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

With the recognition of compact crossover SUVs, there is no lack of recognized entries presenting efficient drivetrain configurations and tons of utility. What this phase lacks, nonetheless, is compelling design and good driving dynamics. For the most aspect, compact SUVs are forgettable position-A-to-position-B shuttles.


  • Handsome sheetmetal
  • Close to-luxurious inside
  • Sporty managing

Don’t Like

  • Clunky infotainment
  • No rear USB ports
  • Sluggish acceleration

The good news is for everyone in lookup of a compact SUV with more visible pizzazz and a more engaging character, the 2020 Mazda CX-thirty can fill that role for your motoring enjoyment.

A real looker in and out

The Honda HR-V, Nissan Rogue Activity and Subaru Crosstrek you should not rating significant on the style scale, but the CX-thirty does. Slotting in amongst the CX-3 and CX-5 in Mazda’s SUV lineup, the newest entry is interesting, carrying the latest just take on the firm’s Kodo style language. Like the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback that were new past 12 months, the CX-thirty has flowing system strains that examine clean, sporty and mature.

Also like the Mazda3, the CX-thirty has an inside that deserves significant praise for its easy, stylish and intuitive layout. The luxurious-degree elements deserve a shout-out as nicely, and are truly remarkable to see in this class, putting the surroundings in competing autos to disgrace. Major touchpoints are leather- or vinyl-wrapped, padded and stitched, and all plastic panels within are nicely completed. The entrance seats have assistance in all the suitable destinations for lengthy drives and sufficient bolstering to keep on to passengers via turns.

Entrance-seat space is fine for grownups, but the back again of the CX-thirty isn’t really what I might simply call spacious. A couple of ordinary-dimensions grownups in the back again will suit fine, with sufficient legroom, but a few passengers across would be a squeeze. For cargo, there is twenty.two cubic toes in the trunk, which grows to forty five.two cubic toes with the backseats folded down, revealing a person of the Mazda’s weaknesses. The Honda (57.6), Nissan (fifty three.3) and Subaru (fifty five.3) all boast rather a little bit more complete luggage volume.

Substantial tech

On the know-how entrance, all CX-30s get a Mazda Connect infotainment program with an eight.eight-inch heart exhibit, but it isn’t really a touchscreen. That implies controls tumble primarily on the knob on the heart console, flanked by shortcut buttons for my tester’s navigation program, 12-speaker Bose audio set up and Bluetooth.

Mazda Connect isn’t really the best infotainment program to do the job via.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Not getting a touchscreen implies it really is trickier to proficiently do the job via Mazda Connect. Coming into navigation destinations is more time-consuming, and placing radio presets is way far too difficult. When the program switches amongst distinctive menus in small get, operating it still requires to be simplified, and more lively graphics would not harm, either. The good news is, consumers have the choice of handing infotainment controls above to Apple CarPlay or Android Vehicle.

What’s another downer? There are only two USB ports and a 12-volt outlet up entrance, with no electrical power details within effortless achieve of passengers in back again.

For security, each CX-thirty arrives typical with adaptive cruise management, forward-collision warning with automatic crisis braking and lane-departure warning with lane-continue to keep support. My loaded High quality Bundle automobile also advantages from blind-location monitoring, rear cross-targeted visitors alert and a head-up exhibit.

Navigation, Bose audio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are typical on the CX-thirty High quality Bundle.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Mazda dynamics

Motivating all CX-30s is a two.5-liter obviously aspirated I4 creating 186 horsepower and 186 pound-toes of torque, related to a easy-shifting six-velocity automatic transmission. Entrance-wheel push is typical with all-wheel push out there for all trim levels. On my all-wheel-push High quality tester, the EPA estimates it’s going to return twenty five miles for each gallon in the town and 32 mpg on the highway. All through a week of generally town 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 out there until eventually even more up in the rev vary at four,000 rpm. To assistance issues some on the minimal close, engaging Activity manner unlocks peppier launches and allows the transmission cling on to gears extended, allowing the motor run up significant where by it does its best do the job.

The CX-30’s motor is sluggish on the minimal close.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Suspension tuning on the CX-thirty is fantastic, delivering a compliant, silent and comfortable ride for usual slogs all around town, and composed manners when flinging the Mazda all around on backroads. The steering is flippantly weighted, but responsive for sharp transform-in which is created much better by the G-Vectoring Regulate As well as program. This tech cuts down motor torque to the entrance wheels somewhat when the driver begins to dial in steering input. That masses up the entrance 18-inch Bridgestone Turanza EL 400 tires for more grip when coming into turns. I won’t be able to come to feel the program in motion, which is the position, but the effects are remarkable — this crossover truly feels planted via corners.

Taken as a total, the drivetrain, suspension, G-Vectoring tech, steering reaction and potent brakes create a compact SUV which is truly gratifying and entertaining to wheel all around. And which is one thing you just won’t be able to say about the HR-V, Rogue Activity or Crosstrek, placing the CX-thirty apart in an progressively developing phase.

How I might spec it

For the loaded all-wheel-push CX-thirty High quality Bundle pictured right here, you are going to have to aspect with $31,025, like $one,one hundred for vacation spot. That figure isn’t really far too insane, but I am normally looking for approaches to be as frugal as probable and get the functions 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 circumstance, my excellent case in point is a Most popular Bundle with all-wheel push that begins at $28,seven-hundred, netting me blind-location monitoring, heated entrance seats, upgraded Bose audio and satellite radio. Tacking on $three hundred for a Equipment Grey Metallic paint career and $275 for a wireless charging pad for an extra electrical power resource delivers the rate tag of my automobile to $29,275.

The class athlete

The 2020 Mazda CX-thirty begins at $23,000, with all-wheel push costing an extra $one,400. It charges somewhat more than the $21,940 HR-V and $23,a hundred and fifty five Crosstrek, with that past getting typical all-wheel push, but it does undercut the $24,335 Rogue Activity. Specified the choice amongst all of individuals, it really is a no-brainer for me. Even with warts like a not-so-good infotainment program, the CX-thirty is the apparent winner for its appears, inside establish high-quality and how entertaining it is behind the wheel.