2023 Mazda CX-50 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Structure, road noise, and high fuel usage issues are among the top complaints from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is the first vehicle to be manufactured at the new Mazda Toyota manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Alabama. Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) is a $2.3 billion joint venture partnership between Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation.

A press release issued by Mazda on January 26, 2022, states that the plan is to produce 300,000 vehicles every year, half for Mazda and half for Toyota. These CX-50 crossover SUVs are being made specifically for the U.S. market.

Production began in January 2022 and the first SUVs came off the line mid-year. So far, the reviews aren’t shocking, but they aren’t all good. Criticism is varied.

Most Common Problems

Rattles, shoddy workmanship, road noise, heavy steering, and complaints that it produces a rough ride are some of the common problems owners of the new 2023 Mazda CX-50 are faced with.

While there are only 4 consumer complaints logged with the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as of October 2022, there are already 52 manufacturer communications. These include technical service bulletins (TSBs) and general advice to dealerships.

There are some harsh reviews on Edmunds as well as in some of the CX-50 forums. Comments on the Mazda CX-50 Facebook group are mixed.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Electrical System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Exterior Lighting
Lane Departure: Assist
Power Train

Structural Issues

Structure issues top the list of complaints by 2023 Mazda CX-50 owners to the NHTSA. Most relate to shoddy workmanship.

For instance, an Arizona owner complains that the hood is not adequately secured and so it wobbles at all speeds on the road. There is also a loud “clanging metal noise” that comes from the front area of the SUV.

An owner from Rhode Island complains that the fabric lining or insulation below the dashboard is coming out of the seam between the dash and pillars on both sides.

There are 10 manufacturer communications about structure. Examples include:

  • Some customers may report a rattle from the sunroof area.
  • Customers may complain about either rear fender liner (mudguard) hanging down because it is too short to fit into the fender trim.
  • Customers may report excess wind noise from the vehicle and that noise may be coming from the crossbars or that the sunroof will not open because it contacts a crossbar or the load on the cross bars.
  • Some vehicles may exhibit paint peeling on the front bumper.
  • Some customers will report that their fuel door was stuck closed and would not open to refuel the vehicle.

All follow through with instructions on how dealers must deal with these issues. But is this acceptable?

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Complaints About Rattles

Technically structure issues, rattles are more an irritation than a performance issue. But when you buy what the manufacturer claims is a “rugged and capable crossover SUV” that “offers superior driving dynamics and a beautiful design,” you don’t expect it to rattle.

A member of CX50 Forums highlights rattles around the sunroof and/or sunroof trim. There is a TSB for dealers if owners complain about this issue (see above).

Advice from this member is that you will have to demonstrate the rattle to your dealer because it doesn’t affect all CX-50s. He also says that there are two different rattles:

  1. A cross-brace rattle where the noise comes from the cross brace cover after the vehicle has been driven and the clips loosen over time.
  2. A side cover rattle where the noise comes from the side cover vibrating against the assembly due to poor retention of the cover clips.

The member of a more general Mazda Forum also complains about rattles. The issue applies to a CX-50 Premium Plus with a normally aspirated engine. The dashboard started to rattle after a few hundred miles. At first it was minor, but it got progressively more frequent and louder.

“It can best be described as a rapid buzz.” He was able to stop it by pushing down on the horizontal part of the dashboard below the central display.

“I took it to my dealer and they had it in their workshop for a total of 6 weeks to fix it, but without success. I was so fed up with it that I changed it for another CX-50 (identical model – different color).”

Taking sensible precautions, he test drove the new SUV “to ensure it was rattle free, and it was. I’ve now put 300 miles on this new vehicle and the identical rattle has started up again.”

Problems with the Brakes

Even though this complaint from an owner in Texas is related to shoddy workmanship, it is also a safety issue.

“I was driving my vehicle and a large plastic part fell from the upper footwell and became lodged under the brake pedal causing me to become unable to use the brakes. This is a major safety concern, and could have resulted in an accident.”

Other Problems

These include road noise, high fuel consumption, and complaints about the Mazda Connect App.

