2023 Mazda CX-50 Interior Review
Mazda revealed a new interior design language with the redesigned Mazda3 a few years ago, and it’s been so well received that every subsequent vehicle to be redone (or redone) gets a variation of that interior. The trend continues for the new 2023 Mazda CX-50.
The luxurious look, generous helping of feel-good buttons/buttons and an attractive combination of color and styling make the CX-50’s cabin one of the best – if not the best – in its segment. My tester is a Turbo Premium Plus, which is the highest possible trim level of the CX-50. It starts at $42,775, which is very expensive on the surface, but step inside and the interior feels its price.
Specify the Terracotta leather option and you’re left with a beige interior that borders on orange in bright light. The seats have an eye-catching centerline in black with contrast stitching. Mazda decorates the doors in a two-tone look, and you get faux leather (but convincing) pads on the dash and doors. These are further accentuated with contrast stitching which is nice to run your hand through. There’s no wood or aluminum trim here, but the way Mazda has designed the interior makes those flashy bits unnecessary.
The controls are all laid out logically and ergonomically. You get a traditional shifter that doubles as a nice hand rest for long-distance cruising. The infotainment system is pushed deep enough into the dash to keep your head from swiveling away from the road to use it. It’s close enough that you can touch it (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are controllable via the touchscreen), but doesn’t encourage you to. You’re much better off using the tactile rotary knob that twists, tilts and presses to control the infotainment. Quick shortcut buttons near the button for navigation and music make it easy to switch between the two (they even work for switching between navigation and music apps in CarPlay and Android Auto), and a dedicated “home” and ” back” are also greatly appreciated.
The marriage of digital and analog continues in the instrument cluster. Analog gauges flank a digital display that could be mistaken for an all-analog setup until you notice the display information may change. You can choose to make the screen look like a traditional speedometer, switch to a driver assist monitor and others. It is easily one of the most readable and easy to use gauge setups.
The volume and temperature control knobs all have a knurled design that makes them easy to grip and pleasant to the touch. Mazda’s button damping also stands out, in that they press down with a feeling of luxury and although a serious effort has been made to make them really good buttons. Everything you touch and feel about this interior gives the feeling of a much higher priced car, and it’s those little things that make everyday ownership that much more enjoyable.
As for the bad, Mazda apparently insists on using piano black plastic in terrible places. For example, this is what is used as the shift outline. Within days to a week it was already covered in dust and smudges, and just looked disgusting – to illustrate this, we refrained from wiping it over the course of a week under normal use , and the photos below are the result. If you like your car interior to be clean and tidy, you’ll need to bring along a rag to wipe down the piano black surfaces frequently. And even if you do that, the glossy surface is likely to get and proudly display scratches over time.
The rear seat is about as useful as the CX-5’s rear seat, which is a little disappointing considering the CX-50 is both longer and wider than the CX-5. It may look like a generously sized SUV on the outside, but others like the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson still beat it for rear seat space. Finally, we found that the wireless phone charger was also too small and returned charging error codes when testing larger phones.
You won’t find a compact crossover in this size and price range with such an upscale interior as the CX-50 in its top trims. If that’s what you value the most, he’ll treat you well. Competitors may offer hybrid powertrains, flashier tech and more space, but Mazda is alone in undermining and hot on the heels of entry-level luxury SUV alternatives when it comes to quality and design. .