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Three Ways the ‘24 Mazda CX-50 Is Best In Class and Two Opportunities For Improvement

Mazda’s 2024 CX-50 is a big hit. We found three things we liked about the CX-50 and identified two areas in need of improvement.

Walk into any Mazda dealer, and you will be offered a choice of three similar crossover SUVs. The CX-30 is the most compact, but not "small," in this writer’s opinion. The CX-5 offers a shopper the classic crossover SUV shape, and the CX-50 is very similar in passenger and cargo volume to the CX-5 but shaped like a wagon. They all have virtually identical infotainment systems and powertrains. This is smart product planning by Mazda. 

Related Story: 30K Miles Later - Why I’m Still Glad I Switched From BMW X3 To Mazda CX-5

What we like about the CX-50:
1) The CX-50’s Shape Is Its Biggest Asset
Among Mazda's trio of five-passenger crossovers, the CX-50’s wagon(ish) shape is the most modern. It is similar to Toyota’s smash hit, the Corolla Cross, and the soon-to-be flagship of the Toyota brand, the Crown Signia. The CX-50's lower, wider, longer vibe was just what the market was searching for, and Mazda executes it so much better than Subaru does with its Outback. 

Image of 2024 Mazda CX-50 by John Goreham


2) The CX-50’s Turbocharged Powertrain Is the Best Of Its Type
The CX-50 Turbo competes with a lot of successful vehicles with ho-hum powertrains. The folks at Subaru have no crossovers with gears. The folks at Honda have a dramatically smaller engine, and also no gears. Hyundai and Kia make some good powertrains, but none have the CX-50's smooth drivability. Among the best in this segment, the CX-50 Turbo is hands-down the best powertrain offering. Over 300 lb-ft of torque is hard to top. 

Image of 2024 Mazda CX-50 by John Goreham3) The CX-50’s Cargo Area Is Perfect
Open the CX-50’s rear hatch, and you will find a deep and wide cargo space. The low roofline limits the volume, but nobody cares. How often do folks pack a crossover from floor to roof? Almost never. Lift the cargo floor, and what’s underneath? A compact spare and even more space for emergency supplies. This cargo space is ideal for this segment. 

Now, two areas in need of improvement.

1) The CX-50 Needs A Full Infotainment Makeover
Mazda’s CX-50 does some things right when it comes to infotainment. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are offered and they are wireless. The head-up display is excellent and a surprise at the price point. 

Image of 2024 Mazda CX-50 by John Goreham

However, the rotary “aim-spin-nudge-push” mouse could be simpler. Every brand Mazda competes with but Acura has moved on from mice on consoles. A touch-screen is the obvious solution. If Mazda wishes to leave it in the mouse, that is fine. Leave it in, but move the screen closer so we owners of Mazdas can touch our selection. 

2) Where Is the CX-50 Hybrid?
As fantastic as the CX-50's turbocharged powertrain is, hybrids are on the upswing in this segment. Offering one as an option could boost the CX-50's audience and add to Mazda's already impressive success with this great model. 

There you have it. A lot of opinions from a veteran vehicle tester who has owned multiple Mazdas and loves the brand. Please share your thoughts under this post wherever you find this story. Your opinions are just as valid as the author’s.

Images of 2024 Mazda CX-50 by John Goreham.

John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can connect with John on Linkedin. Please note that stories carrying John's by-line are never AI-generated, but he does employ Grammarly grammar and punctuation software when proofreading.