euro cars

Mazda quietly knocked it out of the park with the CX-50 2.5 Turbo. It might sound harsh, but I just didn’t expect much. I mean – how much can you expect from another white crossover? And when I first drove the CX-50 2.5 Turbo, initially I didn’t feel anything especially remarkable about it. BUT – the further I drove it, the better & better it got. (Note: this is the CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus model)

Mazda CX-50 Premium Plus

For a crossover, the Mazda CX-50 handles really well. 

Dare I say… exceptionally well? We took the CX-50 up to the mountains for a few days, and that’s where it really began to shine through. At interstate speeds of 80mph or so, the CX-50 2.5 Turbo feels very… poised & ready. It’s not just existing like most crossovers and SUVs at those speeds. The CX-50 2.5 Turbo is sharp. It feels locked-in, the steering feels responsive. Much more like a sports car, and less like an appliance. Look I probably wouldn’t believe me either lol, and I’m not trying to oversell it – but there’s something there… I’m telling you. 

best crossover

When you get into the environment of winding mountain roads

The CX-50 2.5 Turbo really comes into its own. The car has agility. It drives like something more compact & soulful than your typical crossover. You don’t feel the CX-50’s crossover-type size or ride height, and you don’t feel bobbles & wobbles. I mean damn… it feels like a bigger Miata. Sure – it doesn’t pull on the leash quite like a Miata. But you feel Miata energy & DNA in there. Mazda hit the nail on the head. 

Mazda CX-50 AWD

The Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo is versatile…

We were able to venture beyond the paved roads. Obviously nothing too serious. But on dirt/gravel service roads that lead out to hiking spots, etc… we didn’t feel like we were abusing or over-using the CX-50 at all. It was up for the adventure. In fact, the CX-50 2.5 Turbo has a selectable driving mode for off-road use. Not sure what it does exactly… but it did it lol. And it allowed the CX-50 to ride-out comfortably & smoothly on light trails. Plus, with all-wheel-drive & 8.6-inches of ground clearance, the Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo will excel in all seasons – clearing you through the slush & muck, and giving you a certain level of peace of mind.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of cargo space in the CX-50. We weren’t cramming luggage in the back, blocking the rearview mirror, & having to quickly slam the hatch before everything fell out. Mazda did an excellent job at designing a svelte crossover that somehow has cargo room to spare. 

Mazda CX-50 interior

CX-50 handling

I really don’t have a bad thing to say about the Mazda CX-50.

All CX-50 models come with all-wheel-drive. And the 2.5 Turbo models make 256hp & 320tq. The CX-50 handles well, it gives you feedback as a driver, and it has versatility across the board (both in cargo space AND as far as the elements & road conditions go). The CX-50 also runs a 6-speed automatic versus a lot of the competition’s irritating CVT transmissions. Maybe the steering wheel could stand to be just a little thicker. But yep… that’s about it. There truly is some of that Mazda zoom zoom DNA in the CX-50 2.5 Turbo. And in my opinion, if you’re looking for a car in the Subaru/Audi/Volvo-esque crossover segment, the CX-50 2.5 Turbo needs to be on your test-drive list.

Mazda 2.5 turbo engine

This is the CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus. 

There are 4 models in the CX-50 lineup that come with the 2.5 Turbo engine. The added features of the top-tier 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus model are navigation, traffic-sign recognition, and wireless phone charging. That’s what’s pictured here, and at $42,000, it packs a lot of punch.

But if you want to save a couple grand & don’t care so much about navigation or wireless charging, the CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium comes in at about $40,000.

And – if you can do without the heated steering wheel, 12-speaker Bose premium sound, satellite radio, and windshield-projected heads-up display… you can get into a CX-50 2.5 Turbo for about $37,000. It still has the same turbocharged engine, AWD, pano sunroof, 10.25” screen, heated/leather seats, LED/adaptive headlights, CarPlay, and 20-inch wheels.

Mazda also offers a 2.5 Turbo Meridian Edition, which is geared a little more towards the outdoorsy/all-terrain type of customer. It comes with 18” wheels instead of 20s, and that gives room for beefier all-terrain tires with more sidewall to soak up ruts, roots, rocks, etc. The tradeoff there, is a bit less agility on pavement. The Meridian Edition also has rocker panel garnish & hood graphics.


S3 Magazine App