2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T Meridian – Re- Driven Trail Capable Review

2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T AWD Meridian: Zoom zoom for the off road outdoor adventure priced at $42k.

ZOOM ZOOM TREADING ON TRAIL : The Earth’s 88th Meridian West lies 88o degrees west of the Greenwich U.K. Prime Meridian. Part of its longitudinal span from North to South Poles passes through the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, and more specifically through Roadblazing.com HQ in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.

For a Re- Drive along this imaginary line Mazda sends what looks like a subtly more rugged dressing of the last tested CX-50 Turbo AWD “rider in unison with steed” mid size CUV. However, with the 2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T Meridian, comes the first Mazda which can Zoom Zoom through mud and up dirt grades.

2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T Meridian AWD DRIVING HITS: (vs. 2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5T AWD in parentheses)

2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T AWD Meridian2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness 2.5L AWD
Curb weight (pounds)3913 lbs.3620 lbs.
Powertrain – petrol2.5T 16V DOHC gas I-42.5T 16V DOHC gas H-4
Drivetrain / Final drive ratio6 Speed, torque converter automatic planetary transmission, on-demand viscous clutch differential all-wheel drive / 3.84:18 Step, Continuously Variable Transmission, on-demand viscous clutch differential all-wheel drive / 4.11:1
Horsepower petrol / Torque (pound- feet)256 hp / 320 lb-ft @ 2500 r.p.m. (227 hp / 310 lb-ft on 87 AKI unleaded fuel)187 hp / 176 lb-ft @ 4400 r.p.m.
Fuel Economy – miles per gallon combined EPA / Range (max.)24 m.p.g. (observed), 462 miles26 m.p.g. (observed), 464 miles
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com

Mazda Mi-Drive modes
  • Ruggedized version of active lifestyle compact crossover
    • Mi-Drive modes x 3: SPORT, NORMAL, OFF-ROAD
    • Useful off-road ground clearance, still comfortable for occupant entry
    • Surprising grip in sloppy mud and on gravel grassy inclines
2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T AWD Meridian: 18″ wheels wrapped in trail rated Falken rubber
  • Independent front strut, semi independent rear torsion beam suspension
    • Disc brakes x 4, vented front
    • 17″ inch ‘diamond cut’ alloy wheels
    • 225/60-H Falken Wildpeak all-terrain Trail tires
    • Taut ride damping, Minimal body roll, minimal pitch
    • Responsive steering, Consistent brake slowing
2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T AWD Meridian2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness 2.5L AWD
Ground clearance (inches)8.5″9.2″
Approach / Departure / Breakover angles (degrees)18.0o / 24.7o / 18.4o23.5o / 25.4o / 21.0o
Tires / Wheels225/60-H Falken Wildpeak all terrain Trail / 18″ diamond cut alloys / doughnut spare tire225/60-T Yokohoma Geolandar G015 all terrain / 17″ alloy / full size spare tire
Off road driving assistanceMi-Drive: Sport, Normal, Off-roadDual X-Mode: Snow & Dirt, Deep Snow & Mud [ASC disengaged] off road modes (under 25 mph); Descent cruise
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com

2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T Meridian AWD DRIVING MISSES:

  • Less ground clearance than non-Meridian CX-50 Turbo (-0.1″ inch)
  • No underbody bash plates.
  • No driver activated center differential lock; No descent control
  • This turbo is more about smooth torque
    • Still stuck with 6 transmission gears
    • Slightly more brittle road impact jarring (vs. CX-50 Turbo)
    • Engine noise noticeable under throttle
    • Longish brake pedal travel
    • Wind noise from “APEX” accessory roof platform


WHAT the 2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T Meridian AWD HAS GOT:

