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2021 Mazda CX-30 Gets More Power on Everyman Driver

Small and stylish, the Mazda CX-30 is one of the best subcompact SUVs on the market. Sharing many components with the popular Mazda3 sedan, the CX-30 provides a similarly sporty driving experience and surprisingly upscale cabin appointments. Interior craftsmanship is top-notch, and the standard safety technology is easy to use. Some rivals offer better fuel economy, but the CX-30 is one of the most elegant and engaging subcompact SUVs around.


  • Turbocharged engine added to the lineup
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard
  • 12-speaker Bose stereo available with Premium package only
  • Part of the first CX-30 generation introduced for 2020

The four-door CX-30 SUV comes standard with front-wheel-drive; all-wheel-drive is available for $1,400. There are four trim levels: Base, Select, Preferred, and Premium.

The Base trim retails for around $22,000, and it comes with a generous list of standard features. Notable details include an 8.8-inch center display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, and other functionality. A command knob operates the screen from the center console. Also included is an eight-speaker sound system, power windows with one-touch up/down, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a push-button ignition, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, and cloth upholstery. The body features 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, automatic on/off LED headlights, LED taillights, and a matte black front grille. Mazda also includes a suite of driver safety technology, including forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beams.

The Select trim adds more amenities for $24,000. It gets safety tech like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and mirror-integrated turn signal indicators. Providing additional comfort and convenience is proximity keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leatherette seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air conditioning vents, and a rear armrest with two cupholders. Exterior touches include 18-inch wheels and rear tinted glass.

Stepping up to the Preferred, which costs about $26,500, adds a power moonroof, heated front seats, memory and power settings for the driver’s seat, a gloss-black front grille, and memory side mirrors. The top-of-the-line

Premium has an MSRP of about $29,000. It comes with exclusive standard features like a Bose premium audio system, satellite radio, a head-up display, leather upholstery, a power liftgate, curve-adaptive signature LED headlights, roof rails, and paddle shifters. Options are few. However, shoppers can get the all-wheel-drive system mentioned above, a navigation system, side rails for mounting a roof rack, a rear bumper guard, all-weather floor mats, and cargo organizers.

No matter which CX-30 buyers choose, it comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine that makes 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It takes regular unleaded fuel and gets an EPA-estimated 25/33/28 mpg city/highway/combined. Those numbers aren’t quite what a typical small sedan offers, but good for a subcompact SUV. That motor connects to a six-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission that shifts gears smoothly and helps give the CX-30 a sporty drive.

Front-wheel-drive comes included, with all-wheel-drive optional on all trims. The CX-30’s MacPherson strut front suspension provides nimble handling, with rack-and-pinion steering and electric power steering assist providing good road feel. The CX-30 has a 37.3-foot turning diameter.

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