The gas-powered Mazda CX-50 went on sale in the U.S. in April 2022 and is slotted above the CX-5 crossover in the brand’s North American line-up. The company is off to a decent start with 21,329 units sold last year, in the United States. Interestingly, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) made mention of the hybrid model during the launch of the CX-50 in January 2022, stating an arrival “in the coming years”, without providing details.
Here’s what we know about the Mazda CX-50 Hybrid.
Mazda Canada confirms CX-50 Hybrid for 2024
Mazda Canada revealed plans to introduce the CX-50 Hybrid via a press release in November 22, 2022, which we’re unable to locate any longer in the press portal. As per copies of the press release that are still online, the company said that it intends to launch 8 new electrified models in Canada by 2025, one of which will be the hybrid version of the CX-50 – as also reported by CX-50 Forums. According to Mazda’s timeline from the same announcement, the CX-50 Hybrid should make its Canadian debut in 2024. As the U.S. is the main market in North America, we believe that the electrified CX-50 would be launched around the same time here.
The CX-50’s exterior appears sporty and confident, featuring a wide stance and a sleek yet well-sculpted fascia that also looks modern. There are enough brand-specific styling cues sketched into the stylish silhouette of the car – from Mazda’s distinctive ‘Kodo’ design language on the front end and nose section to the easily-recognizable shape of the LED headlights.
Other design features of the CX-50 that draw attention include the heavily-contoured hood, flared wheel arches with pronounced plastic cladding, faux skid plates finished in satin silver, and large vents integrated into the front and rear bumpers. The U-shaped LED lights found in the taillights are a nice touch and look upmarket. Significant design changes are not expected on the Hybrid version, though Mazda may incorporate a subtly modified front grille and possibly introduce new wheel designs as well. Version-specific exterior colors and badging are likely, too.
Mazda has been consistently delivering high-quality cabins in almost all their new models, something the gas-powered CX-50 inherits as well. Not only is the driver’s seating position sporty and ergonomic, but the level of fit & finish of this interior is also impressive. There are soft touchpoints and contrast stitching on offer with plentiful metallic accents, while the dual-tone interior theme adds to the premium appeal.
Unlike many automakers, Mazda has retained physical buttons to control many of the CX-50’s features – extremely handy and easy to operate while driving. Seat cushioning and comfort are noteworthy, while the leather-wrapped steering wheel feels suitably premium. Shorter drivers may find the information displayed on the recessed main screen hard to spot at times, but the part-digital instrument cluster works as intended.
The CX-50 Hybrid would sport a similar interior, save for a few minor changes. Mazda could include a new engine start/stop button, updated graphics & icons within the MID and infotainment system, different cabin upholstery & trim, plus a possibility of a lighter interior color to go along. Being a hybrid with additional mechanical components under the floorboard, we’ll have to see what impact it has on the rear cargo space.
Specifications & Features
CX-50 gasoline model specifications
The standard CX-50 sources its power from Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. This naturally-aspirated unit produces 187 hp and 186 lb.-ft. of torque, and powers all four corners via the brand’s i-Activ All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system. The transmission on duty is a traditional 6-speed automatic unit, while the towing capacity ranges between 2,000-3,500 pounds. Mazda also offers a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder option that develops up to 256 hp and 320 lb.-ft., though it’s mated to the same 6-speed gearbox.
Mazda CX-50 Hybrid model specifications (estimated)
For the Hybrid version, Mazda would likely stick to the 2.5L naturally-aspirated engine as it already delivers slightly better fuel economy than the turbo-four motor – 24/30 MPG vs. 23/29 MPG (city/highway EPA est.). Moreover, the inclusion of an electric motor (could get two motors) should make up for the weaker N/A engine while also improving overall performance.
For reference, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is capable of 41/38 MPG (city/highway EPA est.) and makes 219 hp while offering all-wheel-drive performance as well. Where the RAV4 Hybrid is known more for its all-around comfort, the Mazda CX-50 Hybrid could be tuned for better performance and driving dynamics. It may further benefit from Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control and Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) technologies.
The gas-powered Mazda CX-50 offers customers plenty of modern features and driver aids, depending on the trim level. The latter consists of safety technologies like Dynamic Stability Control, Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Warning System with Lane-keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Mazda Connected Services with MyMazda App. Expect these to be carried over to the Hybrid version as well.
At present, the U.S.-spec CX-50’s equipment list includes adaptive & auto-leveling LED headlights, a power rear liftgate with programmable height adjustment, a power-operated panoramic moonroof, ventilated & powered front seats, heated rear seats & steering wheel, LED interior lighting, a 10.25-inch infotainment display with Mazda Navigation System, in-car Wi-Fi, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, a wireless phone charger, and a 12-speaker premium audio system by Bose. While Apple CarPlay is wireless, Android Auto is not. Buyers of the Mazda CX-50 Hybrid can expect similar features.
Price & Release date
In the U.S., the gasoline variants of the Mazda CX-50 cost between USD 27,550 and 42,300. We expect the Mazda CX-50 Hybrid to be priced starting at over USD 30,000. While confirmation is awaited, the CX-50 Hybrid could be launched in the U.S. alongside Canada next year.
The CX-50 is produced at the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) plant located in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. The state-of-the-art facility, which was the result of a joint venture between the two Japanese automotive giants, has an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles and up to 4,000 employees. The upcoming Mazda CX-50 Hybrid is to be built here, too.
The Mazda CX-50 Hybrid will face stiff competition from other compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. However, the CX-50’s charms are likely to be in its composed yet sporty driving dynamics and premium in-cabin experience.
Featured image: Mazda Canada via CX50 Forums