2020 Mazda CX-30 review: A fancy and fun small SUV

Victoria D. Doty

With the attractiveness of smaller crossover SUVs, there’s no lack of founded entries featuring effective drivetrain configurations and tons of utility. What this phase lacks, even so, is powerful design and style and good driving dynamics. For the most component, smaller SUVs are forgettable position-A-to-position-B shuttles. Like Handsome sheetmetal In […]

With the attractiveness of smaller crossover SUVs, there’s no lack of founded entries featuring effective drivetrain configurations and tons of utility. What this phase lacks, even so, is powerful design and style and good driving dynamics. For the most component, smaller SUVs are forgettable position-A-to-position-B shuttles.


  • Handsome sheetmetal
  • In the vicinity of-luxury inside
  • Sporty dealing with

Really don’t Like

  • Clunky infotainment
  • No rear USB ports
  • Sluggish acceleration

Luckily for any one in search of a compact SUV with a lot more visual pizzazz and a a lot more participating character, the 2020 Mazda CX-30 can fill that part for your motoring pleasure.

A genuine looker in and out

The Honda HR-V, Nissan Rogue Activity and Subaru Crosstrek you should not rating large on the design scale, but the CX-30 does. Slotting in involving the CX-3 and CX-five in Mazda’s SUV lineup, the most recent entry is interesting, sporting the most current choose on the firm’s Kodo design language. Like the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback that had been new very last calendar year, the CX-30 has flowing system lines that browse clean, sporty and mature.

Also like the Mazda3, the CX-30 has an inside that warrants large praise for its easy, stylish and intuitive structure. The luxury-amount supplies are worthy of a shout-out as properly, and are definitely remarkable to see in this course, placing the surroundings in competing vehicles to disgrace. Big touchpoints are leather-based- or vinyl-wrapped, padded and stitched, and all plastic panels within are nicely concluded. The front seats have guidance in all the right spots for very long drives and more than enough bolstering to maintain on to travellers by means of turns.

Entrance-seat area is fine for adults, but the back again of the CX-30 is not what I might call spacious. A couple of normal-measurement adults in the back again will in good shape fine, with more than enough legroom, but 3 travellers across would be a squeeze. For cargo, there’s twenty.2 cubic feet in the trunk, which grows to 45.2 cubic feet with the backseats folded down, revealing a person of the Mazda’s weaknesses. The Honda (fifty seven.6), Nissan (53.3) and Subaru (fifty five.3) all boast quite a bit a lot more complete luggage volume.

Significant tech

On the engineering front, all CX-30s get a Mazda Link infotainment procedure with an 8.8-inch center screen, but it is not a touchscreen. That implies controls slide primarily on the knob on the center console, flanked by shortcut buttons for my tester’s navigation procedure, twelve-speaker Bose audio set up and Bluetooth.

Mazda Link is not the simplest infotainment procedure to do the job by means of.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Not possessing a touchscreen implies it truly is trickier to proficiently do the job by means of Mazda Link. Moving into navigation places is a lot more time-consuming, and location radio presets is way too complex. Whilst the procedure switches involving different menus in shorter buy, working it however requires to be simplified, and a lot more vivid graphics wouldn’t damage, both. Luckily, buyers have the solution of handing infotainment controls around to Apple CarPlay or Android Car.

What’s a different downer? There are only two USB ports and a twelve-volt outlet up front, with no electricity details in just easy attain of travellers in back again.

For security, every single CX-30 arrives regular with adaptive cruise management, ahead-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning with lane-retain help. My loaded Quality Bundle motor vehicle also rewards from blind-spot checking, rear cross-site visitors inform and a head-up screen.

Navigation, Bose audio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Car are regular on the CX-30 Quality Bundle.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Mazda dynamics

Motivating all CX-30s is a 2.five-liter naturally aspirated I4 building 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, related to a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission. Entrance-wheel travel is regular with all-wheel travel accessible for all trim stages. On my all-wheel-travel Quality tester, the EPA estimates it’ll return twenty five miles for each gallon in the metropolis and 32 mpg on the freeway. All through a 7 days of largely metropolis driving, I noticed a respectable 26 mpg.

The Mazda’s electricity figures are stout for the course, bettering the Honda (141 hp), Nissan (141 hp) and Subaru (152 hp). But off-the-line acceleration is sluggish with peak torque not accessible right up until additional up in the rev selection at 4,000 rpm. To support matters some on the small close, participating Activity method unlocks peppier launches and lets the transmission hang on to gears more time, allowing the motor function up large in which it does its most effective do the job.

The CX-30’s motor is sluggish on the small close.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Suspension tuning on the CX-30 is great, delivering a compliant, quiet and cozy experience for usual slogs all-around city, and composed manners when flinging the Mazda all-around on backroads. The steering is flippantly weighted, but responsive for sharp flip-in that’s manufactured much better by the G-Vectoring Command Furthermore procedure. This tech lessens motor torque to the front wheels marginally when the driver begins to dial in steering enter. That loads up the front 18-inch Bridgestone Turanza EL 400 tires for a lot more grip when getting into turns. I are unable to truly feel the procedure in motion, which is the position, but the benefits are remarkable — this crossover definitely feels planted by means of corners.

Taken as a complete, the drivetrain, suspension, G-Vectoring tech, steering response and solid brakes produce a smaller SUV that’s definitely enjoyable and entertaining to wheel all-around. And that’s a thing you just are unable to say about the HR-V, Rogue Activity or Crosstrek, location the CX-30 aside in an ever more growing phase.

How I might spec it

For the loaded all-wheel-travel CX-30 Quality Bundle pictured right here, you are going to have to component with $31,025, together with $one,100 for place. That determine is not too crazy, but I’m generally wanting for techniques to be as frugal as possible and get the options I value most. 

A $31,025 rate tag for a loaded CX-30 is on the steep aspect.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

In this Mazda’s circumstance, my excellent example is a Favored Bundle with all-wheel travel that begins at $28,seven-hundred, netting me blind-spot checking, heated front seats, upgraded Bose seem and satellite radio. Tacking on $three hundred for a Machine Gray Metallic paint task and $275 for a wireless charging pad for an additional electricity supply delivers the rate tag of my motor vehicle to $29,275.

The course athlete

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 starts off at $23,000, with all-wheel travel costing an additional $one,400. It prices marginally a lot more than the $21,940 HR-V and $23,one hundred fifty five Crosstrek, with that very last possessing regular all-wheel travel, but it does undercut the $24,335 Rogue Activity. Given the preference involving all of all those, it truly is a no-brainer for me. Even with warts like a not-so-good infotainment procedure, the CX-30 is the distinct winner for its looks, inside create high quality and how pleasurable it is driving the wheel.

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