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The battle between compact SUVs rages on as the Mazda CX-30 seeks to maintain its crown over the newer Kia Seltos. While both of these options provide excellent benefits, there are a few reasons to pick the 2023 Mazda CX-30 over the 2023 Kia Seltos that can’t be ignored. 

2023 Mazda CX-30 vs. the 2023 Kia Seltos 

Both the 2023 Mazda CX-30 and 2023 Kia Seltos have crucial advantages to consider. However, regarding value, the CX-30 might take the cake. For example, the Seltos offers standard AWD for most trims, but the CX-30 provides standard AWD on each model. 

You can get started with a 2023 CX-30 for about $22,950, and the top-spec 2.5 Turbo Premium plus model takes the price up to $35,400. There are seven different configurations available. 

The 2023 Seltos kicks things off at $23,140, while the SX takes things up to $28,640. There are five trim levels to meet the various needs of drivers. 

Both models offer tons of value and a long list of standard features, but the CX-30 takes things a bit further with near-luxury comfort and convenience. 

Does the CX-30 or the Seltos have a better performance? 

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 has a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. This is a respectable amount of power, and it’s above average for the class. 

You can upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. This engine helps the CX-30 accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.4 seconds. It’s the fastest in its class, with direct steering, confidence around bends, and responsive handling. 

The 2023 Kia Seltos starts with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine for 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. 

You can accelerate from 0 to 60 in about 8.1 seconds. Edmunds mentions that the transmission is smooth, but the Seltos could be a little more athletic. It’s a bit heavy and lofty around curves.

The CX-30 absorbs impacts well to provide a smooth ride with a peacefully quiet cabin. The front seats are large, supportive, and well-padded. The rear seats are also well-padded with a comfortable backrest angle. 

While the 2023 Seltos can absorb impacts fairly well, it falls short in terms of comfort. The front seats could use more padding. The rear seats are comfortable, though. Also, wind and road noise is noticeable in the cabin, and the climate control system is weak. 

Does the 2023 CX-30 or 2023 Seltos have better features? 

2023 Mazda CX-30
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 provides 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space in the rear with up to 45.2 cubes total. The 2023 Kia Seltos has 22.6 cubic feet behind the back seat and up to 62.8 cubes total. 

Both SUVs offer Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a wireless phone charging pad, and built-in navigation. But the CX-30 takes things further with a power liftgate, head-up display, a traffic sign reader, and adaptive headlights. Also, the CX-30 has more standard safety features. 

The Kia Seltos is a great start. It’s just a little lacking compared to the Mazda CX-30. While both rides are affordable and comfortable, the CX-30 has more power, more value, more tech, and a better ride quality.