Driving verve ranks high on our list of priorities and the 2024 Mazda CX-30 is a small SUV that easily satisfies our desire for fun-to-drive transportation. The CX-30 is based on the Mazda 3 compact car, which explains its athleticism and its class-above cabin furnishings—both of which set it apart from rivals such as the Subaru Crosstrek and the Volkswagen Taos. With the entry-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder, the CX-30 can feel a bit sluggish, but if you’re so inclined, Mazda offers a more powerful—and more expensive—256-hp turbocharged version. All-wheel drive is standard with either engine; both come with a six-speed automatic transmission. The higher-end trims offer near-luxury accommodations inside, which make the CX-30 a more luxurious option in the subcompact crossover segment. You could even consider it as a cheaper alternative to premium-branded models such as the Audi Q3 or the BMW X1.
What’s New for 2024?
A Carbon Turbo trim joins the lineup for 2024 and wears a cool Zircon Sand paint job, black-painted wheels, and Terracotta-colored leather upholstery. As the name suggests, the Carbon Turbo comes only with the optional 256-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Turbo Premium Plus
While that optional 256-hp turbocharged engine is alluring, it unfortunately only comes on the most expensive trims. We think most people will find the standard offering fine, so we’d recommend that those buyers stick with the Select trim. The Select includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and keyless entry. All nonturbo trim levels come with the same 191-hp 2.5-liter engine, and all-wheel drive is standard across the lineup.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The CX-30’s standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower. This engine is paired with a six-speed automatic which chooses gears wisely based on driving conditions. A turbocharged 2.5-liter engine is optional and provides 256 horsepower. If you’re a fan of the Mazda 3 hatchback, which we are, you’ll find the CX-30 just as nimble, athletic, and fun to drive. Its crisp steering and fluid body movements make it a pleasure to pilot on a twisty road and provide a sense of stability when cruising. At our test track, the CX-30 dawdled to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, slower than rivals such as the turbocharged Kona but much quicker than other non-turbocharged SUVs such as the Kia Niro and the Subaru Crosstrek. A CX-30 with the optional turbocharged engine delivered substantially quicker acceleration times and managed a 5.8-second zero-to-60-mph time.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The non-turbo CX-30 receives fuel-economy estimates of 26 city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined. For CX-30 with the turbocharged engine, those EPA estimates change to 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, our CX-30 Premium test vehicle managed to exactly match its EPA rating of 31 mpg. For more information about the CX-30’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The CX-30 has a handsome, well-crafted interior; it’s shared with that of the Mazda 3, which we love. An infotainment display sprouts from the center of the dashboard and is controlled by a rotary knob on the center console; there is a row of climate-control buttons dividing the upper and lower dash panels. Buyers can choose between an eight- or 12-speaker audio system and can upgrade to available heated front seats. Going with the top-spec Premium trim adds leather upholstery, a power-operated rear liftgate, and other luxury items that put the CX-30 in contention with higher-end brands’ offerings such as the Lexus UX and the Mini Countryman. As far as cargo-carrying capability goes, the CX-30 isn’t the most capacious SUV you can buy, but we did fit six carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats and 16 in total with the rear seats folded.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The CX-30 comes with a standard 8.8-inch screen and Mazda Connected Services, which allows owners to lock and unlock, remote start, and monitor their vehicle through the MyMazda app. The CX-30 also is equipped with standard Bluetooth, two front USB inputs, and Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Available features include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
There are several impressive standard driver-assistance features that come on the CX-30, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning, and automated emergency braking. Optional features include a head-up display and blind-spot monitoring. For more information about the CX-30’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Specific warranty information hasn’t been released, but we anticipate that the coverage will be the same as the other Mazda vehicles. Both Hyundai and Kia easily best Mazda’s warranty with both offering 10 years or 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2021 Mazda CX-30 AWD
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$29,075 (base price: $24,400)
DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
152 in3, 2488 cm3
186 hp @ 6000 rpm
186 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/torsion beam
Brakes (F/R): 11.6-in vented disc/11.9-in disc
Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL440, 215/55R-18 95H M+S
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: 3293 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
60 mph: 7.6 sec
100 mph: 20.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.9 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.1 sec
1/4 mile: 15.9 sec @ 89 mph
Top speed (mfr’s claim): 126 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 174 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.85 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 27 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 32 mpg
Highway range: 400 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 26/24/31 mpg
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