The new, and curiously named CX-30, is a Mazda SUV that fits in between the small CX-3 (subcompact) and the CX-5. Why is it not called CX-4 instead? Mazda answered our question: It’s a complicated story. We like the look of it, regardless of its name. Mazda’s designers gave the CX-30 a larger, more forward-canted rear view and thicker black-plastic body cladding in order to distinguish it from other crossovers. The CX-30 is equipped with remarkable technology in connectivity and driver-assistance. The Mazda 3’s responsive and perky engine is also featured in the CX-30, giving it that Mazda enthusiast appeal.
What’s new for 2020?
Mazda’s CX-30 model is a new model, but shares many characteristics with other Mazda vehicles.
Pricing and Which One To Buy
The Select trim is our choice, since it offers more features at a lower price. The Select includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as well as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alarm. It also has a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel. Keyless entry is available. The 2.5-liter engine is standard in all trims. All are also available with all-wheel drive for an additional $1400.
Engine, Transmission, & Performance
All CX-30s come with a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine that produces 186 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is available. Although it selects gears based on driving conditions, it can occasionally stumble when shifting. The Mazda 3 hatchback is a favorite, but the CX-30 will be just as fun, agile, and fun to drive. The CX-30’s smooth steering and fluid body movements make it an enjoyable vehicle to drive on twisty roads and provides a feeling of stability while cruising. The CX-30 reached 60 mph in just 8.1 seconds on our test track. This was slower than the turbocharged Hyundai Kona, but faster than the other SUVs, such as the Nissan Rogue Sport or the Subaru Crosstrek.
Fuel Economy and Real World MPG
The fuel-economy estimates for front-wheel-drive CX-30 models are 25 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg together from the EPA. All-wheel drive reduces these estimates to 24 mpg in the city, 31 mpg and 26 mpg respectively. Our 200-mile highway fuel economy test route saw our premium all-wheel-drive CX-30 Premium test car achieve a perfect match to its EPA rating, which is 31 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, & Cargo
The interior of the 2020 CX-30 is handsome and well-crafted. It’s a shared feature with the Mazda 3 which we love. The infotainment screen is located in the middle of the dashboard. It can be controlled via a rotating knob on the console. A row of climate control buttons separates the lower and upper dash panels. You can select between an 8- or 12-speaker system, and you can also upgrade to heated front seats. The Premium trim, which is the highest-spec, adds leather upholstery and a power-operated retractable rear liftgate. This puts the CX-30 in direct competition with other luxury-brand offerings like the Lexus UX or the Mini Countryman. The CX-30 doesn’t have the greatest cargo capacity, but it can carry six suitcases behind the rear seats, and 16 total when the rear seats are folded.
Infotainment & Connectivity
The standard CX-30 features a 8.8-inch display and Mazda Connected Services. This allows owners to lock and unlock their vehicles, remotely start them, and monitor them through the MyMazda App. Standard Bluetooth, two front USB inputs and Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities are all available on the CX-30. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, SiriusXM satellite radio and SiriusXM satellite audio are some of the features available.