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2024 Mazda CX-50 Pros vs Cons, & Competitor Insights

2024 Mazda CX-50 Pros, Cons, and Competitor Comparison
By Norman Ruckpaul
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch
Published: Feb 5, 2024

If you are seeking a compact SUV that is stylish, fun-to-drive with strong performance, premium amenities, and excellent safety ratings then the 2024 Mazda CX-50 is worth a look.

In this guide, we'll cruise through the CX-50's biggest strengths and weaknesses so you can decide if it's the right ride for you. From head-turning style to adventure-ready capabilities, the CX-50 brings a lot to the table.

We'll highlight the 2024 Mazda CX-50 pros and cons and see everything that makes this vehicle a a possible game-changer, while keeping it real about any downsides. Let's hit the road and experience the magic of Zoom-Zoom in an SUV package!

Key Takeaways

  • This SUV brings luxury and zoom-zoom thrills together. Get ready for a ride quality that's both cushy and sporty!

  • The premium look is head-turning sharp inside and out. The CX-50 also packs the latest tech and safety features to keep you connected and protected.

  • Despite its upscale yet exciting vibes, the cx-50 likes to sip gas, has snug cargo capacity and taller passengers may find the rear seats a head butting experience.

What we Like - 10 Pros of the CX-50

All models come packed with sweet tech like drive modes, push-button start and a digital gauge cluster - this ride is made for the 21st century. With room for 5 passengers and agile handling, it's a top pick for families and weekend warriors.

But wait, there's more! Opt for the turbo engine in higher trims and hold onto your hats - this SUV delivers a thrilling ride. The standard automatic emergency braking system adds peace of mind too.

Going all out for the Turbo model lands you the whole enchilada: a panoramic sunroof, 10.3-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather upholstery with heated front seats and wireless phone charger - luxury indeed!

There's no question the 2024 CX-50 brings its A-game to the compact crossover segment. With head-turning style, punchy performance and family-friendly flexibility, it hits a sweet spot. This Mazda is a total showstopper!

1. Impressive Design and Upscale Interior

The CX-50 brings the heat inside and out with knockout looks and upscale vibes.

On the outside, its rugged yet refined design may turn some heads. (It did mine, I love the look.) Inside, the square vents and comfortable seats exude tasteful style. The cabin feels like a sanctuary of sophistication.

With room for 5, everyone enjoys the posh ride. To up the luxury factor, leather upholstery options include warm hues like Terracotta.

The attention to detail with premium materials helps the CX-50 stand apart from the crowd. For folks who dig classy aesthetics, this Mazda is a top pick. It brings haute style to the compact crossover segment! (Close competitors have more plastic and less esthetics.)

2. Sporty and Responsive Handling

According to Consumer Reports, when it comes to driving fun, the CX-50 handles more like a sports car than your typical SUV. It zips through twisty roads with serious precision and agility - way more exciting than an everyday crossover. The steering reacts right away when you turn the wheel, so you feel in control maneuvering corners and curves.

That responsive steering pairs with a dialed-in suspension for grip and stability. So the CX-50 stays planted and composed whether you're cruising straight or carving up curvy stretches. This thing corners with attitude, hugging the road with hardly any body roll.

For an SUV, the CX-50 has impressively high handling limits. It stays flat and grippy when you push it through sharp turns. Yet it still smooths out bumps to keep you comfy across uneven pavement.

(Reference Sources: Consumer Reports, MotorTrend)

3. Comfortable & Quiet Interior

Inside Consumer Reports found the CX-50 to be comfy and peaceful on road trips. This Mazda keeps wind and engine noise hushed, with just a gentle background hum. The cabin stays serene even at highway speeds, so you and your passengers can chill out.

Up front, the seats coddle you with cushy padding and bolsters that cradle you during cornering. And rear passengers get plenty of space to stretch out and relax too.

