UPDATE: Mazda Australia’s desire to get the CX-50 into local showrooms is as strong as ever with the brand confirming the rugged mid-size SUV is still firmly on its wish list.
Top executives at Mazda’s local division have confirmed that their hand is still in line with the company’s headquarters. Import the CX-50. If the new SUV is given the green light for right-hand drive production.
Currently, the CX-50 is left-hand drive only. and is built for the US and Canadian markets at a manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama, jointly operated by Mazda and Toyota. That means it’s currently off the table for Australia.
If it were to become available, the CX-50 would complement the CX-5 and upcoming CX-60 in Mazda Australia’s mid-size SUV lineup. Exactly when that might happen, though, is unclear.
“No, no movement,” Mazda Australia boss Vinesh Bhandi replied when asked if there had been any progress in securing production. “It’s still on the wish list though.”
November 16, 2021: Mazda CX-50 revealed
new 2022 Mazda CX-50 Today has been unveiled, and… much to our speculation. Where we envisioned a sleek, road-focused and coupe-like design, Mazda has shifted to a more rugged and muscular look.
Mazda confirmed the CX-50 in October, along with news of new CX-60, CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90 nameplates arriving globally.
So we’re missing out now, but what does North America get?
The CX-50 revealed today showcases a wider body design, with surprisingly boxy guards and several protective cladding elements along its wheel arches and lower edges.
Other refined styling elements include a new lighting signature with two LED rings in Mazda’s usual place, as well as wider outboard intakes and vents on both ends.
The interior likewise gets significant styling changes, with a longer and more masculine look to the dashboard and vents – although the air-conditioning controls, center console and steering wheel are all familiar Mazda fare.
The CX-50 will be offered in both naturally aspirated (non-turbo) and turbocharged designs with Mazda’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engines, with other “electrified” options to debut later. , “including traditional hybrid models”.
The N/A engine offers 139kW and 252Nm, while the turbo engine will deliver 186kW and 434Nm, no surprises in the output numbers.
Likewise, Mazda’s aging six-speed automatic transmission is the only shifter on offer, matched by its i-Activ all-wheel drive and ‘Intelligent Drive Select’ systems – the latter called Mi-Drive.
In contrast to CX-30which debuted in early 2020 as a major. Mazda 3based partner Compact CX-3The CX-50 is being presented – at least in these early marketing shots – as a family-oriented SUV that will flaunt off-road prowess.
Off-roading in the CX-50 will be limited to fairly light touring, with US market research showing that most road trip buyers will drive less than 30km on unsealed roads on any given holiday trip.
“It doesn’t make sense to compromise all that on-road drivability, just for a little bit of off-road improvement,” said Dave Coleman, Mazda North America’s vehicle dynamics boss, during the CX-50’s reveal event.
“Especially if you’re a Mazda, with our on-road expertise. So we set out to get the best off-road performance we could without compromising on-road driving.
The company hasn’t offered deep mechanical details at this stage, but it has confirmed that the CX-50’s handling of unsealed roads will come via Drive Mode calibration, essentially software to manage traction. Using Smart.
Unlike many new ‘soft-roader’ offerings, Mazda has stuck with a simple ‘off-road’ mode, eschewing the many options that often include snow, sand and gravel modes. Mazda says these options do little more than confuse drivers in this market segment – although it hasn’t confirmed whether that conclusion was the result of buyer research.
When will we see the CX-60?
An unveiling time for the CX-60 hasn’t been confirmed, but we’d expect to see it sometime in the first half of 2022 after the new-generation, rear-wheel-drive Mazda 6 debuts.