How Good is the Mazda CX-50 Offroad?

April 11th, 2024 by

The Mazda CX-50, an adventurous and rugged compact SUV, comes with a range of off-road features to enhance its capability and performance in challenging terrain. It boasts two rows of spacious seating for up to five passengers, generous and convenient cargo space, and advanced technologies and driving modes to tackle tricky landscapes.

The standard 186-horsepower engine holds its own, but you can upgrade to the turbocharged engine with 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque for enhanced potency and precision. In this article, our team from Capistrano Mazda in San Juan Capistrano, California, uncovers the off-roadworthiness of the latest Mazda CX-50. While specifics for the 2024 model year may vary depending on your chosen trim level, there are typical features you can expect the Mazda CX-50 to offer.

Overview and Specs

The CX-50, an exciting model in Mazda’s 2024 lineup, offers a range of impressive features and specs that make it a fantastic weekend companion. Its attractive elements include a panoramic sunroof, a 10.3-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. Specifications for the 2024 Mazda CX-50 are as follows:

  • Engines: A 187-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a 256-horsepower turbocharged variant.
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic.
  • Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds.
  • Fuel efficiency: 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
  • Maximum passenger capacity: Five people.
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 56.3 cubic feet.


Mazda’s i-ACTIV All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is standard on the 2024 CX-50. By continuously monitoring different factors around your vehicle and watching for variations in wheel speed that you may not notice, this active safety technology can predict upcoming conditions and proactively control the distribution of torque to each wheel accordingly. This allocation of power to the wheels that need it the most enhances traction and stability on various surfaces, including off-road terrain.

Mazda Intelligent Drive Select

Every 2024 CX-50 comes with Mazda intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive), and some models have the AWD version. This system allows you to switch drive modes according to the conditions. Settings such as Sport and Off-road adjust throttle response, transmission mapping, and traction control to optimize performance on different surfaces, enabling the Mazda CX-50 to tackle challenging terrain confidently. Driving modes vary depending on the trim and include the following:

  • Normal: This mode optimizes the CX-50’s settings to balance performance and fuel efficiency and is ideal for everyday driving.
  • Sport: When you activate this mode, it prioritizes responsiveness for a more dynamic driving experience.
  • Off-road: This mode coordinates the brakes and engine torque to maximize traction.
  • Towing (available on select trims): When you’re pulling a trailer, this mode compensates for the additional weight to deliver a near-normal driving experience.

G-Vectoring Control Plus

Mazda developed its innovative SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) technology to improve stability and responsiveness and provide a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. It ensures smooth and efficient vehicle behavior by adjusting engine torque in response to steering inputs. The moment you start turning the steering wheel of your CX-50, GVC Plus controls engine drive torque, shifting the vehicle’s weight forward to increase front-wheel tire grip. This subtle adjustment results in smoother cornering, better handling, and enhanced driver confidence, especially during spirited driving or challenging road conditions.

Roof Rails

The 2024 CX-50 comes with high-strength roof rails, allowing you to customize your Mazda with crossbars and various available attachments to support you and your equipment. Adventure enthusiasts can stack their bikes, kayaks, and even a pop-up tent on the roof racks for easy transportation. The low roofline makes it easy to access gear or climb into your tent.

Off-Road Suspension

Mazda has upgraded the suspension of the 2024 CX-50. New dampers improve ride quality and improve the vehicle’s off-road performance. The retuned suspension, extra ground clearance, and greater approach and departure angles allow the SUV to navigate obstacles confidently.

Skid Plates and Underbody Protection

Protection against obstacles and debris is essential for off-road vehicles. The 2024 CX-50 features skid plates and underbody protection for critical components, such as the engine, transmission, and fuel tank, shielding them from damage when traversing rugged terrain. The Mazda SUV also comes with squared-off wheel wells and molded LED tail lights.

Cargo Capacity

The 2024 Mazda CX-50 offers a versatile and spacious cargo area to accommodate various needs. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend getaway, running errands around town, or loading up for outdoor adventures, the CX-50 provides ample room for your belongings. With its flexible seating configurations, the CX-50 offers impressive cargo capacity that can adapt to different situations. Its standard configuration has a generous 31.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, allowing you to easily transport groceries, luggage, sports equipment, and other everyday items.

By folding the rear seats, you can unlock up to 56.3 cubic feet of space. The flat load floor and wide opening simplify loading and unloading, while tie-down points help secure larger items for additional peace of mind. Whether you need to transport bulky items or oversized gear for outdoor activities, the 2024 Mazda CX-50’s flexible interior layout allows you to maximize cargo capacity to suit your needs.

Test-Drive the Mazda CX-50 at Capistrano Mazda Today

The 2024 Mazda CX-50 stands out as a versatile and capable SUV, offering ample cargo capacity, flexible seating configurations, and thoughtful features to enhance convenience and functionality. Whether you’re navigating city streets, tackling off-road terrain, or embarking on a weekend getaway, the CX-50 has the equipment to handle your lifestyle and adventures easily. We invite you to experience the Mazda CX-50 by scheduling a test drive at our Capistrano Mazda dealership in San Juan Capistrano, California. Discover the performance, comfort, and versatility the CX-50 offers firsthand, and find out why it’s the perfect SUV for drivers seeking practicality and sophistication.

Posted in Mazda CX-50