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Mazda’s new CX-50 improves on the highly regarded CX-5, but the rest of the market hasn’t exactly been sitting still.

HighLifeChannel November 4, 2022

All but the base CX-50 come with a 10.3-inch display that relies on a physical knob and buttons on the center console rather than the more popular touchscreen format. Because of that, Mazda is able to mount the display quite deep on the dash – the result is an attractive housing, but man oh man, I wish this were a touchscreen all the time.

The native operating system only accepts inputs from a physical knob and buttons. It reacts quickly to these commands, sure, but the menu structure is a mess. Say you want to stray from your usual preset satellite radio stations; rather than one, two, or even three inputs, it takes six. Programming destinations or tweaking the settings is similarly arduous.

Apple CarPlay adds another bewildering layer to things, because it accepts touch commands. I can’t begin to comprehend why Mazda would include touchscreen hardware that’s only usable via third-party software and not its own native OS, but here we are. And to make matters worse, the display is so far away that even using CarPlay’s touch commands is annoying at best. The 7.0-inch cluster display trails newer competition too, and that’s before taking into account its almost total lack of reconfigurability.


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