The 2025 CX-50 Hybrid Finally Gives Mazda the Efficient Small SUV It Needs

This CX-50 claims up to 38 MPG with standard AWD capability

The 2025 Mazda CX-50 gets a more diverse powertrain list thanks to a new hybrid model.

Among the sea of compact SUVs, Mazda boasts one of the most powerful options around thanks to its turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. It’s a good option if you want 256 horsepower (at least in the CX-50) and a whopping 320 lb-ft of torque…but it’s not exactly light on the old dino juice. We live in a world where the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Kia Niro, Dodge Hornet, etc., etc. boast fuel efficient options, Mazda needs to join the electrification game and offer a hybrid option. Thanks to the 2025 CX-50, it now finally brings a contender to the compact SUV class, for the first time since the Escape-derived Tribute Hybrid went out of production more than a decade ago.

Bearing the new Hybrid model in mind, the rest of the CX-50 lineup is as it was, more or less.

There’s still a base 2.5 S offering with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine we’ve known for many years at this point. The range kicks off with the Select at $31,720 (including this year’s $1,420 destination charge, which is $45 higher than 2024). From there, you move up through the now-typical Preferred, Premium and Premium Plus trims. 2.5 S models manage 187 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, sending its power to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. All CX-50s — and Mazda SUVs generally, for that matter — come with all-wheel drive.

The Hybrid model sits right in the middle of the lineup, and is available in the model’s three higher trims: Preferred, Premium and Premium Plus. Pricing for the CX-50 Hybrid starts off at $35,320, rising to $41,470 for the highest-end version. Mazda claims the electrified offering offers up to 38 mpg combined, and if you think that sounds awfully familiar to the RAV4 Hybrid, there’s a good reason for that. The CX-50 does, in fact, use the same powertrain setup as the RAV4, which puts out 219 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque on 87-octane fuel. As it happens, Mazda’s MPG estimate is 1 mpg off Toyota’s 39 mpg figure for its own hybrid offering, but that’s still a 40% fuel economy improvement over the 2.5 S (and a 52% over the turbo’s 25 mpg combined number).

While the 2025 Mazda CX-50 Hybrid can technically tow, it’s only rated to 1,500 pounds, which is 250 less than the RAV4 Hybrid and enough for a small trailer with “smaller weekend toys”, Mazda says, but not much more than that.

Other changes to the 2025 Mazda CX-50 lineup

Above the Hybrid models, most 2025 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo trims are still there, starting with the rugged-looking Meridian Edition (the base 2.5 Turbo is gone). That model now kicks off at $42,220, and adds in some standard features that I found strangely lacking from our recent test of the 2024 version. Those features include heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a heated steering wheel, and Mazda Online Navigation that doesn’t just bake in route guidance (you only got the basic compass before), but offers over-the-air updates do you don’t have to keep manually updating an SD card to get the latest maps. They’re small changes, but when you’re talking about spending more than $42,000, it’s nice to feel that you’re getting more for your money.

That said, you can obviously still go for the Premium or the Premium Plus if features are what you’re after. Like the other powertrains, stepping up to these trims adds in more technology including the Active Driving (head-up) Display, as well as Mazda’s “Cruising and Traffic Support” which offers lane centering with the adaptive cruise control for better driver assistance, though we are not talking about a hands-off system like GM’s Super Cruise here. The Premium Plus, for its part, adds in a 360-degree camera, a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, front cross-traffic alert, parking sensors and enhancements to the car’s Smart Brake Support system.

Every 2025 Mazda CX-50 model now gets Alexa capability built-in, as well as a rear seat reminder and better automatic braking logic and collision mitigation features as part of the standard “i-ActivSense” suite.

Non-hybrid CX-50 models will begin shipping out to dealerships next month. If you’re keen on getting the CX-50 Hybrid, you’ll have to wait until late 2024 to pick one up.