The 2022 Mazda CX-30 is a style-forward small crossover with an upscale feel. The CX-30 is a small crossover SUV that straddles the line between mainstream models such as the Hyundai Kona and more luxurious models such as the Volvo XC40. While not a large crossover, the CX-30 has an upscale feel matched by refined powertrains.
All-wheel drive is standard on every version of the CX-30 for 2022, and the automaker has tweaked the lineup accordingly. Most versions are slightly less expensive once you account for all-wheel drive.
The CX-30 is a fresh-faced companion to the CX-3, a model set for discontinuation. With its sloping roofline, the CX-30 follows the “coupe-SUV” look first started by the BMW X6, albeit with particularly good form. Inside and out, the CX-30 has an attractive, upscale look, even in somewhat modestly equipped base form.
In base form, the CX-30 offers above-average scoot for a small crossover thanks to its 186-hp 2.5-liter inline-4, which is teamed with a 6-speed automatic transmission. At around eight seconds to 60 mph, it’s not especially rapid, but few drivers will really need more grunt. Those who do will find it in the somewhat pricey 250-hp turbo-4, though that figure is achieved using premium fuel. Regular unleaded drops the CX-30’s power output to 227 hp.
The turbocharged engine option is noticeably peppier at lower engine speeds and when attempting to overtake slow-moving cars. Regardless of engine, the 6-speed automatic does an admirable job keeping the engine in its powerband and firing off quick shifts. Rivals may offer more gears, but there’s something to be said about a 6-speed automatic that just works well.
Regardless of power output, the CX-30 corners with more verve than rivals. Its steering offers up a good deal of heft and lots of feedback, which makes it an enthusiast’s delight. It may be taller and heavier than a like-size hatchback, but the CX-30 mostly masks its extra heft.
While not especially thirsty, the 2022 Mazda CX-30 trails some of its competitors when it comes to fuel economy. The more frugal all-wheel-drive version is rated by the EPA at 24 mpg city, 31 highway, 26 combined. The turbocharged engine can run on regular unleaded but performs better with pricer premium fuel. It’s rated at 22/30/25 mpg.
A good array of crash-avoidance tech is joined by impressive scores from the IIHS and NHTSA. We reach that score by adding up a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, five stars overall from the NHTSA, and standard automatic emergency braking. The CX-30 even includes adaptive cruise control and active lane control as standard fare, while blind-spot monitors are included on most trims.
The CX-30 is a small vehicle with an accordingly tight interior, though cargo space is well-utilized and the cabin has an upscale feel lacking inmost like-priced rivals. Standard features are good overall, with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control fitted to every trim. Shame that Mazda saddles these models with a clunky infotainment system that lacks touchscreen convenience.
It may be small and relatively inexpensive, but the 2022 Mazda CX-30 has an upmarket feel inside for its city-size footprint. While not especially spacious, the CX-30 furnishes better room than similarly-sized sedans and small hatchbacks. Comfortable front seats offer power adjustment for the driver on most trim levels plus good space for taller and broader-shouldered occupants. The rear seat is tight for more than short distances, but four or even five can squeeze aboard for a short jaunt to lunch. With 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seatbacks, the CX-30 can accommodate small luggage. Overall, however, what sets the CX-30 apart is its luxurious feel compared to class rivals.
The 2022 CX-30 starts at $23,425 with standard all-wheel drive, tons of driver-assistance and crash-avoidance features, an 8.8-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Even though pushbutton start is included, keyless entry requires stepping up to the next trim level. The Select trim costs $2,500 more for blind-spot monitors, synthetic leather seats, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
A sunroof and heated front seats are paired with a few other features for $3,000 price hike. Turbocharged CX-30s start at about $31,500 and come rather well-outfitted for the money, though shoppers can spend up for the Premium Plus version at $35,625 for adaptive headlights, a surround-view camera system, a heated steering wheel, and leather seats.
Mazda’s 2022 CX-30 remains what it always has been; a great handling SUV with killer looks and Mazda’s great reliability. It’s the smart small crossover that we’d want to be driving on a daily basis since it can put joy into any drive. Which one is right for you really comes down to what kind of driver you are. If you’re more concerned about fuel economy pick the base engine with its cost savings, but if you’re more power hungry choose the Turbo for the miles of smiles; regardless you can rest assured knowing you’ve picked a great small SUV.