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The all-new CX-50 has been making waves, and for good reason. Mazda’s latest small SUV boasts a sleek design, impressive performance, and features making it a top contender. However, one question has divided experts and consumers: Which 2023 Mazda CX-50 trim level is the best?

Which 2023 Mazda CX-50 trims do the experts recommend?

2023 Mazda CX-50, Mazda SUVs, Mazda compact SUVs
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda North American Operations

If you’re in the market for a new small SUV, you might have come across the 2023 Mazda CX-50. This exciting new crossover has been generating plenty of buzz. One perk that makes this SUV appealing is the number of trims available, each offering unique features and capabilities.

But with so many CX-50 trims to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which one to choose. Fortunately, experts have weighed in, and their recommendations might help you narrow your picks.

MotorBiscuit and Car and Driver agree the Turbo trim is the best. MotorBiscuit says, “The primary reason to buy the CX-50 Turbo is the engine.” C/D explains that this trim “adds the more powerful 256-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and increases towing capacity to 3,500 pounds. It also comes standard with many desirable features, including a panoramic sunroof, a 10.3-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and leather upholstery with heated front seats.”

Meanwhile, Edmunds takes a slightly different approach, recommending both the Turbo and the Preferred depending on the consumer. “The Turbo trim is the least expensive model with that engine and strikes a good balance between price and features. More conservative drivers likely won’t need that power, so we’d recommend the Preferred trim for them,” Edmunds reports.

And MotorTrend suggests the Premium Plus. “Appealing as turbocharged power may be, in the CX-50’s case, we don’t think it makes enough of a difference to be worthwhile. That’s why we recommend the 2.5 S Premium Plus trim, which is the highest-end trim for the base naturally aspirated engine,” MT says. “At approximately $38,500, the 2023 CX-50 2.5 S Premium Plus seems like a good mix of features and value.

But most consumers pick the 2023 Mazda CX-50 Preferred Plus

According to Edmunds, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 Preferred Plus trim is the most popular among consumers. This trim level provides a good balance of features and affordability, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers who still want a well-equipped vehicle.

Though it doesn’t have all the higher trims’ advanced features and turbocharged engine, the Preferred Plus offers a solid set of amenities to make the driving experience more enjoyable. A panoramic sunroof adds more natural light to the cabin, while the power-adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats add extra comfort.

Moreover, front and rear center armrests are convenient and practical. The combination of these features at an affordable price point makes the Preferred Plus an attractive blend of functionality, style, and value.

Notable CX-50 trim level features

According to Mazda, 2023 CX-50 trims start with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. The base S trim has 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist.

One trim level up, the Select adds more convenience features. They include tinted rear passenger windows, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 60/40-split folding rear seats.

The Preferred offers upgrades like a power rear liftgate, heated mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer, while the Preferred Plus trim adds a panoramic sunroof to the mix.

Stepping up to the Premium brings leather upholstery and a power-adjustable front passenger seat. And the Premium Plus adds even more luxury features like a head-up display and power-folding mirrors.

For more power, the CX-50 Turbo packs a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 256 hp. The Turbo Meridian Edition adds off-road-ready all-terrain tires, and the Turbo Premium has a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system and a heated steering wheel.

Finally, the range-topping Turbo Premium Plus trim boasts all the bells and whistles. They include a surround-view monitor, a universal garage door opener, and reverse automatic braking.

The array of options is dizzying, but Mazda has a helpful tool highlighting the differences among the 2023 CX-50 trims.


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