This week we had the Mazda CX50 and luck should have it, we got to put it through all its paces; thanks to Vancouver’s spectrum of weather from heavy rain to sudden snow, and then icy sunshine.
Having driven the 2023 model the year before, it is hard not to compare. You can feel the difference that a year makes with more mobile steering and a sturdier suspension. The GT Turbo lives up to its moniker. The sleeker body build with aggressive lines and a more streamlined frame is in line with Mazda’s promise of “zoom zoom”. You saw it, you heard it, and felt it with the Turbo trim. Starting with a powerful 256HP turbocharged four-cylinder engine, compared to the non-turbo, standard 187HP engine. Thus increasing its towing capacity to 3500 pounds.
Inside, we see an update as well with a Bose 12-speaker stereo, and a discrete wireless smartphone charging pad. The latter is nestled right under the centre compartment’s release handle. Still within reach, but out of the way as to not be a distraction or take up space. Whereas other pads have your phone taking up a would-be compartment, lying face up. Here, you get that back with more rubber binning. A little luxury a lot of nuance, much like the panoramic sunroof, the 10.3 inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and leather upholstery with heated and cooling front and passenger seats.
The all leather interior is striking with criss cross orange stitching splashed across the dash and the seats. The only hitch is that you can feel the stitching on the latter. It lands somewhat uncomfortably between your cheeks, and after you note it, you cannot un-feel it. Otherwise it is a soft leather that you are seated on, one with a cushiony feel that runs parallel before you on the dash.
The 2024 CX50 was as fun to drive as it was easy to drive. Definitely one of our favourite compact SUVs. An elementary set up with push to start and stop. A simple and minimalistic approach, you only have what you need for everyday use at your fingertips. Chic and sleek as seen in the stylized infotainment screen and the discrete air conditioning vents. The designers took the time to have the centre vents blend in and line up with the plastic trim seamlessly. And all this negative space created, certainly increased the overall spaciousness of the cabin’s feel.
We really liked the 360 degree HD cameras and did not notice or hear any safety proximity censors. No lights when cars came up on either the left or right panel. And no sounds when you are nearing a wall or column when parking. Although we did notice that the censors had moments where they became temporarily unavailable, and a message on the dash warned us to drive safe. Not sure if this was in relation to either of the above.
And one point related to the weather, to add, is how long it took for the vehicle to heat up. However, the CX50 did do so intelligently. There is a build up of heat and energy, so that you do not just get cold air blowing, but warm air when there is some made available. And slowly by slowly it grows to a high heat on a higher blast.
In conclusion, the 2024 Mazda CX50 took on everything Mother Nature and we threw at it this week, and it came out unscathed. A solid mid size compact to take your from everyday to out of the ordinary.