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Not just any technology

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

With the acceptance of modest crossover SUVs, there is no lack of founded entries offering effective drivetrain configurations and loads of utility. What this phase lacks, having said that, is compelling type and fantastic driving dynamics. For the most part, modest SUVs are forgettable stage-A-to-stage-B shuttles.


  • Handsome sheetmetal
  • Around-luxurious interior
  • Sporty handling

Never Like

  • Clunky infotainment
  • No rear USB ports
  • Sluggish acceleration

Fortunately for any one in look for of a compact SUV with much more visible pizzazz and a much more participating character, the 2020 Mazda CX-thirty can fill that position for your motoring satisfaction.

A serious looker in and out

The Honda HR-V, Nissan Rogue Activity and Subaru Crosstrek really don’t rating higher on the design scale, but the CX-thirty does. Slotting in amongst the CX-three and CX-five in Mazda’s SUV lineup, the most recent entry is desirable, putting on the most recent just take on the company’s Kodo design language. Like the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback that have been new last year, the CX-thirty has flowing system lines that browse clean up, sporty and mature.

Also like the Mazda3, the CX-thirty has an interior that deserves higher praise for its straightforward, classy and intuitive format. The luxurious-level materials are worthy of a shout-out as very well, and are truly impressive to see in this class, putting the surroundings in competing vehicles to shame. Major touchpoints are leather-based- or vinyl-wrapped, padded and stitched, and all plastic panels within are properly concluded. The front seats have support in all the proper locations for lengthy drives and sufficient bolstering to hold on to passengers by means of turns.

Entrance-seat area is good for adults, but the again of the CX-thirty is not what I might simply call roomy. A few of typical-measurement adults in the again will match good, with sufficient legroom, but three passengers across would be a squeeze. For cargo, there is 20.two cubic feet in the trunk, which grows to forty five.two cubic feet with the backseats folded down, revealing a person of the Mazda’s weaknesses. The Honda (57.six), Nissan (53.three) and Subaru (55.three) all boast fairly a bit much more complete luggage volume.

Significant tech

On the technological innovation front, all CX-30s get a Mazda Link infotainment procedure with an 8.8-inch center display, but it is not a touchscreen. That means controls fall largely on the knob on the center console, flanked by shortcut buttons for my tester’s navigation procedure, twelve-speaker Bose audio setup and Bluetooth.

Mazda Link is not the best infotainment procedure to operate by means of.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Not acquiring a touchscreen means it truly is trickier to successfully operate by means of Mazda Link. Coming into navigation destinations is much more time-consuming, and environment radio presets is way way too complex. Although the procedure switches amongst distinct menus in shorter order, running it however requires to be simplified, and much more vivid graphics would not harm, either. Fortunately, users have the alternative of handing infotainment controls around to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

What is a further downer? There are only two USB ports and a twelve-volt outlet up front, with no electrical power points within easy arrive at of passengers in again.

For security, each individual CX-thirty comes common with adaptive cruise handle, forward-collision warning with computerized emergency braking and lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist. My loaded Top quality Offer car also advantages from blind-spot checking, rear cross-traffic notify and a head-up display.

Navigation, Bose audio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are common on the CX-thirty Top quality Offer.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Mazda dynamics

Motivating all CX-30s is a two.five-liter by natural means aspirated I4 creating 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, related to a smooth-shifting 6-speed computerized transmission. Entrance-wheel generate is common with all-wheel generate accessible for all trim stages. On my all-wheel-generate Top quality tester, the EPA estimates it will return 25 miles for every gallon in the metropolis and 32 mpg on the freeway. In the course of a week of mainly metropolis driving, I observed a respectable 26 mpg.

The Mazda’s electrical power 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 accessible until eventually additional up in the rev variety at 4,000 rpm. To assistance issues some on the low stop, participating Activity method unlocks peppier launches and lets the transmission hang on to gears lengthier, allowing the motor run up higher where by it does its best operate.

The CX-30’s motor is sluggish on the low stop.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Suspension tuning on the CX-thirty is great, offering a compliant, peaceful and comfy journey for normal slogs about city, and composed manners when flinging the Mazda about on backroads. The steering is lightly weighted, but responsive for sharp transform-in which is produced improved by the G-Vectoring Control Furthermore procedure. This tech reduces motor torque to the front wheels slightly when the driver starts to dial in steering enter. That loads up the front 18-inch Bridgestone Turanza EL 400 tires for much more grip when moving into turns. I can’t experience the procedure in action, which is the stage, but the outcomes are impressive — this crossover truly feels planted by means of corners.

Taken as a total, the drivetrain, suspension, G-Vectoring tech, steering response and powerful brakes generate a modest SUV which is truly fulfilling and entertaining to wheel about. And which is something you just can’t say about the HR-V, Rogue Activity or Crosstrek, environment the CX-thirty aside in an ever more increasing phase.

How I might spec it

For the loaded all-wheel-generate CX-thirty Top quality Offer pictured listed here, you’ll have to part with $31,025, such as $1,one hundred for desired destination. That determine is not way too insane, but I’m generally seeking for methods to be as frugal as probable and get the options I price most. 

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

Jon Wong/Roadshow

In this Mazda’s case, my ideal illustration is a Most well-liked Offer with all-wheel generate that starts at $28,seven-hundred, netting me blind-spot checking, heated front seats, upgraded Bose sound and satellite radio. Tacking on $three hundred for a Equipment Gray Metallic paint career and $275 for a wi-fi charging pad for an added electrical power supply brings the rate tag of my car to $29,275.

The class athlete

The 2020 Mazda CX-thirty commences at $23,000, with all-wheel generate costing an added $1,400. It prices slightly much more than the $21,940 HR-V and $23,a hundred and fifty five Crosstrek, with that last acquiring common all-wheel generate, but it does undercut the $24,335 Rogue Activity. Provided the selection amongst all of individuals, it truly is a no-brainer for me. Even with warts like a not-so-fantastic infotainment procedure, the CX-thirty is the obvious winner for its seems to be, interior construct excellent and how fun it is powering the wheel.