The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is available in four trim levels, including Base ($21,900), Select ($23,900), Select AWD ($25,300) Premium ($28,200), Premium AWD ($29,600), and Preferred ($26,200), Preferred AWD ($27,600). Our CX-30 was the Premium AWD edition.

The upscale design of the CX-30 is attractive, along with Mazda’s build-quality puts the CX-30 in a must-drive category before pulling the plug on what SUV to buy. Standard safety features abound, handling is poised and the ride is great.

All models come with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, with 186 horsepower, and six-speed automatic transmission. AWD is available on every trim level.

Similar to the CX-3 SUV, the CX-30 is more up-to-date which borrows styling, interior design and powertrain from the popular Mazda3 sedan and hatchback. Rivals include the Audi Q3, BMW X1, to name a couple. The Mazda CX-3’s offering of features ride and handling stands out making it fierce competition.
Other players in this knitch include the Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, Subaru Crosstek, Kia Soul.

As always, our test vehicle was the Premium level with plenty of amenities. Even at the entry-level version one can expect some premium features added to the already well-equipped standard versions. Those include Paddle shifters, power liftgate, roof rails, power moonroof and windshield-projected Active Driving Display. Automatic on/off LED headlights, Advanced Keyless Entry, Driver Attention Alert, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop/go function, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Smart Brake Support and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a few of the other goodies that come on the Select and above editions. AWD is another $1,400.

AWD option reduces the estimated mpg to 24/31 from 25/33, but that is still respectable.

The interior of the new CX-30 isn’t exceptional but comfortable and well crafted. While we would prefer having the infotainment display hidden, the CX-30’s is placed in the center of the dash and controlled by a rotary knob. We find this burdensome and experienced some frustration trying to tune in some favorite stations on the Sirius offering. The buttons for climate-control are on the dash panel. When opting for the Preferred edition CX-30, one can enjoy the 12-speaker audio system, with excellent Bose sound. Standard fare is 8 speakers.

Our Premium trim level comes with leather upholstery, along with other upgrades that move it into the Lexus UX category. There isn’t a lot of extra space in this smallish SUV, but for most drivers, it would probably be adequate. Legroom was adequate, although our Kia Soul-owner passengers couldn’t help but make comparisons to the generous interior of the Soul.
As with Mazda products, the dynamic driving performance is a plus, offering a very smooth, quiet ride.

As expected in most vehicles today, the CX-30 is equipped with a standard 8.8-inch screen, Mazda Connected Services-to lock/unlock remote start and monitor the vehicle through the MyMazda app. Bluetooth is standard as are two front USB inputs, and WIFI hotspot capability. In our test vehicle we had Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and Sirius XM satellite radio.

The CX-30 received a five-star safety rating from NHTSA, and was named by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety a Top Safety Pick.

The CX-30 comes equipped with adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning and automated emergency braking. Most drivers wouldn’t be aware of these safety features as they operate as needed. One has to become used to them to appreciate their worth. Again, our Premium version CX-30 had the optional head-up display and blind-spot monitoring.

This writer is a Mazda fan and appreciates all their offerings. The new CX-30 is right-sized for any driver and will be a promising competitor. Our press vehicle came in “Silver” but not your standard silver coloring. It was an attractive bluish-silver tone and showed off the CX-30 handsomely.


Pricing: as tested: $31,370 Premium AWD, 4-dr wagon, 5-pass, AWD
Engine: 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G, DOHC inline-4 aluminum block/head, direct fuel injection, 186 lb.ft torque, 186 hp.
Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL440, 215/55R18 95H M+S
Wheels: 18-inch aluminum alloy
Wheelbase: 104.5 in
Length: 173.0 in
Width: 70.7 in
Height: 61.7 in
Passenger volume: 94 ft3
Cargo volume: 20 ft3
Curb weight: 3391 lbs
Fuel economy: 28 mpg. combined 27/25/32
Tank: 12.7-13.5 gal.
Warranty: Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
No complimentary scheduled maintenance