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All-New Mazda CX-30-Reimagining What Was Already There

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is an all-new model but it gets a lot from the Mazda3. See why it’s a good fit for active SUV shoppers.

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The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is an all-new model and mirrors what Subaru did with the Impreza compact hatchback. Subaru took the Impreza, created the Crosstrek subcompact SUV and gave it a “go-anywhere” attitude. Mazda took the popular 3, lifted it, put some cladding on the exterior, and turned it into a subcompact SUV that many younger buyers are looking for. It has a higher seating position than the 3, they added all-wheel-drive for all-weather performance, and it’s a good match for those with active lifestyles.

Mazda didn’t create a new vehicle out of nothing, they reimagined what was already there, and it shares some of the 3s characteristics. This week we drive the top-of-the-lineup 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium Package AWD trim.

2020 Mazda CX-30, review, features, specs, fuel mileageThe Mazda CX-30 is designed for urban dwellers with active lifestyles

What’s new for 2020?

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is an all-new vehicle from the small Japanese automaker. It’s a new subcompact SUV that’s geared to a new generation of buyers looking for an urban commuter with a bit more flare.

Features & Options

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium Package AWD ($29,600) comes standard with LED lighting all the way around, 18-inch alloy wheels and an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, tinted rear windows, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, simulated leather upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The upper trim also gets a 12-speaker Bose audio system, heated front seats, and some upgraded trim, power driver’s seat, driver seat memory, keyless entry, push-button start, special lighting, and a rearview camera.

Driver assistance features include forward collision warning with automatic braking, blind-spot warning, rear-cross traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist. Other safety items include rain-sensing wipers and side mirrors with turn lamps.

Premium features include a head-up display, adaptive front lighting, full leather seating, a power moonroof, roof rails, and a power liftgate. Total MSRP including destination: $31,370.

2020 Mazda CX-30, review, features, specs, fuel mileageThe CX-30 cabin feels upscale

Interior Highlights

For a subcompact SUV, the CX-30 has an impressive upscale interior with comfortable leather seating, plenty of soft-touch materials throughout, and high-quality materials for this class. It has a premium feel and this top-trim model comes with lots of upgrades. We made liberal use of the heated seats as spring snow covered the area west of Denver this week.

We also cranked up the 12-speaker Bose premium audio system that kept us entertained on our commute to Denver. This was the week before the mandatory stay-at-home order that came down because off the coronavirus.

The climate control, audio, and other technology in the XC-30 are easy to understand and use and we had no issues with the infotainment system. There is plenty of legroom up from for the driver and we could find the perfect higher seating position with the power driver’s seat and tilt steering wheel.

The backseat legroom is cramped for taller passengers but useful for transporting kids and short trips. In terms of interior and cargo space, the CX-30 slots right between the CX-3 and the CX-5. Cargo volume is 20.2 cubic feet with the 2nd-row seats up, and 45.2 cubes with the seats folded flat. The power liftgate came in handy as we had boxes of cargo to carry this week.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

All CX-30 models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 186 horsepower and an equal 186 lb-ft of torque. The four-cylinder engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift and Sport Mode, along with steering wheel paddle shifters. This CX-30 tester came with all-wheel-drive. All models are available in a two-wheel-drive configuration.

The EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 25/32 city/highway mpg and 27 combined mpg.

2020 Mazda CX-30, review, features, specs, fuel mileageDriving Dynamics

The CX-30, like most Mazda models, are fun-to-drive and have better driving dynamics than most compact SUVs. This will come in handy if you like to drive in the mountains and will be taking curves a bit faster than most. We chucked the small SUV around tight mountain corners west of Denver and felt completely confident in its abilities to keep us planted on the road.

We also tested the CX-30 in snow and icy conditions this week. The small hatch stayed planted and never lost grip even though we tried. Its all-weather capabilities is a big plus for those who live in cold climates and will be using it to get away into the high-country for outdoor adventures.

On the highway, it offers up enough power for most driving situations. If we could add one thing, it would be a turbocharged engine for our high-altitude rarified air in Denver. For those who live at sea level, the naturally-aspirated engine will have enough power.

We really appreciated the Premium trim with the moonroof and head-up display that allowed us to keep our eyes on the road as we pushed the CX-30 hard this week. The CX-30 is an ideal size for city commutes and it was easy to navigate in an urban environment. Driver safety aids add an extra level of security.

2020 Mazda CX-30, review, features, specs, fuel mileageConclusion

Overall, the 2020 Mazda CX-30 is an affordable option for those wanting a subcompact SUV offering utility, fuel efficiency, a sporty driving demeanor, and all-weather capability. It’s also a good fit for those wanting a vehicle that can be used for some mild off-pavement getaways. The Japanese automaker didn’t create the new CX-30 out of nothing, they reimagined what was already there in the Mazda3.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Check out more of his reports archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report.

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Photo credit: Subaru

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