2024 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition

2024 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition

The Mazda CX-50 marked the return of an off-road capable vehicle for the brand. A few of you may remember that the MPV minivan of the early 1990s had a four-wheel drive. Even though it had a higher ground clearance than the two-wheel drive version, it was never designed to tackle a dirt road.

This is a different time. Everyone wants to follow the dirt road. Some will make it. Others may struggle to get there. However, Mazda states that their CX-50 has the ride height, the all-wheel drive system, and the appropriate drive modes to actually get you away from the highway.

2024 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition

 To see if it can do what it wants to do, we received a 2024 Mazda CX-50 in the Meridian Edition. It is a crossover that offers our want of adventure wherever we want to go.

 The CX-50 starts with some familiar Mazda design elements all around. The “shield” grille is wide, with LED headlamp units framing each side of it. The long roofline offers a wagon-esque glasshouse. The 8.3-inch ground clearance and plastic cladding along the rocker panels and wheel arches gives it a more rugged appearance overall.

2024 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition

 The four doors open wide, providing great access to the front and rear seats. The liftgate allows taller people to load into the cargo hold with ease. The lower bumper area features some shaping that follows the theme of the CX-50’s intended ruggedness and purpose.

 Our Meridian Edition adds more satin chrome trim on a thicker side cladding area, a hood applique, and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels wearing all-terrain tires. Our tester came with a beefy roof rack to finish its off-road look.

2024 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition

 The CX-50’s cabin has a nice upmarket feel. It starts with a mix of analog and digital instrumentation inside the cluster. The Mazda Connect infotainment system controls a 10.25-inch screen. The shifter and other controls are familiar to current Mazda models and work very well.

 Seating is for five, or four adults. While providing some bolstering, the front seats tend to be on the firm side. Rear seat occupants get great headroom, but taller people may have to negotiate the leg room in the back, as well as the small lower door sill. Cargo room is good, starting from 31.4 cubic feet behind the rears eats, expanding to 56.3 cubic feet with those seats folded down.

2024 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition

 The Meridian Edition comes with Mazda’s Skyactiv 256-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. It also puts down up to 320 pound-feet of torque. It is a very powerful motor, connected to a six-speed automatic transmission, sending power to all four wheels.

 The Meridian Edition offers an off-road mode that changes the way the CX-50 interact with surfaces beyond the highway. It does a very good job on dirt and gravel. On the highway, it is powerful enough to make getting to that dirt road easier. The CX-50 is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds. As for fuel economy, we averaged 23.1 MPG.

 Ride quality-wise, it was solid. Not too firm nor soft. Just enough to manage all sorts of surfaces. Handling is fine, with nominal lean and roll when pushed to the limit.

 The steering was OK. We wished it was a bit tighter. On-center feel was fine. The brakes were solid with good pedal feel. Normal and panic stops returned great results with solid action down to the wheels.

2024 Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition

 Pricing for the 2024 Mazda CX-50 start at $30,300. There is a choice of eight trim levels, including four Turbo models. Our Meridian Edition tester came with a sticker price of $43,860.

 The CX-50 puts Mazda in a space where being ruggedized is not enough. The Meridian Edition adds more for those looking for adventure beyond the highway. found that it matches up well with the Subaru Outback – in particular, the Wilderness version. Yet, it also competes with many of its contemporaries, including the Subaru Forester, Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe, Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Chevrolet Equinox and Blazer, GMC Terrain, Ford Escape and Edge, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue and Murano, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mitsubishi Outlander, and even its own Mazda CX-5.

 The call to adventure has been answered by the Mazda CX-50 Meridian Edition. If you answer it, you may enjoy something that will return some memories for years to come.

Credits: CarSoup Editors

Shop for a 2024 Mazda CX - 50 Meridian Edition

comments powered by Disqus