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The Mazda CX-50 gets a proper hybrid drivetrain in the USA

Using the Toyota Hybrid System

The CX-50 HEV was first unveiled in China, assembled by Changan-Mazda. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

If you wanted electrified cars from Mazda, you had the MX-30, the MX-30 R EV, the CX-90 PHEV, the CX-60 PHEV, and the models with the e-Skyactiv mild-hybrid powertrains.

If you were talking about “self-charging” hybrids (that aren’t rebadged Toyotas), the automaker had the Japan-only Axela Hybrid and the previously China-only CX-50 HEV.

The United States now finally gets it as the CX-50 Hybrid.

The key difference is that it’s assembled at the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama, where other Toyota vehicles are assembled as well for the US market.

It shares the same hybrid tech as Toyota HEVs. PHOTO FROM MAZDA

Hence, the crossover utilizes the Toyota Hybrid System, making it the second Mazda to use that system after the Axela Hybrid.

It pairs a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine (A25A-FXS) with an eCVT, a hybrid battery, and three electric motors. It spits out a decent 219hp and 220Nm, and it comes standard with electronic all-wheel drive.

Mazda USA estimates an EPA rating of 38mpg or 16.15km/L, which is a 40% improvement over the standard 2.5-liter CX-50.

Do you want to see this on our shores? PHOTO FROM MAZDA

Having a Toyota hybrid drivetrain doesn’t mean it will drive like one, as Mazda has recalibrated accelerator pedal response and drive modes to give it the signature Mazda driving dynamics.

The hybrid battery’s location helps maximize the cargo capacity, a usual pitfall of hybrid crossovers where space is eaten up by the batteries.

To distinguish it from a regular CX-50, subtle styling cues include unique wheel designs, a slightly modified lower bumper design, and a red leather interior option. Other than that, everything is still similar to the standard CX-50.

Seeing how the CX-50 Hybrid is assembled either in Alabama or China, it’s very unlikely for Mazda Philippines to bring the model in. But this bodes well for the future of Mazda vehicles, considering we will eventually see this tech make it to other models.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.