The Car Connection Mazda CX-30 Overview
The Mazda CX-30 is a small crossover that's based on the Mazda 3, and slots between the CX-5 and CX-3 crossovers in the lineup.
With the CX-30, Mazda has a model that's both sportier and more refined than its own CX-3 or versus most if not all of its competitors, which include the Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Venue, Kia Seltos, Ford Ecosport, and Chevrolet Trax.
The CX-30 was new for 2020, and while it supplements the CX-3 in the automaker's lineup for 2020 and 2021, it's unclear how long the CX-3 will stick around.
MORE: Read our 2021 Mazda CX-30 full review
The new Mazda CX-30
For 2021, the Mazda CX-30 as it was known for 2020 becomes badged the CX-30 2.5 S, while a new 2021 CX-30 2.5 Turbo model will be introduced late in the 2020 calendar year, subbing in a turbo-4 engine that makes up to 250 horsepower.
Based on the Mazda 3 hatchback, the Mazda CX-30 gets most of the same equipment with a taller ride height. The same 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 186 horsepower is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that's standard on all models. Front-wheel drive is standard on every CX-30, while all-wheel drive is available for every trim level. Only the base CX-30 gets 16-inch wheels, and 18-inch wheels are standard on most trims. The EPA rates most CX-30s at about 28 mpg combined, adding all-wheel drive drops that number slightly. Top versions of the CX-30 get a cylinder-shutdown feature that can deactivate up to two cylinders for more efficient cruising, although EPA tests don't reflect any meaningful gain so far.
The CX-30 is incrementally larger than the CX-3 and offers seats for up to five with 20.2 cubic feet of cargo room in the rear, behind the second row. The rear seats are more spacious for adults compared to the CX-3, and the CX-30's softer materials are more upscale.
Mazda's latest safety tech is bundled into most CX-30s, too. Every crossover is equipped with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. Blind-spot monitors are standard on some cars and a head-up display is standard on top trims.
An 8.8-inch infotainment display that uses a clickwheel controller is standard on all cars, and most Mazda CX-30s will be equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone software. Cloth upholstery is equipped on only the base car, while most CX-30s will get synthetic leather or real leather upholstery.
Its style may be what attracts many shoppers to the CX-30. The Mazda crossover follows a long line of good-looking and elegant cars made by the automaker, which skips overwrought angles and bends for more elegant curves in its body. The front predictably borrows much from the Mazda 3 hatch with thin chrome underneath the grille and headlights. The body sides have more cladding than the hatch and the rear's opening is wider compared to the CX-3, which makes the CX-30 more usable.