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2023 Mazda CX-30 Review 

  • 2023 Mazda CX-30: $22,950 – $35,400 
  • 2023 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money – U.S.News 
  • Pros: Comfortable interior, engaging ride, long list of standard features 
  • Cons: No touchscreen, underwhelming base engine, dated tech 
  • MotorBiscuit score: 8.6 out of 10 
The 2023 Mazda CX-30 parked near trees
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 may seem like an average SUV, but it’s actually a force to be reckoned with that oozes personality and athletic driving dynamics. Don’t let the simple yet elegant design fool you. 

There’s more than meets the eye with a well-appointed interior, unique tech features, and refinement. This affordable SUV punches above its weight with the ability to compete against luxury rivals like the Audi Q3. 

While it’s fun to drive and convenient in crowded city areas, a few aspects, such as the tech, transmission shifts, and average fuel economy, could be improved. But as part of the first generation introduced in 2020, it still has modern amenities to compensate for the differences. 

2023 Mazda CX-30: What’s new? 

Not much has changed for the 2023 Mazda CX30, except that the base engine gained a slightly better fuel economy and a modest boost in power. It cranks out 191 hp instead of 186 hp and gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and up to 33 mpg on the highway. 

You might not notice the extra juice, so we recommend upgrading to the turbocharged engine, despite the price increase. Either way, you’ll get a comfortable ride that makes daily commuting easy. 

Which 2023 Mazda CX-30 trim is best? 

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 with a dark background
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

The Mazda CX-30 has seven different trim levels to meet diverse needs. 

  • Mazda CX-30 2.5 S – $22,950 
  • Mazda CX-30 2.5 S Select Package – $25,400 
  • Mazda CX-30 2.5 S Preferred Package – $28,550
  • Mazda CX-30 2.5 S Carbon Edition – $29,290 
  • Mazda CX-30 2.5 Premium Package – $31,500
  • Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Package – $33,800
  • Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus – $35,400 

Opting for the 2023 Mazda CX-30 2.5 S Select model provides comfort and convenience upgrades without increasing the price by much. It builds upon the base model with simulated leather upholstery, keyless entry, 18-inch wheels, and tinted windows. 

But you have to upgrade to the Preferred model to get a sunroof. Moving up even higher on the totem poles provides access to premium leather upholstery, a head-up display, paddled shifters, traffic jam assist, and a surround-view camera display. 

How does the 2023 Mazda CX-30 drive? 

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 drving in the city
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 is equipped to meet different moods. It can be athletic and fun for a thrilling adventure or relaxed and easy for a low-maintenance ride. Toggle the Sport Mode on to make things spicier with faster response times at the risk of consuming more fuel. 

While the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 191 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque gets knocked, it actually provides more power than rivals in the class. Edmunds shared that it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 9.0 seconds. 

Upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque using 93 octane fuel. Otherwise, it provides a respectable 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. 

The CX-30 quickly gets off the line with smooth upshifts but sometimes stumbles with delayed downshifting. But you can use the paddle shifters for more precision. The brakes are a little soft and take some getting used to for mastering smooth stops. 

We’re fans of the direct steering and responsive handling for zooming around curves. The Mazda CX-30 feels stable and confident, with plenty of grip. The 17.4-foot turning radius creates an agile performance to maneuver around crowded areas with ease. 

Can the Mazda CX-30 go off-roading? 

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 off-roading in mud
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

All-wheel drive may be standard across the entire lineup, but the 2023 Mazda CX-30 is more suited for sticking to the pavement. It can get you to your campsite, but we don’t recommend pushing it far. 

While off-roading, the brakes didn’t provide confidence on steep inclines or in slippery conditions with sand, gravel, mud, and dirt. The AWD i-Activ system does have off-road traction assist, and the abundance of power for clearing mud and ruts was appreciated. 

However, the ride is very bumpy, and there aren’t off-roading modes for gravel, sand, mud, or snow. Rivals like the Subaru Crosstrek could be better for longer stints in the wild, but the CX-30 has a nice start. 

It has an 8.0-inch ground clearance that’s a bit short, but it has a little protective cladding to protect the undercarriage. We wouldn’t mind seeing this SUV equipped with beefier tires, either. 

