2022 Mazda CX-30 Review: Surprisingly Agile, Athletic, and Addicting

2022 Mazda CX-30 review highlights: 

  • 2022 Mazda CX-30: $22,500 – $34,700 
  • Best AGL Residual Value – J.D.Power 
  • Pros: Thrilling performance on the pavement, incredibly comfortable interior, tons of standard features. 
  • Cons: Significant rear blind spots, slightly sluggish base engine, subpar fuel economy 
2022 Mazda CX-30 Review
2022 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

While the 2022 Mazda CX-30 is the smallest Mazda SUV in the lineup, it’s not short on value or fun. This subcompact SUV provides an athletic performance with luxury comfort without running up the price. 

It’s no surprise that the sporty CX-30 is racking up awards such as the Car and Driver Editor’s Choice Award because it’s a well-rounded option. The cabin is upscale, has plenty of standard features, and turns boring errands into exciting adventures. Any excuse to take the CX-30 for a spin is a great one. 

2022 Mazda CX-30: What’s new? 

For 2022 the Mazda CX-30 gained standard all-wheel drive across the entire lineup. While the extra weight may impact the fuel economy, at least you don’t have to spend more to traverse slippery situations confidently. 

Plus, the Carbon Edition rolled out with Polymetal Grey paint, red leather upholstery, and black 18-inch wheels. 

The Select model now includes standard roof rails. 

Which Mazda CX-30 trim is best? 

  • Mazda CX-30 2.5 S – $22,500 
  • 2.5 S Select Package – $24,900 
  • 2.5 S Preferred Package – $27,950 
  • 2.5 S Cabon Edition – $28,950 
  • 2.5 Turbo – $30,500 
  • 2.5 S Premium Package – $30,800
  • 2.5 Turbo Premium Package – $33,100 
  • 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus $34,700 

The Mazda CX-30 2.5 S Select provides the most value for your money by adding plenty of extra standard features for safety and comfort. It adds keyless entry, upgraded upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and blind-spot warning with rear-cross traffic alert. 

You may want to consider upgrading to the turbocharged engine to have a little more fun, but it isn’t exactly cheap. 

How does the Mazda CX-30 perform? 

2022 Mazda CX-30 in gravel
2022 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield. MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 comes with a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, the CX-30 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.6 seconds. This is faster than the Subaru Crosstrek and Nissan Rogue Sport. 

You can upgrade to the turbocharged 25.-liter four-cylinder engine for 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque with regular gas. Fill it with 97 octane to increase these figures to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. With the turbo engine, the CX-30 can reach 60 mph in about 5.8 seconds. 

The engines pair with a six-speed automatic transmission, but optional steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters make its performance more engaging. It features an instant, peppy acceleration with smooth transmission shifts. 

The steering is crisp with pretty responsive handling and limited body roll. The CX-30 corners well and feels confident during heavy rain storms and around tight mountain curves. The breaks are strong and smooth without being grabby. 

This subcompact SUV corners well and features a tight turning radius. It’s easy to navigate through tight city areas and extremely easy to park. 

When you shift into Sport Mode, the suspension stiffens, and the acceleration has a faster response time, making it easier to pass others on the highway or merge into traffic. But it does weaken the fuel economy. 

On that note, the Mazda CX-30 gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and up to 34 mpg on the highway. We received about 26.8 mpg along flat country roads, downtown city areas, and steep mountain curves during our week. 

Can the Mazda CX-30 go off-roading? 

2022Mazda CX-30 off-roading
2022 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 has standard AWD, which can bolster confidence for off-roading situations. However, we wouldn’t push it too far. It can get you to your campsite but don’t expect it to cross any streams or climb over obstacles. 

It has an 8.0-inch ground clearance, which is petty good. The i-ACTIV AWD system intelligently predicts traction loss to send more torque to the tires that will make the best use of extra power. 

Once you hit the Off-Road Traction Assist button, you can feel the suspension become stiffer for more control to prevent the wheels from slipping or spinning. It was noticeably helpful in sections of gravel on steep mountain curves. 

Going down light off-roading trails was surprisingly fun. The Cx-30 performed better than expected off the pavement. However, you could hear the engine wheeze when climbing steep inclines, and we started to worry about it overheating. 

How comfortable is the 2022 Mazda CX-30? 

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 has large, supportive seats with plenty of padding for long drives. The rear seat is just as comfortable, and the backrest has a relaxed angle. However, taller passengers may want a little more leg room. 

