2020 Mazda CX 30 Soul Red Driving Front Three Quarter 2

2020 Mazda CX-30 Road Test and Review

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is an all-new small crossover slotting between the subcompact CX-3 and compact CX-5. It highlights the latest evolution of Mazda’s design language with the proportions of an SUV and the flowing lines of a coupe. This more elegant design is a refreshing change from the current crop of crossovers that boast rough and rugged designs more at home off-road than on city streets. That elegant design is complemented by a luxurious and comfortable interior that features premium materials throughout along with a fully featured infotainment system. In keeping with Mazda’s reputation for building cars for people who enjoy the driving experience, beneath its elegant design is a powerful 2.5-liter engine. The Mazda CX-30 offers a combination of performance, utility, and elegance usually reserved for luxury cars. Here’s a closer look at the all-new 2020 Mazda CX-30 so you can decide if it’s the right crossover for you.

  1. Four Well-Equipped Trim Levels
  2. Quiet and Powerful Engine
  3. Fuel Economy That's Easy on Your Budget
  4. Responsive, With a Smooth Ride
  5. A Beautiful Interior at Every Trim Level
  6. Advanced Safety Features, Even on the Base Trim
  7. Infotainment With a Large 8.8-inch Screen
  8. Room for Cargo
  9. Final Thoughts
Four Well-Equipped Trim Levels

Four Well-Equipped Trim Levels

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is available in a range of four well-equipped trims. Each one features the same engine and is available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, which adds an additional $1,400 to the price. The base CX-30 starts at $21,900 with standard features including an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, two USB ports, cruise control, and cloth seats. The Select starts at $23,900 and adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and leatherette upholstery. The Preferred comes in at $26,200 with an eight-way power driver’s seat, Bose audio, and heated front seats. At the top of the CX-30 lineup is the Premium, with pricing from $28,200. Its standard features include leather upholstery, a power liftgate, a power sliding-glass moonroof, paddle shifters, an active driving display, and adaptive front lighting. Even with the most well-equipped CX-30, pricing is kept below $30,000, making it an attainable vehicle.

Quiet and Powerful Engine

Quiet and Powerful Engine

Power for the 2020 Mazda CX-30 comes from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s a responsive engine that effortlessly brings the CX-30 up to highway speeds. Once there, a light touch on the accelerator is all that’s required for extra power to pass slow-moving vehicles. The engine provides all the power you need right when you need it without becoming harsh or aggressive. The CX-30 is engaging and fun to drive yet maintains something of a luxury-car demeanor. That sense of luxury is enhanced by a smooth, well-timed transmission. It’s never harsh, even under hard acceleration, delivering power evenly and quietly so as not to disturb passengers. The powertrain in the CX-30 delivers balanced and responsive power that makes driving fun and stress-free.

Fuel Economy That's Easy on Your Budget

Fuel Economy That's Easy on Your Budget

The CX-30 is a sporty crossover, but still posts good fuel economy that makes it easy to use as a commuter car or for weekend road trip adventures. Equipped with front-wheel drive, it gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined. Numbers drop slightly with all-wheel drive: Most of the all-wheel drive lineup gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. The Premium trim with all-wheel drive does better with 25 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined. That’s very nearly the same fuel economy as front-wheel drive models, which makes the CX-30 a great choice for those who need the extra capability of all-wheel drive but still want good fuel economy.

Responsive, With a Smooth Ride

Responsive, With a Smooth Ride

A powerful engine is only part of the picture when it comes to designing a vehicle for people who like to drive. It also needs to handle well, and the CX-30 delivers with sharp, responsive steering. It takes only minor driver inputs to manage the CX-30, making driving an effortless and relaxing experience. There’s minimal body roll even when you're taking tight turns at high speeds, which means the CX-30 feels more like a sporty sedan than a crossover. Passengers also benefit from this crisp handling. There’s minimal bounce and sway over the bumps, and the suspension does a good job of evening out rougher road surfaces. Mazda’s focus on passenger comfort also included minimizing noise and vibration. Regardless of what’s outside the CX-30, inside the ride remains quiet and relaxing, with a minimal amount of exterior noise intruding into the cabin.