Whether driving solo or packed with your crew, the CX-50 surrounds you in comfort. Thoughtful sound-proofing helps the miles slip away in a quiet, easygoing vibe. Between the cozy seats and serene cabin, you'll stay chill cruising the open road.

4. Standard All-Wheel Drive and Performance

All-wheel drive comes standard on the CX-50, delivering a smooth and steady ride on any road. We took this Mazda out for a spin and were hooked instantly! The precise steering served up driving joy without skimping on comfort.

With Sport and Off-Road modes, it excels both on pavement and off the beaten path. There's a mode for every mood!

The turbo models can really haul. Tow mode boosts the towing capacity rating from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds - enough for weekend getaways with all your gear in tow.

Whatever plans you've got, the CX-50 handles them with power and poise. It's an adventure-ready companion that makes every ride a blast!

5. Powerful 2.5 Turbo Engine on Higher Trims

Here are some of the key benefits of the turbocharged engine option on the 2024 Mazda CX-50:

  • More Power - The 2.5L turbo engine generates 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, providing much stronger acceleration and performance compared to the base 187 hp engine. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

  • Improved Drivability - The abundant torque from the turbo engine delivers more responsive power delivery, especially at low RPMs. This makes everyday driving and passing maneuvers feel more effortless.

  • Standard AWD - The turbo engine only comes paired with all-wheel drive.

  • Fun Factor - The turbo gives the CX-50 a sportier, more energetic character. Drivers will enjoy the thrill of the quick spooling turbo.

For drivers who need more power or simply want a more exciting driving experience, the Mazda CX-50 turbo engine provides compelling benefits over the base engine. It transforms the CX-50 into a quicker, more capable crossover.

Here are the powertrain options for the 2Mazda CX-50:

  • Base Engine - 2.5-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-G engine, makes 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque.

  • Available Turbo Engine - 2.5L 4-cylinder Skyactiv-G Turbo engine, makes 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque.

  • Transmission - All CX-50 models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

  • i-Activ AWD - all-wheel drive system provides added traction in slippery conditions.

6. Advanced Safety Features

Safety first! The CX-50's got your back with standard active systems to keep you out of harm's way.

Adaptive cruise control maintains your speed and distance from other cars automatically. It uses sensors to detect surrounding vehicles and adjusts your speed for a safe buffer zone. Pretty handy for reducing driver fatigue!

The lane departure warning also chimes in above 40mph if you start to drift. It gives you a heads up with audible and visual alerts to avoid unintentionally veering out of your lane.

Some of the key standard safety equipment are:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)

  • Driver Attention Alert

  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)

  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)

  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control (Adaptive cruise control)

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert

  • Knee air bags (front and rear)

  • Smart Brake Support (SBS)

  • Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)

With high-tech guardians like these, the CX-50 allows you to breathe easy behind the wheel. It's got safety on lock so you can focus on the journey. Now that's my kind of co-pilot!

7. Infotainment and Connectivity

The CX-50 keeps you connected on the go with its intuitive infotainment system. It offers wireless smartphone integration so your own tunes and apps tag along.

Combine the 10.3-inch screen and optional Bose audio and you've got a recipe for entertainment bliss. Though it lacks a full touchscreen, controlling features through the center console rotary dial keeps things focused on the road.

Comparing it to its competitors, the CX-50 infotainment system holds its own. The Hyundai Tucson offers an 8-inch and 10.25-inch touchscreens in the top trims. Toyota's RAV4 boasts a 10.5-inch touchscreen, while Nissan's Rogue rocks 8 or 9-inches. About the same size as the Mazda CX-50.

So whether you're jamming to playlists or navigating unfamiliar territory, the CX-50 delivers. Its tech keeps you informed and entertained mile after mile. Stay connected on your adventures!

