Mazda has been on a role lately with the much loved CX-5, the stylish CX-9 and most recently the new Mazda3. Now Mazda has decided to add another crossover to its lineup, the 2020 CX-30. The CX-30 slots in between the CX-3 and the CX-5 as a more coupe-like subcompact crossover. It should have been called the CX-4, but that name was already taken by a vehicle sold in China.
The Mazda CX-30 is a rival to other small crossovers, like the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR. If you love the look of the latest Mazda3, you shouldn’t have any issues signing on the dotted line for the CX-30. It takes the design of the Mazda3 and lifts it up a little higher to be labeled as a crossover. The look is sleek and upscale, something that’s lacking with the HR-V and C-HR.
Our only gripes with the exterior are the massive amount of body cladding and the huge gap between the wheels and the body. It’s profile looks a little off.
Inside the CX-30 has an upscale interior with a minimalistic design that mimics the Mazda3. The interior is wrapped in high quality materials, which gives the interior a more premium feel than you might expect in this price range. At the top of the dash there’s an 8.8-inch screen for the infotainment system. The screen is positioned far from the driver, so to operate it you have to use a dial in the center console, which can be a bit frustrating to use.
The Mazda Connected Services lets you remotely unlock and unlock, start and monitor the CX-30 via the MyMazda app. In front of the driver, there’s a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster, which can be customized to show what info is important at the moment.
The CX-30 measures about five inches longer than the CX-3, with three of those extra inches going between the wheels. This gives the CX-30 slightly more interior space than the smaller CX-3. Rear seat passengers get 36.3-inches of legroom compared to 35-inches in the CX-3. Although the CX-30 is a bit bigger than the CX-3, space in the rear seat is a bit snug. We’d only try to put two adults back there instead of three, due to the tight shoulder space.
With the rear seats up the CX-30 has 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which is only marginally better than the CX-3 with its 17.8 cubic feet. It’s also basically the same space you’ll get in the Mazda3 hatchback, which has 20.1 cubic feet of cargo space.
Under the hood, there’s only one engine option, a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft. of torque, that’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine packs a nice punch off the line, which makes driving the CX-30 around town a breeze. Push it hard though and the engine runs out of power fast, but compared to its competition, the CX-30 is the sportier option.
This isn’t a surprise, but the CX-30 is fun to drive, just like the rest of the Mazda lineup. The steering is quick and the suspension is firm enough to make the CX-30 fun to drive once the road gets a bit twisty. While the steering is fast, it is a bit light so there isn’t much feedback, but we can easily forgive that considering how much more fun overall the CX-30 is to drive compared to many of its rivals.
The Mazda CX-30 is rated at 25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined with front-wheel drive or 24/31/26 mpg if you opt for all-wheel drive. The C-HR and HR-V are more fuel efficient, but both don’t have as much power under the hood as the CX-30.
Safety is a big priority since the CX-30 comes standard with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and auto high beams. That’s a big plus here, since the Honda HR-V doesn’t come with the driver assistance features until you step up to the pricier EX trim level.
The 2020 CX-30 comes in four trim levels, base, Select, Preferred and Premium. The base CX-30 starts at $21,900 for the base front-wheel drive version. If you want all-wheel drive, it’s a $1,400 option. The CX-30 comes standard with LED headlights, the 8.8-inch center screen, 16-inch alloy wheels, rain sensing wipers, a 7-inch digital display in the gauge cluster, bluetooth and an 8-speaker audio system. Our top of the line CX-30 Premium with all-wheel drive starts at $29,600.
At the end of the day, the CX-30 is now one of our favorite small crossovers. It’s stylish, classy and packed with features.