Could This Mazda SUV Actually Be Good Off-Road?

Recently Mazda announced that the 2023 CX-50 is getting an off-road package. Known as the Meridian Edition, this option adds things like all-terrain tires and some visual upgrades. But, is it enough to make this Mazda SUV a true off-roader? While it is unlikely that anyone is taking the CX-50 on serious off-road terrain, SUV buyers do appear to appreciate the idea that they could. And that is reflected that more and more brands are offering these kinds of packages in their lineup. So, what’s the deal with the 2023 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition?

What is the CX-50 Meridian Edition?

For Mazda’s CX-50 SUV, the Meridian package is essentially an appearance package that does not make major mechanical changes. Because of this, you still get the same suspension and turbocharged engine that you find on other CX-50 models. 

2023 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition price
2023 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition | Mazda

But, the package does introduce all-terrain tires and some visual changes. And that helps this SUV have a more aggressive appearance. If you want this package, you must opt for the 2.5 Turbo model. And it has an additional cost of $2,800. 

In addition to the Meridian package, buyers can opt for something known as the Apex package. With a cost of $1,235, it adds roof-rack crossbars, a roof platform, and unique graphics. Plus, you get splash guards as well. And that does make the 2023 CX-50 look pretty cool. 

Is the 2023 Mazda CX-50 a good off-road SUV?

In terms of being an off-road SUV, the CX-50 might not be the best, but it can handle things like light trails. Especially if you opt for the new Meridian Edition that comes with all-terrain tires. The tires included are from the Falken brand and should provide you with better traction when taking the road less traveled. 

2023 MAzda CX-50 in the dirt
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

Also included is the all-wheel drive system, but it has not been modified over the standard model. So, do not expect this SUV to go everywhere that something like a Jeep Wrangler could. At the same time, according to Car and Driver, the CX-50 does have a comfortable ride. Making it ideal to be your daily driver. 

How expensive is the 2023 CX-50?

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 has a starting cost of $27,550. Now, if you want the Meridian Edition, you will need to pay extra over the base model. The CX-50 2.5 Turbo Meridian Edition starts at $39,950, and that is before options. And to some, that might be worth buying. 

2023 Mazda CX-50 Consumer Reports
2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda North American Operations

The CX-50 Meridian Edition is expected to arrive later this month or at the beginning of September. It is entirely possible that there are delays getting this vehicle to dealerships. With supply chain issues still going on, it has been difficult for auto manufacturers to keep up with consumer demand.

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