  • Pricing: from $31,675 (incl. destination) for a Mazda CX-50 2.5 S 6-speed automatic all-wheel drive. As tested light off road 2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo Meridian* all-wheel drive + “APEX” package = $43,860. (* Meridian trim exclusively powered by 2.5 Turbo engine.)
2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T AWD Meridian: Hood decal graphics are part of the optional Apex package
  • Style: A sleeker fanged fastback rendition of the popular Mazda CX-5 small family ute, with a more menacing snout, oversized wheel arches, bulbous Kammback. However, beneath every CX-50 is super-stretched version of the sub-compact Mazda CX-30 BP platform including its torsion beam semi independent rear suspension.
    • Meridian trim exclusively in Zircon Sand or Polymetal Grey colors, with hood decal and rugged appearance rocker panel accents.
  • Space: A compact crossover ute pushing mid-size with ample space for four + a kid and roll aboards for all.
Nappa leather Terracotta seats with hanging contrast stitching
  • Utility: 60:40 split 2nd Row folding seat backs w/ cargo bay wall release handles; Wider [at opening] and longer cargo bay load floor than Mazda CX-5; Large cargo bay corner pockets; Wide, long clamshell lid center console bin; Qi inductive wireless device charging pocket fore of console bin; Sizable lower center stack storage shelf; Long door pockets
    • -1 Loses out on Mazda CX-5‘s 2nd row middle seat back folding cargo pass through; Less overall cargo space vs. CX-5 due to lower roof height; Unlined glovebox
2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T AWD Meridian2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness 2.5L AWD
Wheelbase (inches)110.8″104.9″
Headroom Row 2 (inches)37.5″ (w/ moonroof)37.6″
Legroom Row 2 (inches)39.8″ inches39.4″ inches
Cargo Capacity (nom. – max. cubic feet)31.4 cu.ft. – 56.3 cu. ft.26.9 cu.ft. – 69.1 cu.ft.
Towing / Roof support (pounds)3500 lbs. / 600 lbs.3500 lbs. / 700 lbs.
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2023 Roadblazing.com
Low load floor, wide aperture cargo bay expanded by remote latch folding 60:40 Row 2 split seatback
  • Fit & Finish: The color contrast and scent of a fine Italian footwear, trimmed with artful hanging stitched middle dash & Row 1 doors folded seam leather panel*; Refined machined rotary knobs including remote media display commander exhibit precise action; Concise instrumentation; Uncluttered, intutively clustered switchgear; Smooth panel borders
    • * std. Meridian, avail. Premium, Premium Plus pkgs.
  • Standard Feature Set:
  • Keyless entry, Push button & Mazda connected app remote ignition start;
  • 2-zone automatic climate control w/ pre-conditioning; Rain sensing windshield wipers
  • LED headlights, DRLs & sequential taillights
  • Full express power windows x 4
  • Leatherette + cloth bucket front seats, manual adjust; Tilt + telescoping steering wheel w/ horizontal spoke integrated controls
  • Infotainment Technology:
  • 7.1″ TFT dial speedometer center multifunction driving display, flanked by tachometer + swing needle engine temp / fuel level instrument cluster
2023 Mazda CX-50 2.5 Turbo: Easy and pleasing cockpit compromise of traditional and minimalist modern done premium.
  • MazdaConnect 3.0 Touch 10.25″ inch landscape middle dashtop LCD split infotainment display w/ center console rotary knob Commander controller w/ voice commands (+ dealer installed HDD GPS navigation; Mazda Connected smart phone App;
    • By Subscription: Wi-Fi for MazdaConnected suite (3 years trial); SiriusXM satellite radio ( 90 days incl.)
  • USB-C x 4; Bluetooth and smart phone SMS messaging; 12 V power ports x 2 (1 x cargo bay)
  • 8-speaker, 240 W streaming audio with HD-radio
  • Android Auto + AppleCar Play phone app projection (wireless)
  • Safety: +1 2023 IIHS Top Safety Pick; 8 airbags; Backup camera w/ predictive grid lines + front & rear warning park assist; -1 Small- ish door wing mirrors
    • Driver assist tech: STANDARD i-Activesense 1.5 = Smart City collision avoidance braking w/ pedestrian detection; Blind spot, rear cross traffic warning; Rear side traffic braking, Lane departure warning with selectable vibration/ chime; Lane keep assist; Adaptive cruise control – full; e-parking brake auto hold; Auto high beam headlamps
  • Warranty: 3 year / 36k miles bumper to bumper, 5 yrs. / 60k mi. powertrain

WHAT the 2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T Meridian AWD HAS NOT (or NOT PREFERRED):

  • Infotainment touch screen only operates Android Auto / Apple Car Play projected phone apps
  • Steering wheel limited telescoping range
  • Audio system a bit weak in Row 2
  • Meridian trim LACKS: heated steering, cooled Row 1, heated Row 2 seats, reverse tilting wing mirrors, Bose audio, surround camera
  • Steering wheel spoke control button function script visibility poor (low contrast on chrome frames)

STANDOUT FEATURES on 2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T Meridian AWD :

  • ♦ Dual zone climate control
  • ♦ Terracotta hang contrast stitched leather seating + inverse colored middle dash leather accents
  • ♦ Power panorama moonroof
  • ♦ Heated front seats, 8-way driver’s + 6-way front passenger power adjusting
  • ♦ Steering adaptive LED headlamps
  • ♦ Qi inductive charging pad
  • ♦ APEX pkg. roof cross bars + platform – AVAILABLE (sustains rooftop tent)
2024 Mazda CX-50 2.5T AWD Meridian: the 600 lb rated roof platform is part of the $1.2k Apex package

Roadblazing.com Says: Zoom Zoom has been mildly configured for muck and mud.


An automotive enthusiast since an orange toy VW Beetle ended up in his playpen and following him everywhere, George Straton has been chief editor at ChicagoNow.com/Drive-He-Said automotive lifestyle blog since 2010. In 2017 George established Roadblazing.com, dedicated to accurate automotive reviews, news and road trip stories. George is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Phoenix Automotive Press Association. George also happens to be an attorney and Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers fan. Present ride: 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD Hatchback.

Leave a Reply