Mazda’s All-New 2022 CX-50 Is Built for Outdoor Enthusiasts and On-Road Drivers Alike

All-New 2022 Mazda Cx-50. Photo By Mazda
All-New 2022 Mazda CX-50. Photo by Mazda

The launch of Mazda’s all new CX-50 made me think about where we are in the COVID-19 pandemic, and what we are going to take with us when we are finally out of it.

The CX-50, dubbed “The Searcher’s Partner” by the design team at Mazda, is certainly emblematic of our collective impulse to escape our confines and explore nature in these the unprecedented times. But I do think this is an impulse we will return to again and again even after COVID-19 is in our rearview mirror, and Mazda’s commitment to and excitement about the CX-50 shows they think so, too.

Related: The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD: A Compact SUV For all of Life’s In-Between Moments

2022 Mazda Cx-50 In Zircon Sand. Photo By Mazda

2022 Mazda CX-50 in Zircon Sand. Photo by Mazda

If It’s Rugged You’re Searching For, CX-50 Is The Mazda You Want

The exterior design possesses a more rugged look than the typically sinewy, creased and curvy look of most Mazdas. The CX-50 is slightly boxier with wider shoulders, that create a more confident looking off-road vehicle. It still appears sculpted and thoughtful, still very much a Mazda. There is a new exterior color called Zircon Sand that will blend nicely into any mountain environment.

On the interior, there is also a new upholstery color and contrast stitching called Terra Cotta. I do feel like this combination makes me want to head out to some high desert hillside and search for some stars. In terms of some more practical features you can look forward to, I’m very much anticipating testing the lower roofline and longer rear door that will improve loading gear onto the roof of the CS-50. I can’t wait to put my skis on the roof to enable my search for powder! Thank you, Mazda, for giving us shorter folks (and the paint on our roofs) a hand with this.

Related: Mazda CX-5 vs. Mazda CX-30: Which Compact SUV Is Right for You?

Interior Of The 2022 Mazda Cx-50. Photo By Mazda

Interior of the 2022 Mazda CX-50. Photo by Mazda

I Like Driving My Off Road Vehicle to the Place Where I Do My Off-Roading

The CX-50 is a multipurpose outdoor adventure car, according to Dave Colman who is a vehicle dynamics engineer at Mazda. It will have all-wheel drive and will come with two different engine options: a naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine and a turbocharged version. There will be an electric version and a hybrid version coming also, but there are no details on those models at this time

For me, Mazda’s whole approach to off-roading is an interesting driving feature. Dave discussed two things that struck me. First is that even when we are going on off-road adventures, the majority of our time is spent on paved road. So the vehicle still has to perform well on-road, which is a real strength of Mazda’s anyway. 

Related: A Torque Story Part Deux: The Mazda CX-30 Turbo SUV Is Designed to Make Your Soul Soar

Moonroof In The 2022 Mazda Cx-50. Photo By Mazda

Moonroof in the 2022 Mazda CX-50. Photo by Mazda

There Only Needs to Be One Off Road Mode, Friends

Also, Dave talked about how most manufacturers will provide so many different off-roading modes to choose from, changing the way the car feels and behaves from one surface to another. Mazda’s goal with their off-road mode was to “make sure the car behaves the same in all driving conditions.”

Did you get that? The CX-50 will create the same driving experience from one surface to another. Additionally, the CX-50 will come with four drive modes; normal, sport, towing, and off road. There is only one off road mode to enable the car to perform in any environment, not overwhelm the driver to choose one mode or another (to only wind up feeling like the right spot is somewhere in between). They don’t want you to have to do that kind of searching.

There is no pricing released yet for the CX-50. Also, there is no concrete date set yet for its release, just that production will begin in January of 2022 in their Huntsville, Alabama facility. It’s anticipated to be available in Spring of 2022.

Related: Mazda Goes Electric with the Mazda MX-30 EV Crossover 

Grille Of 2022 Mazda Cx-50. Photo By Mazda

Grille of 2022 Mazda CX-50. Photo by Mazda

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Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey