Mazda is going where it’s never gone before.
The brand famous for building cars designed to take on twisty roads is hitting the dirt with the first off-road crossover its built for the U.S.
The 2022 CX-50 is an all-new compact model that will be sold alongside the CX-5 and features a standard all-wheel-drive system, rugged body cladding and increased ground clearance to make it suitable for light off-pavement driving in the same vein as a Subaru Outback. Mazda’s previous efforts to reach this segment, the Navajo and Tribute, were rebadged versions of the Ford Explorer and Escape.
The Alabama-built CX-50 will initially be available with the choice of a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine or turbocharged 2.5-liter four cylinder engine, but electrified powertrains are planned. Power ratings have not been released, but the same engines make 186 hp and 227 hp, respectively, in the CX-5
The CX-50 was engineered with a strengthened roof structure to accommodate high capacity racks and large rear door openings that make it easier to use them as steps to load it.
The interior features Mazda’s latest upscale styling and will be offered with a new Terracotta upholstery color that lends it an outdoorsy vibe.
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Pricing and full specifications for the CX-50 will be available closer to when production begins in January. Larger CX-70 and CX-90 models will follow it into the lineup at a later date.