Long Term Updates

Date: January 2024

Mazda has always been sort of a niche brand relative to other automakers like Toyota and Honda. Well recently Mazda’s focused a little less on “zoom, zoom” and a little more on “room, room”. This 2024 Mazda CX-50 is a prime example of that philosophy and its the newest member of our long term fleet. So, let’s dive into the details.

Specifically, this is a CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus. As you may have gleaned, power comes from a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. It sends 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Power is boosted to 256-horsepower and 320 lb-ft on 93 octane gasoline.

All-wheel drive is standard for all CX-50s. Here those wheels are 20-inchers and they span quite a bit further front to back than paired with the CX-5. That means the CX-50 has a bit more room inside and, here in Premium Plus trim, an upscale feel. That comes via 10 and a quarter inch infotainment screen, heated front and rear seats, as well as a full color head-up display.

Adding up the cost of the Turbo Premium Plus package and a $450 charge for it’s Zircon Sand Metallic paint, this CX-50 stickers for $45,740 after destination.

We’ve only just begun our long term test on this CX-50 but we’ll have an update soon.

Date: March 2024Mileage: 3,000

This week, we’re kicking off some extended test time in this 2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo compact crossover.

Sporting Zircon Sand Metallic paint over a Terracotta interior, our CX-50 sounds pretty fancy, and it is. Premium Plus trim means 20-inch alloy wheels, leather-trimmed seating for 5 with heating elements for front and rear passengers, lots of fine stitch work, panoramic moonroof, and a 10-inch infotainment display are all included.

The engine is just as special, the turbo version of their 2.5-liter I4 which outputs 256 horsepower with 93-octane fuel to a six-speed automatic transmission, with standard all-wheel drive.

Crazy as it sounds, an automatic transmission with only six gears is borderline retro at this point, but it operates so smoothly with the CX-50’s 4-cylinder turbo, one could easily be fooled into thinking it’s an eight-speed. But there really aren’t any tricks here. Just good old-fashioned engineering on a tried and true powertrain.

We’ve already put a quick 3,000 miles on the odometer with a trip south to our winter testing grounds and our early fuel economy average of 25.2 miles-per-gallon is right on the Government’s Combined Rating.

Mazda seems to have thought of everything with this CX-50, even including a comprehensive Roadside Assistance Kit complete with jumper cables.

Date: April 2024Mileage: 6,500

We’re back in the Terracotta saddle this week, bringing you the second update on our 2024 Mazda CX-50.

Yes, we’re still raving about this handsome interior, which has been quite comfortable over the last 3,500 miles, ticking the digital odometer up 6,500 miles altogether.

Speaking of digital, the infotainment has proved to be a love/hate ordeal. Mastery of the center command dial takes some work, but once you’re there it’s relatively intuitive, and keeps eyes up and forward. But we really dig these seats— firm and supportive.

Equally firm is the steering. One staffer described it as “Euro taut,” meaning smooth, deliberate and very sporty. We attribute that to Mazda’s trickling down of sports car DNA into their products, which this compact utility incorporates nicely.

When it comes to driving dynamics, Mazda has always leaned to the sporty side of the spectrum, and this CX-50 is no exception. A lot of SUVs get sloppy when you pick up the pace on curvy roads; but this CX-50 not only keeps its composure, it asks for more. And who are we to say no?

The turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four is responsive, thanks in-part to the six-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive system its tethered to.
Horsepower is rated at 256 with 93 octane fuel, which is what we used to bring our current efficiency to 24.9 mpg. Mazda claims a little less power on Regular 87, down to 227 horsepower. Just keep that in mind.

Date: May 2024Mileage: 8,000

We might not call the CX-50 the best Mazda ever, but it is one of our favorites in recent times, and our Long Term tester continues to impress.

No new issues have been jotted down in our log book over the short 1,300 miles since our last update, and we all agree that our previous raves still hold up. That is, the CX-50 feels like a true crossover between car and utility, with a drive experience that is classic Mazda!

That means highly competent and sporty. Steering is the highlight, with an endearing sense of tightness. But we have to say that power delivery from the 2.5-liter turbo I4 is also delightful, packing up to 256 horsepower for plenty of “zoom zoom.” Fuel economy is equally satisfying, back up to 25.2 miles-per-gallon, just what the government says it should be.

So yes, the CX-50 may not be the most memorable effort in Mazda’s history, but it’s good. Really good. And this five-month ride along has only made us extremely fond of this weekday-commuter, weekend adventurer even more.

Date: July 2024Mileage: 9,500

Another 1,500 miles of pavement have passed beneath our 2024 Mazda CX-50; and while that isn’t an overwhelming amount of road, it’s plenty enough to weigh in on another update.

First, we’ve seen an increase in efficiency. Our most recent log shows 25.3 mpg, reflecting a small, but welcomed uptick– and right on par with EPA ratings.

And we’re still as welcoming of all 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque that this engine loves to put down when sipping Premium 93 fuel. This 2.5-liter I4 is impressive; and while you don’t necessarily need the turbocharged variant, we’ve certainly enjoyed our time spinning it up.

Turbocharged engines aren’t the novelty they were a few decades ago, but they still represent an enhanced level of performance. That’s exactly what it does here in this CX-50. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a performance SUV, but the extra oomph provided by the turbo does make things more interesting than the non-turbo four-cylinder.

In the past, we’ve commented on how well Mazda utilities handle, and that includes this CX-50. In our original Road Test, we noted how “direct and quick to respond” the 50 felt on our test course. And even all this time later, we still enjoy the balance struck between comfort and agility.

And the Terracotta-wrapped interior is equally dashing: Premium in appearance and feel, with the amenities to match. One new staffer did have some questions about the command dial system, but after one commute out to one of our testing sites he got it. Very intuitive overall.