Road Noise & Rough Ride Issues

A fairly good 4-star review on Edmunds complains about road noise at highway speeds. It happens on some surface and is annoying. “It’s not constant, so it might just be the OEM tires on rougher surfaces. But definitely take it up to highway speeds on your test drive to make sure it’s something you can live with.

Another Edmunds review that gives only two out of five stars states: “Harsh ride and heavy steering. How is this intended for off-road use? This is one of the least comfortable cars I’ve ever driven. CX-5 is far from comfortable, and this is worse.”

Fuel Mileage & Mazda Connect App Issues

An Edmunds complaint about fuel mileage states that it has been “kind of disappointing. Combined average (for me, about 2/3 city and 1/3 highway) struggles to break 24 mpg. Not catastrophic, but definitely under the EPA estimate. May try to feed it premium gas next tank to see if that makes a difference.”

The same person says that the “Mazda Connect app is kind of awful. In theory, it should be helpful…but it doesn’t work consistently, and is slow as molasses even when it does work. If it were just telematics and marketing stuff, I wouldn’t care. But it’s the only way to use the remote start. Why couldn’t they have just put that function on the key fob?”

What to do if your 2023 Mazda CX-50: Your Lemon Rights

You might think that your Mazda CX-50 is a lemon, but you need a lemon law professional to confirm this for you. Often, when a SUV has recurring problems that affect the use and value of the vehicle, it is indeed a lemon.

To find out for sure, fill in our contact form or call us. The law says Mazda must pay the legal fees of lemon law cases. So, it’s not going to cost you a dime!

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Lisa

    I have a 2023 Mazda CX-50. Purchased in later spring 2022. I have noticed 3 issues with the car. The inside material of the back hatch door scratches easily. Honestly I think it’s peeling/eroding. The next issue the back side driver seat reclining button falls out. I asked Mazda to fix it. They have popped it in a few times. I’m certain the button will fall out again. The newest issue is my key is not working properly. If the key is in my purse the car doesn’t sense the key. Mazda told me to buy a new battery. I thought it was strange because I have a 2023. Did it anyway, it still isn’t unlocking my car unless it is out of my purse. I have noticed this also when trying to start up the engine . Anyone else having these issues?

  • KEn

    I currently own a 2023 CX50 Turbo Premium. I have had a constant vibration that can be felt at the steering wheel, gas pedal and the shift knob which is more noticeable at a the speed of 57-70mph other speed lighter vibration. 1st time took it to the dealership with the balance is half an oz off. but the vibration is still there. 2nd time and is currently in the shop. I have testing 2 loaner car; one is cx90 no vibration, then switched to my similar model 2023 cx 50 turbo and found no vibration at all on the same road conditions. The lead mechanic mentioned his team did a customer car repair sometime ago with a premature failure of drive axles.
    I am not sure if that my new car at 3950 miles now is having the same issue. I love the car but the vibration is killing me! I will update their finding soon (31/ Oct/ 2-23)

  • Cody B

    Not what I expected from mazda! Good looking car but having problems with the engine running right has been a nightmare just a couple months after purchase at only 3300 miles. The mazda techs are freaking terrible and don’t even know what it is and have to open a ticket with engineers.

  • Dave S

    Sunroof rattles when open.
    Poor gas mileage.
    Wind noise at speed on the highway.
    Driving in the rain resulted in water coming in from along the top left side of the dashboard, down the side of the wheel well and onto the floor.
    Sent pictures to the dealer and Mazda. No replies.
    Sold the car. Bought a Honda CR-V.

  • Mike R

    This is Mike R, I had my rear differential replaced at 900 miles.

  • Jorge P

    Translation: I have felt a metallic sound all the time in the front and it is very uncomfortable, especially in a new car with only 500 km.

    Original: He sentido un sonido metalico todo el tiempo en la parte delantera y es muy incomodo sobretodo en un automovil nuevo con tan solo 500 kms recorridos

  • Mike R

    Brand new from day one my gas gauge is stuck on Full. It actually dropped down to 3/4 and went back up to full. Dealer said it may adjust in time. I highly doubt it.

  • Mustapha S

    1- Rattle from the sunroof
    2- Mazda connect too slow
    3- Consumes too much gas

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