- The CX-30 certainly takes the cake for being visually distinctive. The flowing lines, taut proportions, and certain design traits like the narrow headlights make for an expressive model.
- There is a major downside to the CX-30's design; outward visibility. Due to the low roofline and thick c-pillars, rear visibility can be best described as looking out of a mailbox slot. Thankfully, all CX-30s get a backup camera, and Premium models and above get blind-spot monitoring.
- Inside, Mazda may have crafted the best interior for the subcompact crossover class. It is a simple design, but the use of premium materials helps elevate it. The positioning of the various controls also deserves praise as they are within easy reach.
- An 8.8-inch screen running Mazda's new infotainment system is standard on all models. Unlike the previous system where you had the choice of using either a touchscreen or control knob, Mazda has decided to only use the knob. This decision does mean doing various tasks will take a few extra steps. But I didn't mind so much as the interface is easy to navigate. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.
- While those sitting in the front will find plenty of space to find that comfortable position, those in the back will not be so lucky. Head and legroom is tight for most people.
- Cargo space is about average for the class, measuring 20.2 cubic feet.
- Most CX-30s will come equipped with 2.5L four-cylinder producing 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and in my tester, all-wheel drive. Those looking for more power can step up to the turbocharged version with 250 hp.
- The base engine is perfectly suited for most driving situations with power being available when needed. The six-speed automatic is very smart and knows when to up or downshift depending on the situation.
- My only issue is that I wished Mazda did a little bit more work on the engine's NVH levels. Found it to be somewhat high during moderate to hard acceleration.
- Fuel economy for the CX-30 AWD is rated at 24 City/31 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the landed at just over 28 MPG.
- For driving enjoyment, the CX-30 cannot be beaten. Minimal body roll and sharp steering will make anyone grin on a winding road.
- The downside to the fun driving is a stiff ride. Over various bumps and potholes, the CX-30's suspension isn't fully able to cope with minimizing the impacts.
- The CX-30 is slightly more expensive than other models in the class with a starting price of $23,225 for a base front-wheel drive model. But you do a lot of standard equipment such as LED lighting, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and rain-sensing wipers. My Premium AWD tester comes in at $31,700 with the destination charge. Again, a bit expensive, but Mazda does include a lot of features for the money. The Premium gets a heads-up display, adaptive front lights, leather seats, 12-speaker Bose audio system, and a power liftgate.
- When my week with the CX-30 was coming to a close, I found myself feeling very split. On one hand, the CX-30 has a design that stands out, impressive handling, and an interior that makes it feel more expensive than it is. But the poor rear visibility, firm ride, and high price put it right in the mid-pack of a growing and competitive segment.
Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the CX-30, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Trim: Premium AWD
Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-valve Skyactiv-G four-cylinder
Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 186 @ 6,000
Torque @ RPM: 186 @ 4,400
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/31/26
Curb Weight: 3,388 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Salamanca, Mexico
Base Price: $29,950
As Tested Price: $31,700 (Includes $1,100.00 Destination Charge)
Frameless Auto-dim Mirror w/Homelink - $375.00
Cargo Cover - $150.00
Floor Mats, All-Weather - $125.00