8. Good Crash Test Ratings

Although side impact testing has not been rated yet, the front crash test ratings for the 2024 CX-50 received 5 stars by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). The IIHS - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the CX-50 a Top Safety Pick for 2023. It can take a hit and still keep passengers safe. (Reference Sources: NHTSA, IIHS)

9. Eight Trim Levels with Wide Price Range

With eight trims to choose from, its easier to find a model that matches your needs and budget. The Prices start at $31,675 for the base S Select trim and move up to $44,675 for the Turbo Premium Plus trim. (Prices include the $1,375 destination fee.) You have a price difference of $13,000 between trims - making it easier to find one equipped the wat you want.

  • S Select - Starting at $31,675

  • S Preferred - Starting at $33,025

  • S Premium - Starting at $35,375

  • S Premium Plus - Starting at $38,875

  • Turbo - Starting at $39,375

  • Meridian Edition - Starting at $42,625

  • Turbo Premium - Starting at $42,675

  • Turbo Premium Plus - Starting at $44,675

Expert opinions vary widely on witch trim they recommend. Consumer reports recommends the premium Plus trim ($38,875), Car and Drive recommends the Turbo trim ($39,375), and Motor Trend likes the Meridian Edition ($42,625). As you can see, there is little consensus on which one is best. Test driving them yourself is the only way to decide what model is best for you. Not everyone thinks the turbo model is a must have.

Although the starting price is higher than its competition, you get standard All-Wheel Drive and an upscale interior not found on close rivals like the Toyota RAV4 or Hyundai Tuscon. The RAV4 starts at $30,025 and the Tuscon starts at $28,875.

10. Good Expert Ratings

Consensus among experts show that the CX-50 is a highly regarded vehicle in its class. Consumer Reports placed the 2024 CX-50 on there "CR Recommended" list. Car and Driver placed the CX-50 at #2 on their "Best Compact SUV" list and KBB has it at there #6 spot for there best in class list.

Consumer ratings at these sites are not bad either. KBB has a consumer rating of 4.5 out 5 for example.

(Reference Source: KBB), (Reference Source: Car and Driver),

What You May Not Like - 5 Cons of the CX-50

For all its perks, the CX-50 isn't perfect. There are a few downsides to consider.

First up - fuel economy. It doesn't stretch each gallon quite as far as some competitors like the Rogue, Tucson or RAV4. But the CX-50 makes up for it with oomph.

Cargo capacity is on the cozier side too, especially compared to the likes of the Tucson and Rogue. And there's no hybrid option yet for max efficiency - though Mazda may fix that in the future.

Overall though, the CX-50 wins big on luxury and performance. A little less mpg and cargo capacity is a fair tradeoff for the punch and posh you get behind the wheel! But weigh the cons against your needs to decide if this Zoom Zoom machine is the total package for you.

1. Lower Fuel Economy than Rivals

When it comes to fuel economy, the CX-50 isn't a rockstar but it gets the job done. The base engine earns a decent EPA 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Opt for the turbo gas engine for more power and you'll lose 1 mpg in each category. (Reference Source: EPA)

Compared to the Nissan Rogue's more fuel efficient 30 mpg city/37 mpg highway, the Honda CR-V's 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway, and the RAV4 27 / 34 mpg, the CX-50 falls a bit short. But power and performance often trade off with efficiency.

While it may not top its class for fuel sipping, the CX-50 still posts respectable MPGs given its perks. For drivers prioritizing style, power and capability in a compact SUV package, it strikes a worthy balance. Just don't expect it to be a fuel miser!

2. Limited Cargo Space

If packing the most cargo possible is a priority, the CX-50 falls a bit short. It offers 31.4 cubic feet of cargo room - not bad, but less than roomier options like the Honda CR-V (39.3 cu. ft.), Toyota RAV4 (37.5 cu. ft.) or Hyundai Tucson (38.7 cu. ft.), that have more cargo space.

Blame the CX-50's compact size and unique design elements like a deeper cargo floor. That's meant to fit gear lengthwise but it cuts into overall volume.

