50 Long-Term Review, Part 1
2023 Mazda CX-50 Long-Term Review, Part 1
Photo: Mazda 2022 Mazda CX 50 – Exterior design

Auto123 is putting the 2023 Mazda CX-50 to the long-term test. Today, part 1 of 6, as we note the beginning of a new era for the Japanese manufacturer.

Welcome to the first of six chapters of our long-term test of the 2023 Mazda CX-50!

By spending three months behind the wheel of this new vehicle, which has been on display in Mazda showrooms across Canada since last May, we seek to identify its strengths and weaknesses.

And in fact, we ask your help.

Instead of making sole use of my brilliant analytic skills to understand the CX-50, I would like to benefit from your brilliant questions to delve deeper into the matter. There are already a lot of questions to be found online, and I've taken note of them, but if you'd like to send me yours, it's easy: email me at michel.crepault@auto123.com.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Long-Term Review, Part 1
Photo: Mazda 2022 Mazda CX-50 – On the trail

But first, what is a Mazda CX-50?

I’ll cleverly start to answer that with another question: is the Mazda CX-50 a compact SUV or a crossover?

There is actually a difference, if an arguable one. The SUV, or Sport Utility Vehicle (some marketing geniuses thought it was a good idea to add the word “sport”) is distinguished by a rather square shape, while the crossover is more of a rectangle since it's a cross between wagon, SUV, minivan and maybe even a rickshaw.

Designers are happy to draw from the toolbox of these different configurations to create a template that only the catch-all term crossover, straddling several vehicle categories, can capture.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Long-Term Review, Part 1
Photo: Mazda 2022 Mazda CX-50 – Three-quarters rear

So, according to this brilliant explanation and with the help of my progressive lenses, I deem the CX-50 to be a crossover by virtue of its stretched shape and relatively low height. It evokes not so much an RAV4, more so a Subaru Outback.

So anyways, to make a long story short, the CX-50 name reveals a lot since, in Mazda’s naming practice, the C and the X stand for Crossover and Sport respectively, while the number gives an idea of the size of the vehicle within the portfolio.

How does the Mazda CX-50 relate to the other CXs in the family?

I had fun going back in time to untangle one CX from the other. You'll see, you have to pay attention.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Long-Term Review, Part 1
Photo: Mazda 2022 Mazda CX-50 – Hatch, logo

First, the older line of CXs…

CX-3: Born in 2014 but first debuted here in 2015 as a 2016 model, this Mazda2-derived model left us this year, along with the Mazda6 sedan.

CX-4: Mazda already had the CX-3 and CX-5 in its ranks when it was working on a new vehicle that it logically should have named CX-4. That didn't because the automaker has been selling a China-exclusive CX-4 since 2016 in partnership with local automaker FAW Group. You couldn’t have an “old” Chinese CX-4 co-existing with a “new” CX-4. So the automaker went with the CX-30 (more on that model below), which would lead to some offspring in it own right.

CX-5: In 2012, it succeeded the Tribute and the first CX-7. It was also the first vehicle to feature the Kodo (Soul in Motion) design philosophy and to incorporate SkyActiv technologies (redesigned platforms, engines and transmissions to reduce emissions and fuel consumption). 

With almost 4 million units sold worldwide, it is Mazda's third-best seller today, on the verge of supplanting the second-best Mazda6 (still sold elsewhere) but far from the Mazda3 (7 million) or the record held by the now-defunct 323 (over 10M). The CX-5 is now positioned between the CX-30 and the CX-50.

CX-6: It does not exist…

CX-7: It had a first incarnation between 2006 and 2012, based on a platform shared by the Ford Focus and the Mazda3; the arrival of the CX-5 then spelled its end, but we expect to see it rise from its ashes as the CX-70 (more on that later).

CX-8: A mid-size crossover produced since 2017. It's actually a three-row version of the CX-5, the largest Mazda sold notably in Japan and China but not here.

CX-9: Bigger than the CX-8 and available since 2006 in Australia and North America but not in Japan because its size and displacement would force consumers to pay a dissuasive tax, nor in Europe because the streets are too narrow. 

CX-10: it doesn't exist either, the CX lineup ending at the CX-9.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Long-Term Review, Part 1
Photo: Mazda 2022 Mazda CX-50 – Front

Now for the line of double-numbered CXs…

CX-30: Released in 2019 to initially coexist with the CX-3, Mazda's first double-numbered CX ended up relegating the ancestor to oblivion while tucking under the CX-5 and distinguishing itself from the Chinese CX-4.

CX-40: Nothing on the horizon (yet).

CX-50: Built on the CX-30 platform, introduced this year and reserved for the North American market, the model under our microscope presents itself the answer to our growing desire to go outdoors.

CX-60: This mid-size crossover launched last April and is the first Mazda plug-in hybrid. It is available in several markets, for instance Europe, Japan and Australia, but not in North America, which will receive instead the…

CX-70: The reincarnation of the CX-7 (they say) comes in the guise of an (optional) two-row hybrid. Whether it’s a model-year 2023 or 2024 when it debuts remains to be seen. It’s said to be more luxurious than the CX-5 and CX-50 and bigger than the CX-60. A PHEV option comes courtesy of Toyota, and there’s option of an inline six engine.

