2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo review: A value-packed performer

Who isn’t going to like Mazda’s Soul Red paint?

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Hey, do you like the Mazda3 but choose a taller seating posture and the capacity to do some gentle off-roading? Are you into turbocharged engines, superb cabin layouts and the greatest pink paint work in town? All this and additional can be yours in the 2021 Mazda CX-thirty Turbo. With fashion and compound in spades, this is 1 of the hottest subcompact crossovers available now.

Table of Contents


  • Excellent powertrain
  • Innovative styling
  • Entertaining to push

Will not Like

  • Sub-par infotainment process
  • Considerably less cargo house than the levels of competition
  • Limited gadget charging

The CX-thirty slots just beneath the CX-5, effectively having the position of the smaller sized and quickly-to-be-discontinued CX-3. The CX-thirty shares a platform with the Mazda3, though it’s a bit shorter in length, 5 inches taller and has two.5 inches additional ground clearance. So yeah, it’s essentially a lifted Mazda3.

The CX-thirty originally introduced with a by natural means aspirated two.5-liter motor, but Mazda added a turbo alternative for 2021. Boosted CX-30s distinguish on their own visually with a tiny “turbo” badge, black wheels and mirrors and a bit bigger tailpipes, which you may require a keen eye to definitely notice.

Discreet seems to be aside, the turbo motor definitely stands out. This two.5-liter turbo I4 pushes out 250 horsepower and 320 pound-toes of torque, though that is only if you’re working ninety three-octane gasoline. (Count on 227 hp and 310 lb-ft on normal ol’ 87 gas.) This motor will make for rapid acceleration off the line and a ton of midrange punch, primarily when you’re driving in Activity mode. There are not any subcompact crossovers that offer this a lot ability at this cost position, though I’m really eager to push the approaching Hyundai Kona N with its rockin’ 275 hp.

The turbocharged CX-thirty is only available with all-wheel push and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox is a tiny archaic, primarily in gentle of eight- or even nine-speed transmissions that eke out better gasoline overall economy. The CX-thirty Turbo is rated at 22 mpg city, thirty mpg highway and 25 mpg blended, which just isn’t super terrific. In the course of my week of testing, I noticed 26.4 mpg, so at minimum all those quantities are effortless to see in the authentic world, even with only 6 forward gears.

Mazda’s two.5-liter turbo I4 will make 250 horsepower and 320 pound-toes of torque.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

With its taller journey peak, the CX-thirty cannot pretty match the Mazda3 in the managing department, but it’s however a hoot to thrust on a backroad. Mazda gave the CX-thirty Turbo a new differential to deal with the elevated torque, retuned the suspension to guidance the engine’s added weight and switched up the programming of the transmission. Even so, the on-road encounter just type of feels like the normal CX-thirty, just with additional ability.

Frankly, that is A-Ok by me. The CX-thirty Turbo is happy to be chucked into corners, and nicely handles them thanks to Mazda’s G-Vectoring Regulate Additionally tech. This technology effectively transfers a tiny bit of weight to the car’s nose on convert-in, guaranteeing additional grip around the entrance wheels and fewer understeer. On corner exit, a bit of brake is applied to the exterior entrance wheel to support transfer weight back to the rear. I cannot definitely feel it happening, but blended with immediate steering and lots of opinions, I have to make really several mid-corner corrections and, normally speaking, the CX-30’s managing is awesome and clean.

The CX-thirty also has an off-road mode. This switches up the all-wheel-push process to reduce wheel slip and can use the brakes to an unloaded wheel (examine: up in the air) to pressure torque to the wheel that however has call with the ground. On a several effortless streets in the superior desert of California, the CX-thirty Turbo has no trouble scrambling up a several evenly rocky hills and speeds down a flat dirt observe without having situation, even on my tester’s Bridgestone all-year tires. The CX-thirty is rarely a rock crusher, but it need to get you out to the lake and back.

Black wheels are special to the CX-thirty Turbo.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

My 1 gripe about the push encounter is the electric parking brake. It engages by itself immediately, which is good, but then I have to keep in mind to manually convert it off. Other brands with automatic electronic parking brakes will also disengage when the driver puts the auto in equipment and touches the throttle. Mazda, get notice.

Each individual turbocharged CX-thirty will get state-of-the-art driver’s aids like total-speed adaptive cruise management, lane-departure mitigation and blind-place monitoring. My High quality Additionally tester adds rear cross-website traffic braking, a 360-diploma camera process and website traffic jam support, which retains the auto centered in its lane and controls the throttle and braking at speeds less than forty mph. If element of your commute is routinely invested in prevent-and-go website traffic, this characteristic is for you.

When it will come to cabin tech, even so, Mazda definitely requires to up its game. Housed on an eight.eight-inch screen, the Mazda Link process is controlled by a rotary dial on the middle console and a smattering of challenging buttons. No touchscreen in this article, people. Blended with a menu composition that just isn’t really intuitive, tasks get a lot lengthier to attain than they ought to. The indigenous navigation tech is good and the voice recognition is ready to recognize bizarre street names. Nevertheless, methinks most people will just bypass Mazda’s process and use the normal Apple CarPlay and Android Car. I know I would.

This is a definitely, definitely awesome inside.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Device charging is a tiny sparse in the CX-thirty. There is only 1 USB-A port up entrance and it’s found in a tiny storage cubby where it’s essentially type of challenging to come across. There is a second USB-A port and a twelve-volt outlet in the armrest, and wi-fi charging is available for an more $275. Rear seat passengers, in the meantime, get absolutely nothing.

Within, the CX-thirty is excellent, with thoroughly clean lines and superior-high quality materials. There just isn’t a lot frippery in this article, but the minimalist aesthetic operates properly. When sitting down in the rear seat with the driver’s seat established for my 5-foot, 9-inch driving posture, I have about two inches of head- and kneeroom. Folks around six toes tall could have challenges.

Cargo house is similarly on the smaller sized aspect, with 20.two cubic toes of house with the rear seats up, expanding to forty five.two cubes when folded down. That’s smaller sized than the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek, but I am however ready to load 16 bins of flooring tiles, measuring forty eight inches very long and weighing fifty one lbs each and every, with no challenges.

Not many SUVs offer this type of efficiency for this sort of a small cost.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The 2021 CX-thirty Turbo starts off at $31,225 such as $1,a hundred seventy five for place. And awesome as the additional quality trims are, I would just adhere with that foundation version. I can are living without having a head-up show, heated steering wheel and the indigenous navigation process. The Turbo design previously will come with a great deal of the CX-30’s niceties. All I want is that $595 Soul Red paint.

When you glance at the levels of competition in this article, absolutely nothing can definitely contend with the Mazda. The 275-hp Hyundai Kona N will put up a very good struggle when it arrives in the US, but or else you have to jump up to additional quality autos with better cost tags to match the CX-thirty Turbo’s ability. It truly is a terrific crossover that presents you a total great deal for your dollars.

Maria J. Danford

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