If you were expecting the new Mazda CX-50 to be a bigger alternative to the CX-5 or a completely new model, you might be disappointed by what the Japanese car maker unveiled today. Sure, the CX-50 is presented as a new model and it may be slightly different in size to the CX-5 but it is almost the same car underneath. The design, however, bets big on rugged looks and a meaner demeanor overall.
This is one of the first cars developed by Mazda after Toyota bought shares into the company, and it will show. Mainly because it will be built at the Toyota plant in Huntsville, Alabama. Production is slated to kick off next year, but until then, the specs and photos below should offer a good look into what’s in store for us.
As we said, the CX-50 is using the same platform as the CX-5. It uses the same 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder petrol engine on the base spec model, with a turbocharged version offered for those needing more power. Later down the line, a hybrid model will be introduced for those more eco-focused of us out there. Meanwhile, the two mills offered initially will either have 187 HP or 250 HP at their disposal from the engines under the hood, the latter being the figure for the turbocharged version.
All models will get standard i-Activ all-wheel drive, unlike the CX-5, including different driving modes using the Mi Drive system. These driving modes include Normal, Off-Road and Sport, as well as a special towing mode. While other cars in this segment offer more driving modes for off-roading, Mazda says that offering a multitude of them would’ve just been confusing, so they stuck to the minimum.
On the design side of things, Mazda stuck to its guns, with the Kodo styling cues but added a twist. They wanted to make it a more rugged offering compared to the CX-5 and it shows. There’s black plastic cladding on the wheel arches and fascias, with high-strength roof rails up high for added versatility. The grille also gains thicker black accents and larger vents live on either side of the bumper. And now buyers can select a Zircon Sand exterior paint job to go with those rugged good looks.
No big changes happened inside either. You’ll find almost the same layout as in the Mazda CX-5, with quality materials being used throughout and a decent number of finishes available. The CX-50 does get unique seat designs though. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.