With the popularity of tiny crossover SUVs, there is no shortage of set up entries offering productive drivetrain configurations and a lot of utility. What this segment lacks, on the other hand, is powerful design and fantastic driving dynamics. For the most part, tiny SUVs are forgettable position-A-to-position-B shuttles.


  • Handsome sheetmetal
  • Around-luxury inside
  • Sporty dealing with

Really don’t Like

  • Clunky infotainment
  • No rear USB ports
  • Sluggish acceleration

The good news is for any individual in search of a compact SUV with far more visual pizzazz and a far more participating character, the 2020 Mazda CX-30 can fill that role for your motoring pleasure.

A genuine looker in and out

The Honda HR-V, Nissan Rogue Activity and Subaru Crosstrek really don’t rating high on the design scale, but the CX-30 does. Slotting in concerning the CX-three and CX-5 in Mazda’s SUV lineup, the most recent entry is desirable, donning the most up-to-date consider on the firm’s Kodo design language. Like the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback that were being new last yr, the CX-30 has flowing physique lines that browse clear, sporty and mature.

Also like the Mazda3, the CX-30 has an inside that warrants high praise for its basic, fashionable and intuitive layout. The luxury-amount elements are worthy of a shout-out as properly, and are definitely outstanding to see in this class, placing the environment in competing automobiles to shame. Main touchpoints are leather- or vinyl-wrapped, padded and stitched, and all plastic panels inside of are properly finished. The front seats have assist in all the suitable areas for extended drives and plenty of bolstering to hold onto passengers via turns.

Front-seat house is fine for older people, but the back again of the CX-30 is not what I would call spacious. A couple of normal-dimension older people in the back again will suit fine, with plenty of legroom, but 3 passengers across would be a squeeze. For cargo, there is 20.2 cubic feet in the trunk, which grows to forty five.2 cubic feet with the backseats folded down, revealing 1 of the Mazda’s weaknesses. The Honda (57.6), Nissan (53.three) and Subaru (55.three) all boast quite a little bit far more whole luggage volume.

Considerable tech

On the engineering front, all CX-30s get a Mazda Join infotainment program with an 8.8-inch middle show, but it is not a touchscreen. That implies controls tumble mainly on the knob on the middle console, flanked by shortcut buttons for my tester’s navigation program, twelve-speaker Bose audio setup and Bluetooth.

Mazda Join is not the best infotainment program to do the job via.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Not getting a touchscreen implies it is really trickier to successfully do the job via Mazda Join. Getting into navigation places is far more time-consuming, and placing radio presets is way far too difficult. Whilst the program switches concerning various menus in brief get, working it still desires to be simplified, and far more vivid graphics would not harm, possibly. The good news is, users have the choice of handing infotainment controls over to Apple CarPlay or Android Vehicle.

What’s an additional downer? There are only two USB ports and a twelve-volt outlet up front, with no energy points within easy get to of passengers in back again.

For safety, every CX-30 will come conventional with adaptive cruise regulate, ahead-collision warning with automatic crisis braking and lane-departure warning with lane-continue to keep help. My loaded Premium Bundle car or truck also added benefits from blind-location monitoring, rear cross-traffic inform and a head-up show.

Navigation, Bose audio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are conventional on the CX-30 Premium Bundle.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Mazda dynamics

Motivating all CX-30s is a 2.5-liter obviously aspirated I4 producing 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, related to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is conventional with all-wheel drive out there for all trim concentrations. On my all-wheel-drive Premium tester, the EPA estimates it will return twenty five miles for each gallon in the town and 32 mpg on the freeway. Throughout a 7 days of mostly town driving, I observed a respectable 26 mpg.

The Mazda’s energy figures are stout for the class, bettering the Honda (141 hp), Nissan (141 hp) and Subaru (152 hp). But off-the-line acceleration is sluggish with peak torque not out there until eventually even further up in the rev vary at 4,000 rpm. To assistance issues some on the small end, participating Activity manner unlocks peppier launches and allows the transmission dangle onto gears more time, permitting the motor operate up high where by it does its best do the job.

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

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Suspension tuning on the CX-30 is great, providing a compliant, silent and comfy journey for usual slogs all-around town, and composed manners when flinging the Mazda all-around on backroads. The steering is flippantly weighted, but responsive for sharp turn-in which is created better by the G-Vectoring Handle Furthermore program. This tech reduces motor torque to the front wheels a bit when the driver commences to dial in steering input. That masses up the front 18-inch Bridgestone Turanza EL four hundred tires for far more grip when getting into turns. I are not able to sense the program in motion, which is the position, but the benefits are outstanding — this crossover definitely feels planted via corners.

Taken as a entire, the drivetrain, suspension, G-Vectoring tech, steering reaction and robust brakes build a tiny SUV which is definitely enjoyable and entertaining to wheel all-around. And which is one thing you just are not able to say about the HR-V, Rogue Activity or Crosstrek, placing the CX-30 aside in an ever more rising segment.

How I would spec it

For the loaded all-wheel-drive CX-30 Premium Bundle pictured right here, you can expect to have to part with $31,025, like $1,100 for desired destination. That figure is not far too insane, but I am often hunting for strategies to be as frugal as doable and get the capabilities I benefit most. 

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

Jon Wong/Roadshow

In this Mazda’s circumstance, my ideal example is a Favored Bundle with all-wheel drive that commences at $28,700, netting me blind-location monitoring, heated front seats, upgraded Bose seem and satellite radio. Tacking on $300 for a Equipment Gray Metallic paint work and $275 for a wi-fi charging pad for an extra energy supply provides the selling price tag of my car or truck to $29,275.

The class athlete

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 starts off at $23,000, with all-wheel drive costing an extra $1,four hundred. It fees a bit far more than the $21,940 HR-V and $23,one hundred fifty five Crosstrek, with that last getting conventional all-wheel drive, but it does undercut the $24,335 Rogue Activity. Presented the decision concerning all of those people, it is really a no-brainer for me. Even with warts like a not-so-fantastic infotainment program, the CX-30 is the crystal clear winner for its appears, inside establish high quality and how enjoyment it is behind the wheel.