Here it is in the flesh! These are the first real world photos of the CX-50! Based on the first photo this appears to be taken at a dealership somewhere. It could be in Alabama where the CX-50 is being produced. You can also see how it looks compared to the current CX-5 that's parked next to it.
Thank you @zoomzoom and @SkyActiv! I am not quite at the point of placing an order for one, I would really prefer to see/drive one first. But trying to get an idea of how long away that might be.
This would be a "temporary" replacement (by my standards) for our 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee that we've owned since new. We ultimately like having a midsize SUV and have loved this Jeep; however, I am a realist as to the long-term reliability of FCA/Jeep products, and want to trade this one in fairly soon. The issue is (I don't know how closely you follow Jeep), the new Jeep Grand Cherokee has been delayed for years; it was the same model from 2011-2021, and the new "2022" GC is just now starting to reach dealers. Frankly, despite our love for our current GC, I don't have the courage to buy a first year Jeep! So we're looking for something to tide us over for 2-3 years while the new GC gets a few model years under its belt.
I have been an admirer of Mazda for years. My sister had a 2004 3 sedan that I got to drive a fair amount, and it was, dollar for dollar, one of the best cars I've ever driven. Unfortunately, of course, there is no GC direct competitor in the Mazda stable right now (CX-9 is a tad bit larger and has a third row). So when I learned of the CX-50, and the fact that it's slightly larger than the CX-5, felt this might be a good interim option for us.
Despite the great feelings towards the '04 3, in 2017 I test drove a then current 3 sedan, and was left slightly underwhelmed. That experience is a good part of the reason I'd strongly prefer to drive the CX-50 before committing.