Is it more than just a pumped up CX-3?
CX-30 What’s in a name?
The 2020 Mazda CX-30 seems to position the car between the CX-3 and CX-5. How would you label the car? CX-4 you might think, however Mazda decided to name it CX-30. This seems very strange but this is because Mazda has a CX-4 for the Chinese market. The 30 in the name does help remind that it comes from the same bloodline as the CX-3. Will the CX-30 be a contender for compact SUV sales in the US?
2020 Mazda CX-30 Exterior
The CX-30 is distinct from the CX-3. It looks like an SUV. We have the iconic Mazda grille and led powered headlights that add to the elegance of the car. The side and wheels are contoured with odd looking arches, giving the car a very distinct look. The car seems to be built for an urban environment, Mazda compromised on width and length of the wheelbase. It is a compact SUV nevertheless, so in line with our expectations. There will be 6 trim levels and 16 to 18 inch wheels.
2020 Mazda CX-30 Interior
A bland and boring dashboard has become the trademark of Mazda. The car builder states that it builds its car that way so the driver can focus on driving. A safety feature by design. It feels like Marie Condo helped the design, throwing everything out that does not spark joy or has some functionality. We noted the old fashioned speedometer bringing back memories from the 90s. It feels relaxed and very ZEN to be behind the wheel. The drive is also very silent, driving the Mazda engulfs you in an oasis of peace. Driver comfort has been a working point for Mazda, they even have a seating option for drivers carrying some extra body weight.
The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is not a driving smartphone
Essential driving information is displayed with 3 gauges behind the steering wheel. There is an added 8.8 inch screen in the middle of the dashboard that is used as the control interface. But is is not more than an interface, the Mazda MX-30 is clearly not an iPhone on wheels like Tesla’s nowadays.
The trunk is quite average, only offering 430L of storage space. But this does benefit the space it offers for the backseat passengers. There is a lot of knee space but the third -middle- passenger seat seems too much of a compromise. You can not seat 3 adults in the back comfortably.
Engine options are limited. We miss a hybrid option though there is an micro hybrid option with the all new SkyActiv-X engine. The
2.0-liter 4 Cylinder Gas engine produces 122hp and has MPG ratings higher than what we would expect from this type of motorization. The engines are to weak to carry the heavy CX-30 bodyweight.
Mazda does not believe in electric powertrains or plug-in hybrids. Instead it is doing something different other car-builders seem to ignore. SkyActive engines are the result of a technology called ‘Microhybrid‘. Instead of powering the car an electric motor helps the gas motor. The electric motor is powered by a 24 volt battery between the wheels. It benefits the emission of the engine and helps to achieve a comfortable drive. The little 24V battery gives the engine a little push in the back when stopping, accelerating or starting. Compared to a regular plugin hybrid Mazda is not compromising on trunk space or weight of the car. Performance and emission improvements are not more than microscopic.
Pros and Cons
What we like:
- Looks awesome
- Great noise reduction
- Great drive
What we don’t like
- Where is the trunk space?
- Not much space in the back
- Boring engine options
2020 CX-30 Release Date and Price
The CX-30 should already have hit the showrooms and BTO models should have a delivery time of no more than 3 months. We do not think this will be a sales hit: Mazda’s first compact SUV seems to be a miss. The recommended sales price of $20000 positions the the car at a good price-point though. This is most probably Mazda’s strategy. With the competition in the segment between 10 and 15% more expensive the Mazda is an option for a more price conscious buyer. Segment competition will be felt by the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue, Kia Sportage & Chevrolet Equinox.
More info can be found on the Mazda website.