While the suspension is a little stiff for a sportier performance, the CX-30 can provide a smooth ride over rough sections of the pavement. The tires feel connected to the pavement for a confident sense of control, and larger dips don’t send rattles through the cabin. 

The interior is a little louder than expected at highway speeds, but you don’t have to raise your voice to carry on a conversation. Also, the dual-zone climate control is strong and effective during sweltering summer days. 

But we did notice the lack of ventilated seats. They are available with other Mazda SUVs in the lineup and deliver tons of relief during hot, humid days. 

Does the Mazda CX-30 have a nice interior? 

2022 Mazda CX-30 Interior
2022 Mazda CX-30 interior | Mazda

Yes, the 2022 Mazda Cx-30 has an interior that’s on par with luxury rivals without the extra cost. While lower trim levels may feel spare, moving up the line delivers access to leather upholstery, soft-touch covered surfaces, and attractive pops of wood trim. 

The CX-30 features a simple yet refined layout that’s attractive and sophisticated. Everything you need is easily within reach and clearly labeled. However, the sunroof seems a bit small. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by options with massive panoramic moonroofs. 

Outward viability is excellent, but the rear window is a bit small, and thick pillars can block your view. The rearview mirrors make up for the difference with a wide field of view, and the optional surround-view camera is helpful in tight spots. 

You can access up to 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 45.2 cubes total. The seats fold flat for an even load floor, but the front seats have to be pushed all the way forward. 

Storage space for smaller personal items is adequate with a fairly sized center console and glove box. The door pockets are small, but the tiny CX-30 makes the most of its available space. 

How is the tech in the 2022 Mazda CX-30? 

The Mazda CX-30 has modern tech and comes with a standard 8.8-inch infotainment system. It’s not a touchscreen, but the system is easy to control with a rotary dial. It feels like the process of changing the radio station or using the navigation system involves a few extra steps. 

We are impressed by the sharp graphics on the 7.7-inch multi-information gauge display, but it wasn’t the easiest system to figure out. Also, the head-up display was accurate and useful without seeming distracting. 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and pair well with the optional 12-speaker Bose audio system. It delivers crisp, premium sound quality, and you can access two USB ports in the front. 

We were surprised by the lack of a wireless phone charging pad, but at least a Wi-fi hotspot is available. The Mazda Connected Service app provides access to remote start and vehicle monitoring. 

How safe is the Mazda CX-30? 

These safe new suvs with the best safety packages
The Mazda CX-30 SUV in blue | Mazda

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 is one of the safest options available. It’s an Insurance Insitute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award winner. It received a ‘good’ score in every single crash simulation, which is the highest score possible.  

It has Superior ratings for its ability to avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians. The CX-30 can avoid collisions at 12, 25, and 37 mph speeds. It also issued a warning 1.9 seconds before impact. It has excellent ratings for how easy it is to install and secure child safety seats too. 

We found the automatic LED high beams to be impressive. They provide excellent visibility around curves without excessive glare. However, they were slow to adjust to oncoming motorcycle riders in the dark. 

The safety systems work well without being overly sensitive. We appreciate how the lane-keeping assist system didn’t seem to nudge us if we got too close to the line. The forward collision mitigation system didn’t aggressively hit the brakes if traffic suddenly started to slow down. 

It’s easy to adjust the following distance with the adaptive cruise control system. However, the severe weather warning system got annoying with constant beeping on the interstate. You can only view the warnings if the vehicle is at a complete stop. Also, we only triggered the drowsy driver monitor once. 

  • Standard safety features include: 
  • Forward collision mitigation 
  • Lane-keeping assist 
  • Drowsy driver monitoring 
  • Automatic high beams 

MotorBiscuit gives the 2022 Mazda CX-30 an expert rating of 8.7 out of 10 

The editors at MotorBiscuit award the 2022 Mazda CX-30 with an overall score of 8.7 out of 10. It provides luxury quality at an affordable price point, but it can be expensive to upgrade to the turbo engine. 

While the Mazda CX-30 is athletic and engaging, it could have a better fuel economy, and passenger space in the rear is a bit limited. The CX-30 is incredibly safe, and child seats are easy to install, but again, a little more space would be welcomed. 

The CX-30 is value-packed, especially with standard AWD, but this SUV isn’t the best for off-roading. However, it delivers an engaging experience as a daily driver with plenty of tech, despite missing a touchscreen and a wireless phone charger.

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