The Mazda CX-50 is a new chapter in the brand’s crossover lineup.
Over the next few years, Mazda will roll out three new crossovers, including this new model — the more rugged-looking, off-road-focused CX-50. Now, in practice the automaker is expanding on the playbook first laid out by the CX-30: A new design and more capability than the existing car (the CX-5), with a greater appeal for more adventurous types. To that end, the 2022 Mazda CX-50 brings in a new “Mi-Drive” system with more drive modes beyond the on-road-biased Sport mode, as well as all-terrain tires and accessories to bring prospective buyers into rougher terrain than they’d really want to take on with other Mazdas.
There is a bit of a catch on the accessories you see above though. Should you want to kit out your Mazda CX-50 more like a Subaru Forester Wilderness or Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, you’ll have to wait until late 2022 for those accessories to be available.
What about the hybrid drivetrain?
In earlier spy shots leading up to the CX-50 reveal, I mentioned that Mazda would most likely use the new CX-50 to launch a hybrid powertrain option. That is indeed coming, though we will not see that in the early 2022 launch. Instead, you’ll get the same 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine the brand’s been using for many years, in either naturally-aspirated or turbocharged forms. The former develops 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, while the turbocharged models will manage 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium fuel.
The 6-speed automatic transmission remains as well, though the Mi-Drive system does offer the driver a bit more flexibility in adapting the drivetrain to various driving conditions like towing or off-roading.
Like the updated CX-5, the 2022 Mazda CX-50 will get standard i-Activ AWD. No front-wheel drive version will be available.
The 2022 Mazda CX-50 gets some interior tweaks
On the whole, the exterior styling is where. you’ll spot the lion’s share of changes with the 2022 Mazda CX-50. That includes the new Zircon Sand paint scheme, though you can also get a terracotta interior color as well. Of course, the layout in itself is a bit different from other Mazda models, but in terms of what to expect from those other crossovers — the infotainment display, center console, climate controls, steering wheel and so on — are familiar to those who have experienced the CX-30 or CX-5. This model does get a panoramic sunroof, though, which is a first for the brand.
While the more technical details have yet to be announced, Mazda did say the CX-50’s b-pillars and door jambs have been strengthened to allow owners to secure heavier cargo to the roof.
The 2022 Mazda CX-50 will be produced in Alabama, at the company’s joint-venture plant with Toyota. As the 2022 Mazda CX-50 won’t hit dealers until spring, pricing is up in the air at the moment, though we’ll likely know more about that come January or so.