So while it may not be the most cavernous for overstuffed Costco runs, the CX-50 could still work for many. Assess your needs - if you typically haul light, the limited cargo area may not be an issue. But for max space, larger SUVs have the CX-50 beat.

3. No Hybrid Option (Yet)

Eco-minded shoppers may be bummed that the CX-50 lacks a hybrid option for now. But not to worry - Mazda has confirmed one is on the way!

Until the efficient hybrid arrives, the CX-50 still brings zippy gas engines and respectable MPGs to the table. You'll get your zoom-zoom thrills while going relatively easy on gas.

So even without a hybrid, the CX-50 delivers on performance and style. Its fuel economy may not be segment-leading, but it should satisfy drivers wanting a good blend of power and efficiency.

The upcoming hybrid model will only increase the CX-50's appeal. But even now, it remains a strong player for anyone seeking punch and panache in a compact package. Just hang tight - an eco-friendly CX-50 is en route!

4. Limited Power on Base Engine.

The 2.5L 4-cylinder Skyactiv-G Turbo engine, makes 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. Road test showed the 0 to 60 MPH time to be just over 9 seconds. Although suitable for everyday driving, those looking for more punch need to move up to the more powerful turbo engine.

The CX-50's close rivals off more power in there base engines. The CR-V offers 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. The RAV4 has 203 HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. Both beat the Mazda in 0-60 time but not by much - a second or less. Most SUVs in this class offer lower power base engines so it is hard to come up with one that steals the spotlight.

5. Twenty-Inch Wheels Make for a Rough Ride on Bumpy Roads

It should be noted that both Consumer Reports and Motor Trend found the 20-inch wheels a bit rough on bumpy roads. They also found that they where not suitable for off-road adventures do to there lower profile. So if off roading is your style you may want to look at the Ford Bronco Sport or Jeep Cherokee.

For the most part however, they are in agreement that the vehicle is a good drive. A test drive is the only way to know if it belongs in your driveway. It is just to subjective for anyone to make a recommendation for you.

Summing it up

The 2024 CX-50 is one badass compact crossover! With head-turning looks, a posh interior and exhilarating performance, it's sure to impress.

While rivals like the Tucson, Rogue and RAV4 bring the heat, the CX-50 stands out with its winning combo of style, luxury and fun. Sure, fuel economy and cargo space are just okay - but the overall package shines bright!

With different trims and pricing, there's a CX-50 for every budget. Whether you're looking for safety, tech, performance or affordability, this Mazda delivers the goods.

Test drive one today and experience the Zoom Zoom magic! The 2024 CX-50 makes compact SUVs exciting again. With a little zoom-zoom in your life, boring drives are a thing of the past.

What do you get with each CX-50 model?

Here are the key features included with each Mazda CX-50 trim levels:

CX-50 S Select - Base model, comes standard with:

  • 187hp 2.5L 4-cylinder engine

  • Front-wheel drive

  • 8.8-inch infotainment display

  • Fabric upholstery

  • Advanced safety features like Smart City Brake Support

CX-50 S Preferred - Adds features like:

  • Leatherette seats

  • Power driver's seat

  • Heated front seats

  • Dual-zone climate control

  • Rear parking sensors

CX-50 S Premium - Includes:

  • Bose audio system

  • Power liftgate

  • Moonroof

  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror

CX-50 S Premium Plus - Top S trim, has:

  • Nappa leather seats

  • 10.25-inch infotainment display

  • Navigation

  • Ventilated front seats

CX-50 Turbo - Turbo engine model with:

  • 256hp turbo engine

  • Standard AWD

  • Towing package

  • Off-road tuned suspension

  • Heated rear seats

CX-50 Meridian Edition - Based on Turbo trim, adds:

  • Unique interior styling

  • Heated steering wheel

  • Second-row heated seats

CX-50 Turbo Premium - Turbo with features like:

  • 12-speaker Bose audio

  • Power moonroof

  • Auto-leveling headlights

  • wireless charging pad