We had the chance to take the all-new 2023 Mazda CX-50 crossover on a long drive both on and off-road last week. As usual, we asked you ahead of time what you have been wondering about the vehicle and now that we’re back we can tell you all about it. A couple of questions you all asked we addressed in the main review.
Why does the transmission shift so far before the redline?
That comes down to keeping the engine in its strongest powerband though you can turn off TCS and flip into manual-shift mode if you want to rev it out.
Ivo Bosnjak, PC, and others want to know about seat comfort and space.
It’s below average for the class. The rear seat space is better than the CX-5 though still doesn’t offer the kind of adjustability or support that we’d like. We’d love to see Mazda update them.
Matt asked a number of questions.
How exactly the torque is distributed between the front and rear axles? Mazda says that it’s almost constantly changing and that the rear wheels get power more often than just when wheelspin is detected. They did not confirm exactly what the maximum amount of torque sent to the rear wheels is.
Why didn’t Mazda choose to use their SkyActiv-X (instead of SkyActiv-G) engine for the CX-50?
Basically, this comes down to the fact that Mazda made the X for Europe and Japan, so it adheres to different standards. They did hint that it might end up in different markets but wouldn’t commit to a specific timeline.
What exactly does off-road mode do?
Every mode in the CX-50 is ultimately designed to make the vehicle drive the same way. To clarify that, Mazda knows that the car will drive differently based on the surface you’re driving on. When you switch into off-road mode, the G-Vectoring Control (also covered in the full review) gets turned up, and the front tires should bite harder in the turns. In addition, Mazda turns down the maximum torque available to the rear axle to damp yaw motions.
Will their upcoming CX-50 plug-in/hybrid engine be using a 2.5-liter SkyActiv-X engine or something else?
Here’s what Mazda was willing to tell us. “CX-50 will launch with two efficient powertrains, a Skyactiv 2.5 naturally aspirated engine and a Skyactiv 2.5 turbo. In the coming years, the CX-50 will be offered with electrified powertrains, including a hybrid. We will announce more details closer to the launch.”
A whole lot of you asked if it had any real off-road chops.
Yes, it does. We didn’t get a chance to try any hardcore rock crawling but we did a lot of steep trail driving and were pretty impressed. At the same time, that doesn’t mean you can go super hard-core with it. When asked about wading depth, Mazda says “As mentioned in the CX-50 owner’s manual, we do not advise driving on flooded roads or areas.”