2020 Mazda CX-30
Choosing a small SUV is not as easy as you think. There are now many different kinds of niches in this segment. Nowadays, an SUV truly has to fit your lifestyle.
Mazda created the 2020 CX-30 is do exactly that. The idea behind the latest model in their lineup is to take the enthusiasm of the Mazda3 and expand it into a highly capable model.
It comes as no surprise that the CX-30 is actually developed from the Mazda3’s platform. While this is good news, we wanted to know if some of the magic from the Mazda3 has been transferred onto this new small SUV?
The design of the CX-30 follows the second-generation “KODO: Soul of Motion” design language with its signature grille and narrow headlamps. At the end are a pair of taillights that are inspired by the Mazda3, including the scalloping rear fascia design. In-between is a roofline that offers an extra pane glass on the C-pillar for a perception of extra vision. The lower half of the body is wrapped with a plastic cladding for protection.
Our tester had the Premium package that included a set of handsome 18-inch alloy wheels and LED adaptive headlamps. In all, it is a vehicle you expect from Mazda positioned onto an emerging class of SUVs.
Step inside into a very upscale cabin. Soft touch materials in a contrasting black/brown motif are inviting. The front seats offer plenty of bolstering, though allow for a narrow space between them. Rear seat room is better for children or average-size adults. Cargo space seemed smaller than the 20.2 cubic feet stated behind the rear seats. The “step down” loading may seem secure, but it was also a hassle when loading larger and heavier items.
Instrumentation is fully digital and offer some customization for information. The head-up display adds basic information while encouraging focus on the road. The new infotainment system is controlled by a large dial on the console, along with other buttons and knobs nearby. However, the shortened screen seemed too recessed into the dashboard for the sake of aesthetics. Most of the controls seems easy to use and logical.
Under the hood of the CX-30 is Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 186-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Our Premium tester added cylinder deactivation to this engine, which helped in ensuring better fuel economy, while maintaining solid performance. This engine is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel-drive.
There were moments where we felt a bit of lag on passing and on-ramp maneuvers. Sometimes, we felt some indecisiveness and some harder gear changes from the transmission. Fuel economy was as expected, as we observed an average of 28.8 MPG.
In all, this driveline is more than suitable for a vehicle in its class.
Ride quality was quite good. The suspension absorbed the worst bumps in the road and kept the CX-30 stable. Handling tended towards the softer side, as we found some roll and lean through the corners. Yet, the key word is “stable,” as it felt exactly fine under normal conditions.
We found the steering to be solid, exhibiting tighter turns and good on-center feel. Even though it is an electric power steering system, it feels quite responsive. Braking is very good with a powerful system and good pedal feel. The CX-30 did well in our stopping tests under normal, panic, and wet situations.
In terms of safety technology, the CX-30’s Premium package provides a high level of features designed to keep you safe. These features include Radar Cruise Control, Driver Attention Alert, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist – to name a few.
Pricing for the 2020 Mazda CX30 starts at $21,900. Our tester with the Premium Package came with a sticker price of $31,295.
The CX-30 may seem unique, but it has been put in a category that is growing in sales volume and customer interest. The newest Mazda is often cross-shopped with the Nissan Rogue Sport, Hyundai Kona, Jeep Compass, Subaru Crosstrek, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Buick Encore GX, Kia Seltos, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
For a small SUV, the Mazda CX-30 enters in the market with high aspirations and a lot of promise. It is a sportier offering in its class, but nicely executed for the niche customer it wants to attract.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors