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The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is a slightly larger Mazda CX-5 relative that is performing well in small SUV rankings. The CX-50 hasn’t replaced the CX-5. Instead, it brings its own unique characteristics to the table. It’s marketed as a more capable small SUV designed for off-road adventuring. There are plenty of different CX-50 trims. Which ones should you want, get, and pass on?

Want: The 2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus

A blue 2023 Mazda CX-50 small SUV is parked outdoors.
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

Japanese automaker Mazda produces several SUVs that are luxury adjacent. The CX-50’s final trim level has all the advanced tech and creature comforts expected of a luxury vehicle. It may be pricey, but the small SUV is value-packed.

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo Premium Plus starts at $42,300. It uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with premium unleaded fuel. It comes standard with paddle shifters, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel with unique stitching, and leather-trimmed seats. The front and rear seats are heated, and the front seats come with ventilation as well.

The small SUV comes with a wireless phone charger, a Mazda navigation system, and traffic sign recognition. The Turbo Premium Plus features all-wheel drive, Sport, Off-Road, and Towing drive modes, and a 360-view monitor. It comes with traffic jam assist and blind-spot assist as well.

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo Premium Plus is the trim to want because it’s packed with all the standard goodies that Mazda has to offer for the small SUV for a price that doesn’t break the bank. If you’re interested in owning the small SUV long-term, then the Turbo Premium Plus provides sufficient value over time to justify its starting price.

Get: 2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo

The blue 2023 Mazda CX-Turbo small SUV is driving off-road.
The 2023 Mazda CX-Turbo | Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo starts at $37,150. It’s the first of the CX-50’s 10 different trim levels to add a turbocharged powertrain option. The Turbo, Turbo Premium, Meridian Edition, and Turbo Premium Plus all produce more power than other trims with premium unleaded fuel.

The Mazda CX-50 Turbo comes standard with Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go. It also features a tire pressure monitoring system, a larger 10.3-inch infotainment system, and a panoramic moonroof with a one-touch-open. It also comes with advanced keyless entry, heated leather front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red stitching.

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo trim is the one to get because it’s the most affordable of Mazda’s sporty options. The Turbo trim still provides enhanced performance and luxurious features at a price point that’s much easier to accept than the Turbo Premium Plus’ starting price. Car and Driver recommends the Turbo trim.

Pass on Mazda CX-50 trims below the Turbo model

A blue 2023 Mazda CX-50 small SUV is parked off-road.
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

This may seem extreme, but hear me out. The Mazda CX-50 is a sporty small SUV that shines because of its driving dynamics and classiness. While lower CX-50 trims are still classy, the CX-50 Turbo and upper trim levels show the nameplate’s true potential.

Embrace the 2023 Mazda CX-50’s true power by going with the turbocharged configurations to get the most out of the small SUV’s driving experience. To turbo or not to turbo. Is it really even a question? The CX-50 is a real contender in its segment. It will go up against the 2023 Honda CR-V, 2023 Hyundai Tucson, and other popular small SUV nameplates this year.

Let us know your pick for the best Mazda CX-50 trim in the comment section below.


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