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A Comprehensive Review of the 2022 Mazda CX-30 Turbo: Elevating the Subcompact Crossover Experience

Image Source: Teddy Leung / Shutterstock

Farewell to the Mazda CX-3; in its absence, the Mazda CX-30 emerges as a considerable advancement from its predecessor. Amidst a crowded field of subcompact crossovers, the 2022 Mazda CX-30 distinguishes itself with its sleek exterior, plush interior, and turbocharged powertrain.

Positioned just beneath the CX-5 in Mazda’s expanding crossover lineup, the CX-30 offers a blend of the Mazda3 hatchback’s appeal with a slightly rugged demeanor. Resembling a raised Mazda 3 in many aspects, the CX-30 boasts 2.5 additional inches of ground clearance and a height increase of 5 inches compared to the hatchback.

Embodying a more upscale appearance compared to its competitors, the CX-30’s sculpted body could easily be associated with a luxury brand. While a variant without the prominent black lower trim would be a welcome addition, such minor drawbacks are easily overlooked.

The CX-30 is presented with a choice between two powertrains. The standard offering features a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder, whereas the more enthralling option is the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that injects vitality into the CX-30. Delivering 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque with 93 octane fuel, the turbo model’s performance dips slightly to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft on 87 octane. Both engines are coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, with all-wheel drive being standard.

With fuel efficiency ratings of 24 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined for the standard engine, the turbocharged variant achieves 22 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined.

For an engaging driving experience uncommon in small crossovers, the turbocharged engine is the indisputable choice. Exhibiting swift acceleration and abundant midrange power, the CX-30, alongside the Hyundai Kona N, offers an exhilarating driving dynamic in this segment.

While the engine impresses, the dated six-speed automatic transmission stands out against the prevalent eight and nine-speed counterparts. Nevertheless, the transmission capably selects gears without unnecessary theatrics.

Given its higher stance compared to the Mazda3, it’s unsurprising that the CX-30 doesn’t quite match the hatchback’s corner-carving prowess. Nonetheless, the CX-30 remains enjoyable to drive spiritedly on winding roads with a suspension setup striking a balance between comfort and athleticism.

When transitioning from paved roads to off-road terrain, the CX-30 exhibits competence in traversing gravel paths and conquering minor obstacles. Even though it isn’t designed for extreme off-roading, the CX-30 can handle light off-road excursions with ease.

Within the minimalist interior of the CX-30, Mazda’s signature design ethos shines through with clean lines and premium materials. However, akin to other Mazda models, the infotainment system is a point of contention. Positioned on the dashboard, an 8.8-inch screen necessitates control via a rotary dial on the center console, omitting a touchscreen interface. Understandably frustrating, especially for safety reasons, the system does feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

On the safety front, the CX-30 comes equipped with standard features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-departure mitigation. The Premium Plus trim enhances safety with a 360-degree camera, traffic jam assist, and rear cross-traffic braking.

Similar to the Mazda 3, the CX-30’s interior may feel snug, particularly for rear occupants, limiting legroom, especially for taller front passengers. In terms of cargo capacity, the CX-30 offers 20.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 45.2 cubic feet when folded down—though less than rivals like the Honda HR-V or Subaru Crosstrek, the CX-30 commands a more engaging driving experience.

Pricing for the 2022 CX-30 starts at $23,775, while the turbocharged variant commences at $31,775.

In conclusion, the 2022 Mazda CX-30 stands out for its attractive design, upscale interior, and spirited turbocharged engine, providing a level of enjoyment unmatched within its price bracket.

Image Source: Teddy Leung / Shutterstock

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