CX-80: It will be the three-row version of the CX-60 for Japan and Europe. We will get the…

CX-90: Just as North America will get the CX-70 instead of the CX-60, North America will welcome the three-row CX-90 instead of the CX-80. Its launch will mean the retirement of the CX-9.

You see a pattern here? Yes, the double-digit CXs are quietly but surely squeezing out the single-digit CXs. They do so brandishing an advanced platform that's as light as possible, interiors that are refined, even luxurious and, above all, standard all-wheel drive on all models.

See you next time!

2023 Mazda CX-50 Long-Term Review, Part 1
Photo: Mazda 2022 Mazda CX-50 – Hood, headlight

TECH NEWS RELATED

This Honda Car Just Snagged Edmunds Top Rated Award for the 2nd Year In a Row

Honda cars are synonymous with reliability, sensibility, and affordability. Few of the marque’s models do a better job of demonstrating that fact than the famed Civic. Still, if you need more proof, the 2023 Honda Civic won the Edmunds Top Rated Car Award. That marks the second year in a ...

View more: This Honda Car Just Snagged Edmunds Top Rated Award for the 2nd Year In a Row

3 Reasons to Pick the 2023 Lexus IS (And 3 to Choose Its Acura Competition Instead)

If you are shopping for a new luxury sedan, you are after a different level of comfort than the standard road car. In most cases, Lexus will top the charts regarding price, reliability, and available features. However, brands like Acura have made waves recently to punch above their weight and ...

View more: 3 Reasons to Pick the 2023 Lexus IS (And 3 to Choose Its Acura Competition Instead)

TVS iQube Electric Scooter Sales Cross 59k In 2022 – Record High

Since the launch of updated iQube in May 2022, TVS has been registering huge sales for their electric scooter TVS iQube Electric Scooter TVS iQube has seen significant growth in electric two-wheeler sales in India. Government’s push for electric mobility and rising consumer awareness has contributed to growth. To spurt ...

View more: TVS iQube Electric Scooter Sales Cross 59k In 2022 – Record High

2023 Toyota Land Cruiser First Owner In India – Takes Delivery

As opposed to its predecessor, new Land Cruiser LC300 has shed 200 kg of weight, helping it to sprint better with modern powertrain options 2023 Toyota Land Cruiser – First Delivery Of India It was Toyota Land Cruiser LC300 that was supposed to launch first in India, Lexus LX 500d ...

View more: 2023 Toyota Land Cruiser First Owner In India – Takes Delivery

3 Most Reliable Lexus Models

While there are a few automotive brands out there known for being reliable, one of the top companies with several durable models in its lineup is Lexus. Which vehicles are the top three for being reliable rides? Why does reliability matter? Lexus logo | Getty Images When you buy a ...

View more: 3 Most Reliable Lexus Models

The Cheapest New Dodge Charger Is a Versatile Sedan Option With One Big Issue

The Dodge Charger offers everything from a sensible V6 and all-wheel drive to supercharged tail-happy sports sedans. Better yet, the cheapest offering in the model’s lineup, the SXT, is versatile and well-suited for daily driving. However, the 2023 Dodge Charger SXT has one glaring issue: it’ll be the last car ...

View more: The Cheapest New Dodge Charger Is a Versatile Sedan Option With One Big Issue

Cheapest New Audi Is 1 of the Best Small Luxury Cars, Says Car and Driver

Audi has a solid lineup of luxury vehicles — with their good driving dynamics, premium features, and attractive designs. Also, compared to some other luxury brands, Audi models are relatively affordable. This includes the 2023 Audi A3 subcompact sports sedan, which is the cheapest new Audi car. Also, according to ...

View more: Cheapest New Audi Is 1 of the Best Small Luxury Cars, Says Car and Driver

GM Just Announced An All-New Small-Block V8 Is Coming

The electrification zeitgeist is in full swing, but gasoline-powered engines won’t disappear overnight. Nor will V8 power, as GM just confirmed a new small-block V8 engine is coming soon. This will be the sixth generation of the legendary small-block V8 that has powered so many Chevy and GM products since ...

View more: GM Just Announced An All-New Small-Block V8 Is Coming

Best car tool kits 2023

The Lectron Adapter Will Let You Charge a Ford Lighting at a Tesla Station

Don't worry, Quordle is not going behind a paywall, says Merriam-Webster

How Much Does a Nissan Tune-up Cost, and What Do They Do?

Jaguars vs Chiefs live stream: how to watch the NFL playoff game online

A Twisted New Body Dysmorphia Romantic Film Looks Gruesomely Unique

How to Disable Screenshot Thumbnail Previews on Mac

LG’s smart projector is the square cousin of Samsung’s cool The Freestyle

How Does the New Corvette E-Ray Stack Up Against Hybrid Hypercars?

4 Snow Plow Safety Tips When Encountering These Vehicles on the Road

This Tiny MSI PC is Packed With Power

Alpine is Coming to the U.S, but it’s Not Bringing the Goods

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News