Skip to main content

What is the safest subcompact crossover SUV in the market today? If you had to guess, you probably would never list the 2022 Mazda CX-30 among the answers, but it is. Only the Chevrolet Trailblazer achieves the same high level of safety as the CX-30, which is awarded the Top Safety Pick+ level from the IIHS. This means, that if you’re looking for a small crossover that’s fun to drive that’s also safe, you’re going to drive the CX-30 Mazda SUV.

What is IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus?

2022 Mazda CX-30 review
2022 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

According to the IIHS, a vehicle achieving this safety rating earns a Good rating for the following crash tests.

  • driver-side small overlap front
  •  passenger-side small overlap front
  • Moderate overlap front
  • Original side
  • Roof strength
  • Head restraint tests

These vehicles also include an Advanced or Superior rating for available front crash prevention, vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to pedestrian evaluations.

If that’s not enough, they must also achieve an Acceptable or Good rating for their standard headlights.

The Mazda CX-30 met all of these challenges and kept the streak alive for Mazda. What streak, you ask? This is the third consecutive year all Mazda vehicles tested earned the Top Safety Pick+ award.

What does the 2022 Mazda CX-30 include that keeps you safe?

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

The standard safety package of the CX-30 includes:

  • LED headlights/daytime running lights/taillights
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high beams
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keeping assistance

As you move up through the trims, you’ll receive:

  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Head-up display
  • Self-dimming rearview mirror
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Front/rear parking sensors
  • Automatic reverse raking
  • Self-dimming drive’s side mirror

With all of these items to keep you safe, it’s not surprising the IIHS chose to give this Mazda subcompact SUV its highest safety rating.

When you like driving this Mazda, is the right choice

Most times, subcompact SUVs are better kept on city streets where the shortcomings of their powertrains aren’t exposed. Many of these vehicles don’t stack up to what we expect out on the highway. The Mazda CX-30 doesn’t fall into this category. This SUV is a driver’s delight and one that can be a lot of fun on any road. The “zoom-zoom” mantra of old is alive and well in the driving dynamics of this crossover.

What Makes the CX-30 so much fun to drive?

Red 2022 Mazda CX-30 posed by cliff
2022 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

Let’s start with the powertrain. The CX-30 is offered with two versions of the same powertrain to give us the desired driving dynamics. Lower trim levels have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine attached to a six-speed automatic transmission that achieves 186 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque.

While this doesn’t sound like a lot of power, the secret sauce is the SkyActiv technology which allows the engine to achieve maximum torque levels at only 4,000 rpm. That translates to excitingly quick acceleration off the line.

Of course, if you’d rather have one of the higher trims of this Mazda SUV, you’ll add turbocharging to the mix. This addition makes things interesting. Using regular 87-octane fuel, you’ll have 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. If you choose 93-octane gasoline, your reward is a bump in power to 250 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque.

The SkyActiv technology is at work with the turbocharged engine as well. Maximum torque is achieved earlier at 2,000 rpm, giving you an SUV that can be lightning-quick when you need it to be.

Controlling this power the Mazda way

The power coming from under the hood of the Mazda CX-30 is only one part of the performance equation; the rest is in the driving dynamics. Keep in mind this SUV comes from the same people that bring us the MX-5 Miata. Taking a page out of that book, the CX-30 is well-balanced, has impressive steering, a sharp suspension, and impeccable braking. These qualities in one package allow you to harness that power in a small SUV that can be a ton of fun to drive.

Safety and performance together; how can you go wrong with this SUV?

2022 Mazda CX-30 Review
2022 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

Mazda proudly achieves the highest safety rating, gives you an energetic powertrain, and brings you dynamic driving characteristics in the CX-30; what can’t this SUV do? It can’t grow. If you’re looking for driving fun in a small package, the Mazda CX-30 is a smart option, but if you need a larger vehicle, you’ll have to look for something else. Might we suggest you stick with the Mazda family and scope out the CX-5 or CX-9, which also achieved the Top Safety Pick+ ratings?

Next, check out the Honda CR-V recommendations, or watch the Mazda CX-30 video below:

This article was updated on 8/15/2022.


2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness: Going Farther Than Ever Before