A Beautiful Interior at Every Trim Level

A Beautiful Interior at Every Trim Level

Mazda isn’t a luxury brand — but looking at its interiors, you might think otherwise. The CX-30 is no exception, with a beautifully appointed interior that seats five passengers. It has comfortable sport seats that are supportive without being stiff, and it offers plenty of room for even larger passengers. As a compact choice, rear seating is tight for three adults, but two have ample space. Standard cloth seats are replaced by leatherette with leather on the steering wheel and shift knob on the Select model, along with rear privacy glass, dual-zone automatic climate control, and rear air conditioning vents. The Preferred adds an eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar, driver’s seat memory, and heated front seats. At the top of the CX-30 lineup, the Premium offers leather seating surfaces and a power moonroof. At every trim level, the CX-30 is comfortable and well-equipped.

Advanced Safety Features, Even on the Base Trim

Advanced Safety Features, Even on the Base Trim

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 has not yet been crash-tested by either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although there are no crash-test results, the CX-30 includes a wide range of standard safety features. Every CX-30 includes a driver attention alert, smart brake support, a lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. Blind-spot monitoring with a rear cross-traffic alert is also standard on all but the base trim of the CX-30. In addition, the CX-30 includes multiple airbags, dynamic stability control with traction control, seatbelt pretensioners, high beam control, and tire pressure monitoring. Rather than including only a few features on base trims, Mazda takes the opposite approach and packs in most safety technology from the start. There’s no real need to move up a trim level simply to ensure you and your loved ones have a safer ride.

Infotainment With a Large 8.8-inch Screen

Infotainment With a Large 8.8-inch Screen

Base infotainment for the CX-30 includes Mazda Connect with a large 8.8-inch screen mounted atop the center of the dashboard. It’s angled toward the driver, which makes it easier to view at a glance. Rather than a touchscreen, it’s a display screen only, with control of the system coming either through steering-wheel controls or what Mazda calls its multi-function commander control. This is a large rotary dial located on the center console along with four buttons for commonly used functions. Those used to a touchscreen will find it takes a little time to get used to this setup. The base model includes HD radio, AM/FM, Pandora, and an eight-speaker audio system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto become standard beginning with the Select trim, while the Preferred also has a 12-speaker Bose audio system and SiriusXM. It’s a fully featured system despite the absence of smartphone connectivity for the base model.

Room for Cargo

Room for Cargo

This is a compact crossover, so it doesn’t have the expansive cargo capacity found in large SUVs. It offers more of a just-right cargo capacity for those who occasionally need extra room, but who don’t have it at the top of their priority lists. There’s a total of 20.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats, with a low load floor that makes loading heavy items easier. It also has a surprisingly wide rear hatchback opening, so bigger and bulkier items are more likely to be accommodated. The rear seat split-folds 60/40 to make room for more cargo or to fit longer items that wouldn’t otherwise fit. Available roof rails further increase its cargo versatility. The 2020 Mazda CX-30 offers compact dimensions ideal for more urban environments while still offering the room to carry extra cargo when the need arises.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is a welcome new compact crossover entry. It provides a more spacious interior with a more modern design than the CX-3, yet smaller dimensions than the CX-5 so it’s easier to manage in city driving. There is lots of competition in this segment, but the driving dynamics and upscale interior of the CX-30 are hard to come by unless you’re willing to move to a significantly higher price point. The availability of all-wheel drive on every model, rather than limiting it to just top trim levels, makes it easier to fit into the budget as does including most advanced safety on the base model. Those looking for a compact crossover with style, features, and an engaging driving experience would do well to take the all-new 2020 Mazda CX-30 for a test drive.