All-new Mazda CX-50 arrived, MX-30 PHEV still expected this year.
New Meridian Edition for CX-50, fuel economy gains for Mazda3.
CX-3 no longer available in Canada.
Mazda has recently been recognized as having the most fuel-efficient lineup of vehicles in the United States, thanks to its adoption of four-cylinder engines across the board and the absence of pickup trucks and body-on-frame SUVs in its lineup. Nevertheless, like every other manufacturer, it had to take the EV plunge, and that transition has started.
The other transition for Mazda is redesigning and renaming its line of crossovers, in addition to maintaining sales of its passenger cars, which is no easy task nowadays for any mass-market manufacturer. Here’s what to expect from Mazda in 2023, with models listed in alphabetical order.
The Mazda3 compact sedan and hatchback are offered in a multitude of trim levels, along with three powertrain choices and either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The 155-horsepower 2.0L inline-four is no longer offered in the U.S. market as the base 2.0 trim has been dropped, but it’s still found in GX and GS trims in Canada, and receives some changes to lower fuel consumption. Meanwhile, the 2.5L four in mid-grade variants gets a five-horsepower bump, rising from 186 to 191 horsepower, in addition to improved fuel economy, thanks to cylinder deactivation system tweaks. The 2023 Mazda3 hatchback, called Mazda3 Sport in Canada, will arrive in the fall, while the sedan will hit the market in wintertime.
The subcompact Mazda CX-3 was no longer offered in the U.S. market after the 2021 model year, but soldiered on in Canada for 2022. However, the subcompact crossover has been retired up north as well.
The Mazda CX-5 is the most popular vehicle in the lineup, and after receiving a host of updates for the 2022 model year, very little changes have been announced for 2023. The CX-5 is now available with the brand’s Rhodium White paint colour, and that’s about it. As before, six trim levels are offered in Canada, and eight are on sale in the U.S. The CX-5 can be equipped with a 187-horsepower 2.5L inline-four or a turbocharged 2.5L four that develops 227 horsepower with regular fuel, 256 horsepower with 93-octane juice.
For 2023, the Mazda CX-9 gets no changes for the Canadian market, as it’s still offered in five trim levels are equipped with the brand’s turbo 2.5L four that develops 227 horsepower with regular fuel, and 250 horsepower with 93-octane fuel. However, the U.S. market drops its base Sport variant, meaning the Touring is now the entry-level CX-9 that includes leather upholstery, a power sunroof, a power liftgate and wireless phone charging, among other things. The second row can be specified with either a bench seat for seven-passenger capacity, or captain’s chairs with room for six.
A few changes have been announced for the 2023 Mazda CX-30, after AWD became a standard feature last year. It’s offered in a few trim levels and the choice between a 155-horsepower, naturally aspirated 2.0L four-cylinder engine (Canada only), a 2.5L four that sees its output climb five ponies to 191 horsepower, and and turbocharged 2.5L unit producing up to 250 horsepower. The non-turbo 2.5L engine is also said to be slightly more fuel-efficient. The CX-30 is now safer thanks to the addition to rear side airbags, rear side seat belt tensioners and a shin pad to door trims, among other enhancements.
The Mazda CX-50 arrived in 2022 as a 2023 model, which is slightly bigger than the CX-5, but otherwise shares its architecture and powertrains. It has been designed specifically for the North American market and is built in an Alabama assembly plant Mazda shares with Toyota. This fall, the CX-50 will be available with a new Median Edition, which is based on the GT Turbo (Canada) and 2.5 Turbo (USA) variants while adding black 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Falken all-terrain tires, headlamp trim, side rocker panels and a matte black hood decal. Only two paint colours are available with the Meridian Edition, Polymetal Grey and Zircon Sand, and Terracotta leather with black accenting is the only interior colorway choice. In addition, an Apex Package can be added, consisting of roof-mounted crossbars and platform as well as front and rear splash guards.
We’re still waiting for news about electrified powertrains, which have been promised when the CX-50 was revealed back in November 2021. The brand said it would eventually feature a conventional hybrid powertrain. Recently, Mazda invited North American journalists to Europe to sample the CX-60 PHEV, which won’t be offered in our markets, but its powertrain might.
After a few tweaks for the 2022 model year, the Mazda MX-5 roadster and retractable-hardtop MX-5 RF arrive for 2023 with no significant changes. The Canadian market still gets both gearboxes across most of the trim level lineup consisting of GS, GS-P, GT, MX-5 RF GT Exclusive Package and MX-5 RF GT Grand Sport Package. The U.S.-market MX-5 Miata and MX-5 Miata RF offered in Sport, Club and Grand Touring trims—only the latter gets an automatic transmission option.
The Mazda MX-30 arrived for the 2022 model year with a fully electric powertrain producing 143 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque, along with a front-wheel drivetrain. Also of note is the EV’s projected driving range, pegged at 100 miles by the EPA and 161 kilometres by Natural Resources Canada. An MX-30 with a range-extending rotary engine was supposed to be introduced sometime in 2022, or at least detailed, but we’re still waiting on that. The range extender would allow owners to cover a greater distance on a full charge and a full tank of fuel. Otherwise, no changes have been announced for the 2023 model year.