Over the past week, I took my CX50 Premium Plus in AWD out to Colorado from Nashville to see how she could brave the elements. Some results came back good, others not. I wanted to see how the CX50 did vs my Cruze Premier I took on the same trip last year. This is more of a review than anything.
1. The CX50 has a (mostly) satisfying ride. My trip took me on back roads and in the city, but mostly on the highway. While I can't say the ride is buttery smooth the same way it was with my Cruze (with non-existent ground clearance), it took corners better than I thought, and was mostly smooth on the highways. Unless the quality of the road is questionable, then the suspension will make you feel it. At some point on 70, it felt like a jittery dryer. But other times, I couldn't tell how fast I was going, it was smooth.
2. This car is not built for cold weather, That sort of became apparent, and quick, driving on 64 in Illinois. From the automatic folding mirrors not working correctly in anything below 15 degrees, to the defroster unable to keep frost from forming on the windshield with wipers going, to a overly sensitive tire pressure system that wouldn't stop nagging for 500 miles on a psi of 32, this car is definitely built for the southeast or the southwest where a snowflake is rare. Like the Nissan Rogue, certain safety systems are disabled under cold weather temporarily.
Maybe on the eventual refresh, Mazda can get the defroster to work on the entire windshield without the interior becoming unbearably hot. That wasn't an issue for the Cruze, which had a bigger windshield.
3. Let's mention the small cup holders. It's not a deal breaker, its an itty bitty nitpick that is more of a design flaw. I quickly came to the realization a fairly sized Big Gulp required the center console become a cup holder. The cup holders might suffice for a 16-ounce soda bottle or small to medium coffee, but being right up by the A/C controls The little things that don't matter when you buy a car, but matter when you need enough caffeine to get through 9 hours of driving. Safe to say, those XXL fountain drinks fit in my Cruze's holders just fine.
There's room for improvement in a lot of areas (mostly cabin and sensor designs), but its also the first generation so there are bugs to go around. A few nuisances I never had with my Chevy, Best of all, I got through Southern Illinois to Tennessee without one fuel up, barely at 1/4 a tank at 23.7 mugs.