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I’m currently enjoying a week with the 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo, and it’s been a blast so far. However, there are a few Mazda CX-30 features that could be improved. These items are just from my first initial takeaways. A more detailed report will come later. 

Three things to update with the 2021 Mazda CX-30 

A red 2021 Mazda CX-30 turbo parked in front of a mountain view
2021 Mazda CX-30 turbo | Allison Barfield

For some quick background information, the 2021 Mazda CX-30 is the tiniest Mazda model. It’s smaller than the CX-5 and the CX-9. You can get started in this subcompact SUV for about $22,050. 

I’m currently testing the Mazda CX-30 Turbo Premium Plus, which starts at around $34,050. The Premium Plus Package includes perks such as heated mirrors, a leather steering wheel, automatic headlights, and steering wheel controls. 

There are plenty of great things to say about the CX-30, but today I’m going to cover three things that could be enhanced. But these potential drawbacks are by no means dealbreakers. 

1. The Mazda CX-30 doesn’t have a touchscreen

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 has an infotainment system that works well. It’s fast and responsive, plus the graphics look great. But it’s not a touchscreen, so it takes a little getting used to. When I got a call while driving, I poked the infotainment screen to answer it. After laughing at myself, I hit the button on the steering wheel to pick up the call. 

The system works with a rotary dial that you click to make selections. But there are buttons for the navigation, music, and home menu. You can also use the dial as a manual radio tuner to find your favorite stations. 

Apple CarPlay works a lot easier with a touchscreen, but you can still flip through the menus with the dial. It just takes a little practice and attention. Some may prefer this old-school vibe of not having a massive touchscreen too. 

2. Storage feels limited 

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 is subcompact, so of course, it’s not as spacious as more prominent options. But I wish the storage layout was a little different. There doesn’t seem to be a good place around the center console to put my phone. It can sit in front of the cup holders, but it doesn’t exactly fit. 

The center console is somewhat deep, but the glove box is shallow. There are deep pockets in the doors with extra cupholders, though. Also, there is a small bin to the left of the steering wheel that can fit a key fob. 

3. The brakes could be a little stronger 

A red 2021 Mazda CX-30 in the woods.
2021 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

It’s challenging to find something negative about how the 2021 Mazda CX-30 drives. It’s fast, smooth, and responsive. But I found myself wishing that the brakes had a little more power for faster stops. 

But the brakes do their job and provide excellent stopping power. The brakes are also very smooth and don’t have a jerky motion. It’s just another thing to get used to. With daily driving, it won’t take long. 

So far, I’ve used the CX-30 for daily errands and for fun up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a blast while parallel parking, zoom zooming around twisty mountain roads, and more. It’s very agile, sporty, and comfortable. I’ll update you with what I like about it soon. 


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