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If you’re considering buying a brand-new compact SUV, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 is a new option. As the newest vehicle in its class, it’s working on winning over compact SUV buyers from rivals. For the 2022 model year, the CX-50 is touted as an upscale, well-handling, quick model with some off-road capability. However, there are many trim levels in the lineup, so which should you choose? No matter what you’re interested in, there’s only one 2023 Mazda CX-50 trim that’s worth buying, the Turbo model.

Which 2023 Mazda CX-50 trim should you buy?

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus winner
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 SUV | Mazda

You’ll almost always find the same answer if you’re searching for the best 2023 Mazda CX-50 trim. Within the lineup, 10 different trim levels vary significantly in equipment and price. Moreover, it’s worth noting that none of the CX-50 trims are inherently bad. Each one provides a surprising amount of value for the price, which is one of the best things about the brand-new Mazda compact SUV. Everyone has different requirements, but you can’t go wrong with the Mazda CX-50 Turbo.

We agree with other experts that the best trim to buy is the Turbo model. Unfortunately, it isn’t the cheapest in the lineup, but it’s less expensive than a few alternatives. For a truly luxurious, top-of-the-line model, the Turbo Premium Plus trim offers just about every feature for $43,575. However, for the best overall value, the standard Turbo model is just $38,425. That’s roughly $10,000 more than the CX-50 base model, but there are a few reasons the Turbo stands out above the bottom of the lineup.

The primary reason to buy the CX-50 Turbo is the engine. With every bottom-tier trim, the standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. However, starting with the Turbo trim, the CX-50 gets an upgraded turbocharged engine that’s good for 256 hp and 320 lb-ft. With that kind of power upgrade, it’s no wonder most experts recommend the 2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo.

Edmunds loves the Turbo trim

First, Edmunds recommends buying the 2023 Mazda CX-50 Turbo trim. “Strong overall performance is one of the Mazda CX-50’s greatest attributes and it’s best enjoyed with the potent turbocharged engine. The Turbo trim is the least expensive model with that engine and strikes a good balance between price and features.”

The only exclusive features of the Turbo model are self-leveling adaptive headlights and paddle shifters. However, it also gains everything from lower models to really bolster its feature lineup along with the turbocharged engine upgrade. For example, leather upholstery, driver’s seat memory, an eight-speaker audio system, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, rear USB ports, keyless entry, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, frontal collision mitigation, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and more.

Car and Driver suggest the same 2023 Mazda CX-50

Side view of Ingot Blue Metallic 2023 Mazda CX-50 crossover SUV, only the CX-50 Turbo trim is worth buying.
Ingot Blue Metallic 2023 Mazda CX-50 | Mazda

What’s so Great About the All-New 2023 Mazda CX-50 Interior?

If you really want to test if a trim is the best, check with multiple experts. Car and Driver agree with Edmunds about which CX-50 to buy. Many critics rarely agree on something, so that’s how we know it’s true. C/D also cited similar reasoning, like the well-equipped list of features and the more powerful engine. In addition, C/D noted a higher towing capacity, up to 3,500 pounds when purchasing the Turbo trim over more affordable alternatives.

Both Edmunds and C/D reported the 2023 Mazda CX-50 has a beautiful interior. One expert called it “upscale,” while another used the phrase “high-class.” Moreover, it’s also surprisingly spacious for a compact SUV of its size. Getting in and out of the vehicle is a breeze compared to similarly-sized competitors. This is all true for the Turbo trim, but lower trims are roughly the same with fewer features.

1 2023 Mazda CX-50 trim worth buying

In conclusion, there is only one 2023 Mazda CX-50 trim worth buying. The Turbo model is the way to go if you’re interested in the compact SUV. While other offerings in the lineup are excellent, none provides as much bang for your buck with a more powerful engine and extra features. Finding value like the CX-50 Turbo offers is rare, so it’s easy to recommend taking advantage of it. That’s why we, along with other experts, recommend the mid-tier Turbo trim over other options.