2023 Mazda CX-50 is a compact crossover with robust appearance, standard AWD

Late Monday, Mazda gave a first look at the 2023 CX-50, a compact crossover that the carmaker said is aimed at outdoor enthusiasts and other lifestyle-oriented buyers.

Mazda is withholding detailed specifications until closer to the market launch next spring, but we know that the CX-50 will come with standard four-wheel drive and will initially be offered with the choice between a 2.5-liter inline-4 or 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 . In each case, a 6-speed automatic will be standard.

These engines are found in other Mazda vehicles, where they have an output of 187 hp and 250 hp respectively. Mazda said electrified powertrains are planned for the CX-50 at a later date, including a conventional hybrid.

The CX-50 also comes standard with a drive mode selector known as the 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 character of the CX-50, Mazda has added chassis protection similar to what you find on off-road vehicles.

The outdoorsy theme continues indoors, where trim choices have been inspired by the technical material found on outdoor equipment. A panoramic moon roof, the first for Mazda, will also be available on the CX-50.

2023 Mazda CX-50

2023 Mazda CX-50

Contrary to previous reports, the CX-50 does not run on Mazda’s recently announced Skyactiv Multi-Solution scalable architecture capable of supporting inline-6 ​​motors and rear-wheel drive. Rather, it shares a platform with the existing CX-30 and MX-30 compact crossovers, though the CX-50 is closer in size to the larger CX-5. Fans of the CX-5 should not worry as this model will continue for buyers looking for a more urban-style runabout.

Prices have not been announced, but are likely to start higher than the starting price of $ 27,945 for the CX-5 with four-wheel drive.

Mazda has confirmed that the CX-50 is the model that will be built at the newly built factory in Huntsville, Alabama, which will be shared with Toyota. This is where Toyota is already building the Corolla Cross. Production of the CX-50 is scheduled to begin in January. The plant has the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually.

2023 Mazda CX-50

2023 Mazda CX-50

According to Roadshow, larger CX-70 and CX-90 crossovers powered by inline-6 ​​engines and based on Mazda’s new Skyactiv platform mentioned above will follow. The CX-70 is expected to serve as a spiritual successor to the previous CX-7, while the CX-90 is expected to directly replace the current CX-9. Plug-in hybrid technology is expected to be available in both new crossovers.

The first vehicle based on the new platform is due for delivery in 2022, though its identity is unclear. One possibility could be one replacement for Mazda 6.

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