In only its second model year, Mazda hasn’t changed a thing on the 2024 CX-50, one of several crossovers in its lineup – with more on the way.
The CX-50 is a handsomely designed vehicle from the outside and features a very nice interior that is more luxurious than one would expect in this segment.
The model is available in four trims, and we tested the top tier Meridian, which has an all-in price of $51,745. As is always the case with Mazda, there’s no need to look for extra packages to add on, this version of the CX-50 is very well equipped.
The Meridian edition has a few unique features compared with the rest of the CX-50 lineup, including 18-inch alloy wheels with a black metallic finish, hood graphics and side rocker garnish.
Powertrain: The CX-50’s engine is the same that can be found on some other Mazda models, but our tester featured the turbocharged version of the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine.
The twin scroll turbo increases the engine’s output to 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when you opt for premium fuel. The engine will also work with regular unleaded, with a reduced power output.
The engine is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission which does a very good job, although less impressive was the real-world fuel economy number I achieved with the CX-50.
While the Mazda estimate is 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres, my testing resulted in 14.3 L/100 km.
Exterior: Mazda has a good track record of designing stylish vehicles and the CX-50 is no exception.
The front is instantly recognizable as being from the Japanese automaker, and I liked the Zircon Sand Metallic paint scheme on our tester (not that for the Meridian trim, that is one of only two colours available). The exterior is broken up by the hood decals and the use of abundant black cladding around the wheel wells should you use the CX-50 off the beaten path.
The model also features two-tone black/silver 18-inch alloy wheels to cap off the exterior look.
Interior: The look of the cabin on the Meridian trim is elevated by the Terracotta leather trimmed upholstery with orange stitching, which is also in the dashboard.
Overall, the layout and design of the cabin is very well thought out and the quality of materials are excellent. The controls for the ventilation and heated seats/steering wheel are all very neatly arranged under the centre screen, while audio controls are done via the knob and buttons in the centre console.
Rear passengers have a good amount of leg and headroom, while the cargo space on the CX-50 is quite generous for a vehicle this size.
Infotainment: The 10.25-inch infotainment screen sits nicely atop the dash and the horizontal layout keeps the menus very compact and easy to view quickly.
While usually a monotone colour, the screen comes to a vibrant life of colour when connected, wirelessly, to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system also offers wireless device charging and satellite radio.
On our tester, we experienced the Bose 12-speaker sound system with Centerpoint 2 Surround Technology and AudioPilot 2, and it delivers a good experience for those who enjoy their tunes.
Drive: The turbocharged engine certainly delivers plenty of power for the CX-50, making it pretty enjoyable to drive around town and out on the open road.
While I didn’t take it off the beaten path, the all-wheel drive system proved itself to be quite useful during the first snowfall of the season in Montreal.
The driving settings of the CX-50 can be adjusted through the MI-Drive switch located in the centre console, allowing you to set the driving dynamics to road conditions. The settings are Normal, Sport and Off-Road.
Conclusion: I was pleased with my time with the CX-50, which overall delivers a well put-together experience behind the wheel, while looking good and providing a high-end cabin experience for passengers.
The Meridian trim has some extra features that not everyone will want or need, so the model can be had at a slightly more affordable price if you are willing to forego some of them.
2024 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition
Price as tested: $51,745.00
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.5-litre Turbo 4-cylinder/ 6-speed automatic
Power/torque: 256 horsepower/ 320 lb-ft of torque (with 93 octane fuel)
Fuel (capacity): Regular or 93 octane (60 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 9.4 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 14.3 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/Unlimited km (basic)
Competitors: Ford Bronco Sport, Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Toyota Rav4
Website: Mazda Canada