It’s hard to explain how the new-for-2023 Mazda CX-50 is fundamentally different from the already-existing Mazda CX-5. Both are compact SUVs ostensibly occupying the same space in Mazda’s lineup, but the CX-50 is a little bigger, a little meaner-looking and a little more off-road-ready to indulge the pandemic-weary car shopper’s outdoorsy inclinations … Oh, and it has a zero at the end of its model name.
In Cars.com reviewer Brian Normile’s comprehensive critique — one of our most popular articles of the past week — the CX-50 makes a compelling, if not airtight, case for its existence. It gets positive notices for its more intense exterior aesthetics, surprisingly spacious cargo area, communicative steering, and the ability to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via the touchscreen while the vehicle is in motion. On the other hand, that touchscreen is hard to read and only works when the car is standing, it suffers from a rough ride when equipped with the 20-inch wheels that come standard on turbocharged 2.5-liter models, the engine note is “strained and unrefined,” and top performance requires more pricey premium gas.
“The CX-50 doesn’t do a lot of things wrong, but other than its looks, it also doesn’t stand out from its CX-5 sibling — and if you’re looking for an off-road-friendly vehicle, there are better choices,” Normile concludes in his review.
For our full take on the 2023 Mazda CX-50, follow the link below to the No. 2 article on this week’s countdown.
Further down this week’s roster, the Ford F-150 Lightning strikes for a second time as ordering reopens for the all-new, all-electric variant of America’s bestselling vehicle after a blockbuster first go-round. The Lightning returns for the 2023 model year with 10 miles of additional driving range for its standard battery, as well as standard availability of handy trailer-hitch-assist tech. The upgrades come at a hefty cost, however, with price increases ranging from $6,000 to $8,500 across the truck’s six trim levels. For details on the latest Lightning, including a trim-by-trim pricing breakdown, follow the link below to Cars.com’s No. 5 news story of the week.
Beyond that, we have headlines on the Nissan Z, Volvo C40 Recharge, Ford Maverick, Volkswagen ID.4 and much more — so don’t stop reading till the digits double. Here are the top 10 news stories Cars.com readers couldn’t get enough of in the past week:
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