Mazda's new 2023 CX-50 compact crossover will start at $39,850 with standard all-wheel drive and shipping charges, putting the base model about $7,000 above the existing 2022 CX-5 in the same segment.
The CX-50 goes on sale in March in the United States, but Mazda Canada didn’t say when it’s on sale in Canada. The CX-50 is the first Mazda vehicle out of the automaker's new manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Ala., a joint venture with Toyota. Production of the CX-50 began in late January.
In keeping with Mazda's upmarket intentions, the 2023 CX-50 can be loaded with options, such as a turbocharged engine, panoramic moonroof, premium sound system, leather seats, bigger wheels and premium-vehicle amenities.
The top trim for now is the CX-50 2.5 Turbo, starting at $47,300 with shipping. Premium paint colours include the brand's popular Soul Red Crystal Mica for $450.
Mazda also plans to add a trim-topping Meridian Edition later in the year, with distinct alloy wheels, all-terrain tires and an accessories package geared toward off-road use. Pricing for the Meridian Edition was not announced.
The CX-50 will also come in a hybrid version using Toyota hybrid technology, Mazda has previously said. Timing and Canadian availability for the hybrid model was not announced.
While Mazda's two compact crossovers will coexist into the future, the slightly larger CX-50 is designed as an off-road adventure vehicle compared with the more urban CX-5.
The CX-5 is Mazda's bestselling vehicle, with sales of 26,571 last year. Mazda has targeted CX-50 output at 150,000 vehicles per year once the Alabama plant reaches full production.
"This all-new, rugged and capable crossover SUV is purpose-built for the active lifestyles of North Americans," Mazda said in a news release.
"It combines superior on-road driving dynamics and sophisticated design, a signature of any Mazda vehicle, while enabling drivers to venture further into the outdoors and off road," Mazda said.
The 2022 Mazda CX-5 starts at $32,600 with standard awd and shipping.
The CX-5 was freshened last year and will remain in production, Mazda North America CEO Jeff Guyton told sibling publication Automotive News in January.
"Mazda is taking this opportunity to build on CX-5's success by expanding in this segment with a vehicle purpose-built for outdoor enthusiasts and customers with a more active lifestyle," Guyton said last month.