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Small crossover SUVs are in great demand with automotive customers — and two top choices are the Mazda CX-30 and the Toyota Corolla Cross. Both models are great picks, but the 2023 Mazda CX-30 has one big advantage over the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross: It’s more fun to drive. 

2023 Mazda CX-30 is more fun to drive than the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross

2023 Mazda CX-30 crossover SUV driving on a street
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

When choosing which crossover SUV to buy, there are various factors to consider, such as exterior and interior design, safety, comfort, and features and technologies. While the 2023 Mazda CX-30 excels in all of these areas, it really shines with its driving dynamics. It’s more fun to drive than the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross. If you desire a crossover SUV that delivers an exhilarating driving experience, then the CX-30 is the way to go.

Car and Driver state that the CX-30 is “agile, fun to drive, and athletic.” With its maneuverability and precise steering, the crossover SUV is thrilling to drive on curvy roads. Also, it provides a stable ride when driving on straightaways. Plus, the ride quality is very good, with its suspension providing a good balance between athleticism — and comfort for soaking up road imperfections. 

In comparison, Car and Driver describes the Corolla Cross as having “meh performance and a forgettable driving character.” It lacks the driving excitement of the CX-30.

2023 CX-30 also offers more powerful engines than the 2023 Corolla Cross

Front view of red 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross crossover SUV
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross | Toyota

Another reason why the 2023 Mazda CX-30 is more fun to drive than the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross is its more powerful engines. The base level 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the CX-30 delivers 191 horsepower, compared to 169 horsepower for the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the Corolla Cross.

For even greater performance, the CX-30 offers a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which churns out 250 horsepower. For the Corolla Cross, the most powerful model is the hybrid variant, which produces 194 horsepower.

With its more powerful engines, the CX-30 has quicker acceleration. The crossover SUV completes the 0-60 mph sprint in as low as 5.8 seconds, compared to 8.0 seconds for the Corolla Cross.

Other strengths of the Mazda CX-30 over the Corolla Cross

The 2023 CX-30 has some other strengths over the 2023 Corolla Cross. This includes safety. Unlike the Corolla Cross, the CX-30 earned a 2023 IIHS Top Safety Pick award — due to strong results in crash tests and safety evaluations. 

Also, all CX-30 models come standard with a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system. For the Corolla Cross, all-wheel drive is optional, so you have to pay extra. Plus, the CX-30 can tow more. It has a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds, while the Corolla Cross tops out at 1,500 pounds. Another strength of the CX-30 is its upscale cabin, with a more premium look and feel than the Corolla Cross.

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 is more fun to drive than the 2023 Toyota Cross, which gives it a big advantage. For those deciding between the two crossover SUVs, this is a key factor to keep in mind.


2023 Mazda CX-30: Price, Specs, Features, & Overview