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Reviews for the 2022 Mazda CX-30 are in, and the latest model is tops among subcompact crossover SUVs on Car and Driver’s 2022 Editors’ Choice List. The new CX-30 has the look and feel of a more expensive vehicle. Plus, it boasts Mazda’s signature handling and comes loaded with tech features and driver’s aids. 

Here’s what the 2022 Mazda CX-30 offers and how it ranks among rivals on Car and Driver’s list.

Car and Driver’s 2022 Editors’ Choice list

Each year, Car and Driver releases its Editors’ Choice list to help consumers select new cars. Only the top-ranked vehicles in each class receive the Editors’ Choice distinction. Those that make the annual list are vehicles C/D’s automotive experts would love to have in their garage.

The team has thoroughly tested, vetted, and driven the vehicles thousands of miles. These cars, EVs, minivans, SUVs, and trucks are among the best in the current model year’s lineup.

In selecting vehicles for the list, Car and Driver editors begin with their rigorous instrumented testing results. They also factor in reviews of each vehicle’s performance in real life. Testers decide how well the vehicle fulfills its intended purpose, how much fun it is to drive, and where it falls in relation to its peers.

Only vehicles sold in 2022 that the staff drove were eligible for consideration.

Four subcompact SUVs appear on the 2022 list. The Hyundai Kona earned a 9/10 overall rating, the Kia Soul received 8.5/10, and the Volkswagen Taos got 8.5/10. The highest-rated is the 2022 Mazda CX-30, with an almost-perfect 9.5/10. 

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 at a glance

A slate-blue 2022 Mazda CX-30 2.5 S Carbon Edition subcompact SUV in a warehouse
2022 Mazda CX-30 2.5 S Carbon Edition | Mazda North American Operations

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 looks like the Mazda3 hatchback’s taller, tougher cousin, C/D points out. It’s smaller than the popular CX-5 compact crossover. The CX-30’s cabin is the closest you’ll get to a premium interior without the premium price. Its exterior design is elegant and polished, closer to the level of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.

For all that it offers, the 2022 Mazda CX-30 starts at $23,425, on par with other subcompact SUVs like the Kona and Taos. The base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that doesn’t quite have the athleticism drivers would expect in a thrilling ride. But an available turbocharged version is much more exciting.

The CX-30’s on-road handling reminds Car and Driver of Mazda’s sporty cars, and that performance helped earn it the Editor’s Choice award. Another perk: All-wheel drive is now standard on all 2022 CX-30 trims. The team also likes the plentiful infotainment and driver-assist features, many of which are now standard on the 2022 model.

What’s new in the Mazda CX-30 for the 2022 model year?

The fact that Mazda made all-wheel drive a standard feature across the CX-30 lineup in 2022 is a big deal. There’s also a new Carbon Edition. It borrows the Polymetal Gray exterior paint color and red leather upholstery from other Carbon Edition Mazda models. It also features 18-inch black wheels and black side mirrors.

In addition, roof rails are now standard equipment on the Select trim. And Platinum Quartz Metallic is new on the list of available CX-30 colors at no extra charge.

Though the non-turbo versions don’t offer as thrilling a driving experience as the models with the turbo engine, the 2022 Mazda CX-30’s classy cabin and exceptional handling make it a superb subcompact SUV.


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