Auto123 tested the 2023 Mazda CX-50 long-term. Today, the 1st part of 6, as we note the beginning of a new era for the Japanese manufacturer.
Welcome to the first of six chronicles that we will devote to the 2023 Mazda CX-50!
By spending three months behind the wheel of this new vehicle exhibited in the showrooms of Mazda dealerships across Canada since last May, we should be able to identify its strengths and weaknesses together.
Besides, I need your help.
Indeed, instead of just falling back on my pif to better understand the CX-50, I want to take advantage of your questions to deepen our subject. Questions are already proliferating on the Web, I have taken good note of them, but if you would like to send me yours, nothing could be easier: write to me at email@example.com.
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But first, what is a Mazda CX-50?
I want to answer you with another question: is the Mazda CX-50 a compact utility or a crossover?
The SUV, or SUV for Sport utility vehicle – marketing geniuses saw fit to add the word “sport” – is distinguished by its rather boxy silhouette, while the crossover leans more towards the rectangle since it is a crossover between a wagon, a utility, a van and maybe even a Chinese rickshaw.
The designers draw freely from the toolbox of these different configurations to create a template that only the crossover crossover name, straddling several vehicle categories, can identify.
So, according to this brilliant expose and my progressive-lens glasses, the CX-50 would be a crossover by virtue of its stretched shape and restrained height. It evokes less a Toyota RAV4 than a Subaru Outback.
Moreover, to make it shorter, the surname CX-50 reveals a lot since, in the Mazdean language (not to be confused with Mazdaism, a religion of ancient Persia), the C and the X respectively mean Crossover ( crossover) and Sport, while the figure 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 will see, you have to be careful.
First, the old line of CXs…
CX-3: born in 2014 but landed with us in 2015 as a 2016 model, this model derived from the Mazda2 left us this year, at the same time as the Mazda6 sedan.
CX-4: Mazda already had the CX-3 and the CX-5 in its ranks when it was working on a new vehicle that it should logically have called the CX-4. It didn’t because it has been selling a China-exclusive CX-4 since 2016 in partnership with local automaker FAW Group. There could not coexist an “old” Chinese CX-4 and a “new” CX-4 for the rest of the planet. The manufacturer therefore went there with the alphanumeric name CX-30 (I’ll talk about it later), which will bring other new features in its wake.
CX-5: in 2012 it succeeded the Tribute and the first CX-7. It was also the first vehicle to display the Kodo (Soul in Motion) design and to incorporate Skyactiv technologies (redesigned platforms, engines and transmissions to reduce emissions and consumption). Thanks to its almost 4 million units sold worldwide, it is Mazda’s current 3rd best seller, on the verge of supplanting the 2nd place of the Mazda6 (still active elsewhere) but far from the Mazda3 (7 million) or of the record held by the deceased 323 (more than 10M). The CX-5 is now positioned between the CX-30 and the CX-50.
CX-6: he does not exist…
CX-7 : it had a first incarnation between 2006 to 2012 based on a platform shared by the Ford Focus and the Mazda3, then the arrival of the CX-5 ousted it, but we expect to see it reborn from its ashes under the name CX-70 (further)
CX-8: a mid-size crossover produced since 2017. It’s actually a 3-row version of the CX-5, the biggest Mazda sold in Japan and China in particular, but not here.
CX-9: bigger than the CX-8 and offered since 2006 in Australia and North America, but not in Japan because its size and displacement would force consumers to burden themselves with a dissuasive tax, nor in Europe because of the narrow streets.
CX-10: neither does it exist, the CX family culminating in the CX-9.
Now the line of double-digit CXs…
CX-30: Released in 2019 to first cohabit with the CX-3, Mazda’s first dual-issue CX ended up relegating the ancestor to oblivion while slipping under the CX-5 and distinguishing itself from the Chinese CX-4.
CX-40: nothing on the horizon (yet).
CX-50: built from the CX-30 platform, introduced this year, reserved for the North American market, the star of this series of chronicles presents itself to us as the answer to our growing desire for outdoor outings. We’ll see.
CX-60: a midsize crossover launched last April that is Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid. It is found in several markets, such as Europe, Japan and Australia, but not in North America, which will instead receive the…
CX-70: the reincarnation of the CX-7 (so they say) as an (optional) hybrid with two rows of seats. Model year 2023 or 2024, that remains to be seen. More luxurious than the CX-5 and CX-50, bigger than the CX-60. With the PHEV option, courtesy of Toyota, and that of an inline-six
CX-80: it will be the three-row version of the CX-60 for Japan and Europe.
CX-90 : in the same way that North America will welcome the CX-70 instead of the CX-60, we will be entitled to the three rows of the CX-90 instead of those of the CX-80. Its launch will mean the retirement of the CX-9.
In short, the double-digit CXs are slowly but surely tamping down the single-digit CXs. They do this by brandishing an advanced platform, as light as possible, a cabin with a refined, even luxurious finish and, above all, all-wheel drive as standard on all its models.
We’ll talk about it soon!
We want to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this amazing material
2023 Mazda CX-50 Long-Term Test, Part 1
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