Mazda joins the ranks of automakers offering more crossovers than cars with the addition of the CX-30 shown at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. Slotted between the company’s CX-3 subcompact and CX-5 compact crossovers, this makes the fourth crossover in Mazda’s stable, which also includes the midsize, 3-row CX-9.
2020 Mazda CX-30
At 173 inches stem to stern, the CX-30 is about five inches longer than a CX-3, and about six inches shorter than a CX-5. That length, and a 3-inch longer wheelbase, give the CX-30 a passenger- and cargo-space advantage over the CX-3, and its larger 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (vs. 2.0-liter) gives it an edge in power as well: 186 horsepower to 148. Though the CX-30 straddles the line between the subcompact and compact SUV classes, it’s just big enough that we categorize it as a compact SUV.
Not surprisingly, you pay for the extra length and power — but not all that much. Whereas the CX-3 starts at about $20,390 (for 2019; 2020 prices have not yet been released), the CX-30 starts at $21,900 — so about $1500 more. And it’s about $2500 less than a CX-5, so it falls between the two in this regard as well. Four trim levels are offered — base, Select, Preferred, and Premium — all available with front- or all-wheel drive; the top AWD Premium starts at $29,600.
Mazda has been moving its vehicles upmarket of late, and top-line versions of the CX-30 reflect that. Available features include the usual assortment of high-tech safety items along with driver-attention alert, Bose premium audio system, 8-way power driver seat with lumbar adjustment and memory, head-up display, adaptive headlights (they turn with the front wheels), adaptive cruise control with stop & go capability (great in city traffic), power liftgate, wireless cell-phone charging, and rain-sensing wipers. It also introduces Mazda Connected Services as standard equipment, which includes Wi-Fi hotspot capability, roadside assistance, and 911 emergency-services notification, along with the ability to lock and unlock doors, start the engine, and check tire pressures through an app on your phone.
The growing popularity of crossovers has made for some hair-splitting additions to model lineups, but this is one that actually makes sense. While the little CX-3 is a nicely sporting vehicle, its size and rakish styling make for very limited cargo and passenger room, both being improved in the CX-30 — without having to make the size and price jump to a CX-5. As such, this is a “tweener” that carries a lot of appeal.
2020 Mazda CX-30