It looks the part, has the feisty turbo four-pot, and is more practical.
Revealed in November last year, the 2023 Mazda CX-50 is a more rugged alternative to the CX-5. With standard all-wheel drive, a raised stance, and an off-road driving mode, it has struck a chord with adventurous Americans who are snapping them up quickly. Although the 2023 CX-50 hasn't been replaced by a 2024 model yet, Mazda has now announced the promised Meridian Edition as a new introduction. This coincides with a price increase for the CX-50 lineup, although it remains quite affordable considering its abilities. Based on the CX-50 2.5 Turbo, the Meridian Edition Package was designed to expand upon the vehicle's versatility.
It comes with outdoor-focused 18-inch alloy wheels with a black metallic finish wrapped in all-terrain Falken tires. Other visual differences for the Meridian model include a new headlight garnish, a uniquely branded hood graphic, protective side rocker panels, and black wheel locks and lug nuts. Only Polymetal Gray or Zircon Sand colors are available for the Meridian Edition. The CX-50 is already a handsome SUV but the Meridian gives it a tougher edge.
Inside, the Meridian Edition is exclusively available with Terracotta leather upholstery with black accents. When we reviewed the CX-50, we praised its quality and friendly ergonomics.
The Meridian Edition can be further enhanced with the Apex Package at $1,235. This adds roof-mounted black crossbars, a roof platform, and front/rear splash guards. The roof platform is flexible and strong enough to load heavy outdoor equipment like rafts or to support a rooftop tent.
For other CX-50 models, the Meridian Choice Package adds many of the features of the Meridian Edition and Apex packages combined, such as the headlight garnish, roof platform, matte black hood graphic, and side rocker garnish. It costs $1,899.
The Meridian Edition exclusively comes with the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes up to 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with premium 93 octane gas. As before, the base 2.5-liter sans forced induction makes 187 hp and 186 lb-ft.
As the CX-50 is still quite fresh, no other changes have been made to the lineup although there is a price increase that is effective immediately. Every trim now costs $750 more than before. The base CX-50 2.5 S now costs $27,550 and is followed by the Select ($28,950), Preferred ($30,250), Preferred Plus ($32,690), Premium ($35,150), and Premium Plus ($37,150).
Moving on to the turbocharged lineup, that now starts at $37,150 for the 2.5 Turbo. It's followed by the new Meridian Edition ($39,950), Premium ($40,300), and Premium Plus ($42,300). All prices exclude a $1,275 destination and handling charge.