2023 Mazda CX-30
A few years ago, Mazda introduced a new small SUV that would eventually replace the CX-3. It offered more space on a larger footprint. In turn, the CX-30 is the second-best seller for the brand in this country.
It is no wonder. The CX-30 is based on the Mazda3, which also shares some of its DNA with the new CX-50. So far, Mazda has a winning formula that attracts customers looking for a smaller SUV that returns some driving fun for its owners.
It all starts with how it looks. Exterior-wise, the CX-30 follows the second-generation “KODO: Soul of Motion” design language with its signature grille and narrow headlamps. In the rear, there are a pair of taillights that are standard issue across the Mazda lineup, 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 2.5 S Carbon Edition tester included a set of black-finished 18-inch alloy wheels offsetting the Machine Gray paint job. 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 throughout are inviting. The red leather upholstery gives it a serious cool factor overall. 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 191-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel-drive. It offers good performance overall with some higher revs from the transmission at cruising speed. Fuel economy was as expected, as we observed an average of 30.8 MPG.
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.
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 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 2023 Mazda CX-30 starts at $22,950 is available in seven trim levels – including two turbocharged models. Our 2.5 S Carbon Edition AWD tester came with a sticker price of $30,665.
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, Toyota Corolla Cross, Ford Bronco Sport, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.
Now a familiar sight on our roads, the Mazda CX-30 continues to deliver on lot of promise for its intended customer. It continues to be the sportier offering in its class.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors