Who would not love Mazda’s Soul Red paint?

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Hey, do you just like the Mazda3 however choose a taller seating place and the power to do some mild off-roading? Are you into turbocharged engines, wonderful cabin designs and the perfect pink paint job on the town? All this and extra could be yours within the 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo. With fashion and substance in spades, this is without doubt one of the hottest subcompact crossovers obtainable right now.


  • Excellent powertrain
  • Sophisticated styling
  • Fun to drive

Don’t Like

  • Sub-par infotainment system
  • Less cargo area than the competitors
  • Limited gadget charging

The CX-30 slots just under the CX-5, successfully taking the place of the smaller and soon-to-be-discontinued CX-3. The CX-30 shares a platform with the Mazda3, although it is a bit shorter in size, 5 inches taller and has 2.5 inches extra floor clearance. So yeah, it is mainly a lifted Mazda3.

The CX-30 initially launched with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine, however Mazda added a turbo choice for 2021. Boosted CX-30s distinguish themselves visually with somewhat “turbo” badge, black wheels and mirrors and barely bigger tailpipes, which you will want a eager eye to essentially discover.

Discreet seems apart, the turbo engine actually stands out. This 2.5-liter turbo I4 pushes out 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, although that is provided that you are working 93-octane gas. (Expect 227 hp and 310 lb-ft on common ol’ 87 gasoline.) This engine makes for fast acceleration off the road and a ton of midrange punch, particularly if you’re driving in Sport mode. There are no subcompact crossovers that supply this a lot energy at this value level, although I’m very desirous to drive the upcoming Hyundai Kona N with its rockin’ 275 hp.

The turbocharged CX-30 is just obtainable with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automated transmission. The gearbox is somewhat archaic, particularly in mild of eight- and even nine-speed transmissions that eke out higher gas financial system. The CX-30 Turbo is rated at 22 mpg metropolis, 30 mpg freeway and 25 mpg mixed, which is not tremendous nice. During my week of testing, I noticed 26.4 mpg, so not less than these numbers are straightforward to see in the true world, even with solely six ahead gears.

Mazda’s 2.5-liter turbo I4 makes 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

With its taller journey peak, the CX-30 cannot fairly match the Mazda3 within the dealing with division, however it’s nonetheless a hoot to push on a backroad. Mazda gave the CX-30 Turbo a brand new differential to deal with the elevated torque, retuned the suspension to help the engine’s added weight and switched up the programming of the transmission. Even so, the on-road expertise simply form of feels just like the common CX-30, simply with extra energy.

Frankly, that is A-OK by me. The CX-30 Turbo is joyful to be chucked into corners, and properly handles them because of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus tech. This know-how basically transfers a tiny little bit of weight to the automotive’s nostril on turn-in, making certain extra grip over the entrance wheels and fewer understeer. On nook exit, a little bit of brake is utilized to the surface entrance wheel to assist switch weight again to the rear. I am unable to actually really feel it occurring, however mixed with direct steering and plenty of suggestions, I’ve to make only a few mid-corner corrections and, usually talking, the CX-30’s dealing with is good and clean.

The CX-30 additionally has an off-road mode. This switches up the all-wheel-drive system to cut back wheel slip and may apply the brakes to an unloaded wheel (learn: up within the air) to power torque to the wheel that also has contact with the bottom. On just a few straightforward roads within the excessive desert of California, the CX-30 Turbo has no downside scrambling up just a few evenly rocky hills and speeds down a flat grime monitor with out subject, even on my tester’s Bridgestone all-season tires. The CX-30 is hardly a rock crusher, however it ought to get you out to the lake and again.

Black wheels are distinctive to the CX-30 Turbo.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

My one gripe concerning the drive expertise is the electrical parking brake. It engages itself routinely, which is okay, however then I’ve to recollect to manually flip it off. Other producers with automated digital parking brakes can even disengage when the driving force places the automotive in gear and touches the throttle. Mazda, take discover.

Every turbocharged CX-30 will get superior driver’s aids like full-speed adaptive cruise management, lane-departure mitigation and blind-spot monitoring. My Premium Plus tester provides rear cross-traffic braking, a 360-degree digicam system and site visitors jam help, which retains the automotive centered in its lane and controls the throttle and braking at speeds beneath 40 mph. If a part of your commute is often spent in stop-and-go site visitors, this characteristic is for you.

When it involves cabin tech, nonetheless, Mazda actually must up its sport. Housed on an 8.8-inch display screen, the Mazda Connect system is managed by a rotary dial on the middle console and a smattering of exhausting buttons. No touchscreen right here, of us. Combined with a menu construction that is not very intuitive, duties take for much longer to perform than they must. The native navigation tech is okay and the voice recognition is ready to perceive bizarre road names. However, methinks most people will simply bypass Mazda’s system and use the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I do know I’d.

This is a very, very nice inside.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Device charging is somewhat sparse within the CX-30. There is just one USB-A port up entrance and it is positioned in somewhat storage cubby the place it is really form of exhausting to search out. There is a second USB-A port and a 12-volt outlet within the armrest, and wi-fi charging is out there for an additional $275. Rear seat passengers, in the meantime, get nothing.

Inside, the CX-30 is fantastic, with clear strains and high-quality supplies. There is not a lot frippery right here, however the minimalist aesthetic works effectively. When sitting within the rear seat with the driving force’s seat set for my 5-foot, 9-inch driving place, I’ve about 2 inches of head- and kneeroom. Folks over 6 toes tall might need issues.

Cargo area is equally on the smaller facet, with 20.2 cubic toes of area with the rear seats up, increasing to 45.2 cubes when folded down. That’s smaller than the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek, however I’m nonetheless in a position to load 16 containers of flooring tiles, measuring 48 inches lengthy and weighing 51 kilos every, with no issues.

Not many SUVs supply this type of efficiency for such a low value.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The 2021 CX-30 Turbo begins at $31,225 together with $1,175 for vacation spot. And good because the extra premium trims are, I’d simply keep on with that base model. I can dwell and not using a head-up show, heated steering wheel and the native navigation system. The Turbo mannequin already comes with plenty of the CX-30’s niceties. All I would like is that $595 Soul Red paint.

When you take a look at the competitors right here, nothing can actually compete with the Mazda. The 275-hp Hyundai Kona N will put up a very good battle when it arrives within the US, however in any other case it’s a must to bounce as much as extra premium automobiles with larger value tags to match the CX-30 Turbo’s energy. It’s an excellent crossover that provides you an entire lot to your cash.

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