Mazda has revealed the latest addition to its SUV arsenal, the 2022 CX-50, for the North American market, with the rugged and boldly-styled new model remaining off-limits for us here in Australia.

That’s a shame as the CX-50, which slots above the existing CX-5, is a completely new model purposely designed from the ground-up to meet the needs and desires of SUV buyers who have active and outdoor-based lifestyles, while still delivering the levels of refinement and driving dynamics expected from a Mazda.

Set to be the first Mazda vehicle produced at the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Alabama, the model’s exterior styling blends the brand’s Kodo design ethos with a widebody treatment and more aggressive stance that gives it greater presence off-road, while the available colour palette includes unique and more natural Zircon Sand exterior paint and terracotta interior upholstery options.

The interior materials throughout draw influence from the materials outdoor gear is made of to amplify its durable ruggedness. A full-size panoramic sunroof is also available for the first time on a Mazda, as it is a way the company claims will better enable vehicle occupants to connect with nature.

Being purposefully-designed rather than merely based on the CX-5 that sits below it, the CX-50’s cargo space has been designed to support various outdoor activities through its configurability and accessibility.

The CX-50’s exterior dimensions have also taken this into account, with its height and length being carefully considered to allow for the optimal loading height of common outdoor equipment. The B-pillars have also been reinforced to strengthen the roof to increase its payload capacity.

At launch, both naturally aspirated and turbocharged versions of Mazda’s 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G four-cylinder petrol engine will be available in the CX-50, both paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Various electrified drivetrains, including a traditional hybrid model, are also set to join the range at a later date.

Set to enter production in the USA in January next year, it will go on sale to the North American market at a yet-to-be-confirmed date in the Northern Hemisphere’s Spring of 2022, with full details of US pricing and specifications to be announced closer to its release date.

The Mazda CX-50 joins the likes of the Subaru Outback Wilderness in being an off-roadified mid-size monocoque SUV that would likely reach a strong audience in Australia, but won’t end up reaching our shores due to being produced in and developed for the US, meaning no right-hand drive availability.

Patrick Jackson
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