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Mazda announces CX-50 plus 2 additional SUVs, new naming convention

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When Mazda reveals the brand-new CX-50 in November, it will mark the beginning of a new direction for the automaker’s SUVs. Including the CX-50, Mazda will launch three new SUVs by 2023, ditch the CX-3 and shake up its naming structure.

Mazda calls these three new SUVs part of an evolution of its existing models. Also confirmed, Mazda will keep the compact CX-30 and the current CX-5.

Additionally, this announcement showcases the new nomenclature Mazda will be using on its SUV line, with the exception being the CX-5. The three new SUVs will be the CX-50, CX-70 and CX-90, with the latter vehicle replacing the current-generation CX-9.

“Mazda will introduce new models … in order to meet further diversified needs of new customers, while valuing the bond with customers, which has been built through the existing models such as the CX-5. In this sense, the new models are positioned as an evolution of the existing models,” said Drew Cary, product and corporate communications for Mazda.

The new Mazda SUV line

To be absolutely clear, the Mazda SUV lineup will be:

  • CX-30 – sub-compact crossover
  • CX-5 – compact crossover
  • CX-50 – midsize crossover
  • CX-70 – wide-body, two-row SUV
  • CX-90 – wide-body, three-row SUV

The CX-50 will share the platform with the CX-30 and come with standard all-wheel drive (AWD). It will begin production in January 2022 at the new Mazda Toyota joint venture factory, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing in Huntsville, Alabama. For reference, this is the same plant that will build the all-new Toyota Corolla Cross.

Meanwhile, the CX-70 and CX-90 will share Mazda’s new longitudinal architecture with new inline-six-cylinder and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

The CX-70 will be a wider-body version of the already-gone CX-7, thus it will seat five passenger but have a bigger cabin and cargo area than the CX-30, CX-5 or CX-50, which are also five-passenger vehicles. The CX-90 will be Mazda’s only three-row SUV.

Mazda says the proportions of both CX-70 and CX-90 will be optimized for U.S. consumers with expanded interior volume.

All-wheel drive becoming standard

Starting for the 2022 model year, Mazda will make its i-Activ AWD system standard for the entire CX lineup, which includes the refreshed CX-5. A refreshed and new-look CX-5 will arrive at dealers this winter as a 2022 model year.

Mazda said, this move to AWD supports the brand’s dedication to deliver unparalleled driving pleasure for all owners.

The bottom line on Mazda CX-50 and other SUVs

Too often auto manufacturers get carried away with their nomenclature and naming conventions. Look at the confusing mess Cadillac caused over the years by constantly changing its vehicle names. Adding a zero at the end of their SUV line seems fairly innocent enough — even if the CX-5 will remain.

Just where and how Mazda’s best-selling SUV (which is the CX-5) fits into the lineup might confuse some consumers. Heck, it confuses us. So, stay tuned as we get more details and show the differences between the CX-5 and the CX-50.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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