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2025 Mazda CX-50 First Look: Powered by a Toyota Hybrid

Adds much-needed electrification to Mazda's lineup

2025 Mazda CX-50 Hybrid front
  • Mazda adds a hybrid powertrain to the CX-50 lineup.
  • We've seen the Toyota-sourced hybrid in the RAV4 and Camry.
  • Mazda estimates improvements of 10 mpg in the EPA's combined driving cycle.

Mazda has been slow to electrify its powertrains, and even when the automaker does add a little zap underhood, the results aren't always well received. The MX-30 EV was dead on its 2022 arrival due to its meager range, and the CX-90 plug-in hybrid's unusual power delivery hasn't endeared it to our editors. But the third time might be the charm. The upcoming 2025 Mazda CX-50 Hybrid subs in a four-cylinder Toyota powertrain that we've seen in products like the Camry and RAV4. This might be the ship-righting moment that Mazda needs to keep its compact crossover competitive with hybrids from Honda, Kia, Hyundai, Ford and more.

Familiar powertrain in a new package

Given the companies' longtime partnership and Toyota's history with building hybrids, it's no surprise Mazda turned to the big T when it needed to electrify one of its most popular models. Three electric motors augment a 2.5-liter four-cylinder to produce a combined 219 horsepower — the same output as a RAV4 Hybrid. Both vehicles utilize a continuously variable automatic transmission (or CVT) and all-wheel drive.

The hybrid will join a duo of returning powertrains. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. Buyers looking for something a little spicier can check out the turbocharged four-cylinder, which churns out 227 hp and 310 lb-ft (increasing to 256 hp and 320 lb-ft with 93 octane).

Mazda isn't quoting acceleration times for the hybrid, but Edmunds achieved a 7.8-second run in the RAV4 Hybrid, and we expect a similar result from the CX-50 Hybrid. Of course, the fuel economy gains are more important than outright performance figures; while Mazda hasn't disclosed estimates for every EPA test, the automaker claims the CX-50 Hybrid will return 38 mpg in the combined city/highway cycle. That's 10 mpg better than the standard engine's combined result, which itself is up 1 mpg this year due to unspecified changes to the engine's internals.

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2025 Mazda CX-50 Hybrid profile

Should I upgrade to the CX-50 Hybrid?

The CX-50 Hybrid is positioned between the standard engine and the turbocharged motor in terms of price and performance. Its three available trim levels — Preferred, Premium and Premium Plus — appear to have the same level of content as the identically named versions of the CX-50 with the standard motor (Mazda refers to this as the 2.5 S). In other words, you shouldn't get additional features by going for the Hybrid, allowing for a true apples-to-apples comparison. The Preferred Hybrid is $2,320 more expensive than the Preferred 2.5 S, while the midlevel Premium commands a whopping $3,400 extra. The range-topping Premium Plus narrows the hybrid upgrade spread to $2,550.

Going by the combined fuel economy rating, and assuming a fuel price of $4/gallon and 10,000 miles driven per year, it'll be between six and seven years to recoup the additional cost of the Preferred and Premium Plus Hybrids in the form of fuel savings. For the Premium model, its higher price spread means you'll have to drive nine years to make the numbers make sense. Of course, that timespan shrinks as the price of gas increases. Hybrids are typically far more efficient in city driving than in combined and highway estimates; if you're a city dweller and the CX-50 Hybrid posts impressive ratings at lower speeds, that might tip the scales in its favor.

Of course, if you just want a quicker CX-50 without upgrading to the costly turbocharged unit, the Hybrid might be a nice middle ground with improved fuel economy to boot.

Edmunds logo
Meridian Edition
Premium Plus
2.5 S$31,720$33,070$35,420$38,920

Prices include a $1,420 destination and handling charge. Add an extra $45 for deliveries to Alaska.

Edmunds says

The 2025 Mazda CX-50 Hybrid introduces a compelling new powertrain to the CX-50 lineup, and it's one we've seen in many Toyota applications. If you're looking at it just to save money, however, know that it'll be a while before you make up the extra cost in fuel savings.