We can assume that the CX-30 provides an excellent performance in the snow because it feels safe and in control during massive thunderstorms and heavy rain. Spring storms were no match for this ride. 

How comfortable is the Mazda CX-30? 

Side profile of the 2023 MAzda Cx-30
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 creates a welcoming environment that’s comfortable and relaxing. The front seats are well-padded and supportive for longer rides. They work economically to keep you energized and alert. 

However, the bottom cushion can seem a little stiff after a few hours into the road trip. But at least there are plenty of adjustment controls to stretch out and find the perfect driving or riding position. 

Taller adults may feel cramped in the rear, but it provides average passenger space. Shorter adults have enough legroom to work with, but we recommend only putting two people in the back. The middle seat is narrow. 

The backseat is plush and well-padded and has a relaxed backrest angle. Plus, there are rear vents to provide fresh air. 

Also, the Mazda CX-30 has a smooth ride for highway cruising. The suspension is a bit stiff, but larger impacts are quickly dampened on beat-up country roads. Massive potholes don’t cause the cabin to rattle or jostle. 

The cabin is pretty quiet, with minimal noise at highway speeds. It is one of the quieter options in the class. The optional premium Bose audio system covers wind and road noise. 

How is the 2023 Mazda CX-30’s interior? 

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 interior is simple but far from boring, with an elegant and intuitive layout. Everything you need is clearly labeled and placed within reach. However, the volume knob is by the center console instead of by the infotainment screen. 

Upscale materials such as plush carpeting, premium leather, metal trim, and soft-touch covered surfaces with accent stitching craft a premium space. The materials are durable and resistant to tears. 

The sunroof could be larger, but natural light fills the cabin without being too bright or harsh. The doors have wide openings for easy access, and the windshield provides tons of visibility out of the front. 

The rear window is tight, and blind spots can hamper your experience, but blind spot warning, parking sensors, and the optional 360-degree display help. 

Does the Mazda CX-30 have good tech? 

2023 Mazda CX-30 interior tech
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

We have mixed feelings about the Mazda CX-30 and its tech. The 8.8-inch infotainment screen is vibrant with modern graphics, but it’s not a touchscreen. The system implements a rotary dial for control that can be distracting while in motion. 

But in reality, the system is easy to master in minutes. The digital guage cluster is basic, but you still get crucial stats such as your fuel economy, miles to empty, and traffic sign recognition. 

The head-up display is impressive and easy to customize. Also, there are unique exclusive features such as severe weather warnings. An alert notifies you if your route has a thunderstorm warning, wind advisory, flooding, etc. 

Also, the traffic jam assist feature can save tons of time with alternate routes. But we still wish for things like wireless Apple CarPlay, ventilated seats, and a wireless phone charging pad. Connecting your phone is easy if you prefer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. 

The review camera and 360-degree display could have a better resolution. The screen feels small because it sits back in the dash, and soft-touch materials block the bottom of the screen. 

How much cargo space does the Mazda CX-30 have? 

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 has more space than you think. You can access up to 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats and up to 45.2 cubes overall. The seats fold flat to create a mostly level cargo floor. 

Storage for small items is a little better than expected, with a sizable storage tray in front of the gear shifter and a descent center console. The glove box is useful despite feeling tight. The door pockets and seat pockets are limited but serve their purpose. 

The CX-30 isn’t built for towing but can pull up to 2,000 lbs in a pinch. The rear hatch opens wide for easy access with a convenient liftover height. 

How safe is the Mazda CX-30? 

The 2023 Mazda CX3-0 from the rear
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 has an excellent safety rating. It’s an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. It has a Good score in almost every single crash test, which is the highest score possible. 

The small crossover SUV only earned an Acceptable rating in one area, and that’s the second highest ranking. It got a Superior rating for the ability to avoid collisions and pedestrians at 12 and 25 mph speeds. At 37 ph, the CX-30 avoided a collision and issued a warning 1.9 seconds before impact. 

The headlights have a Good rating, and the adaptive high beams are quick to respond. The CX30 provides excellent visibility at night. Also, the child seat anchors received a Good+ score because the anchors are easy to find and attach. 

Is the Mazda CX-30 Reliable? 

The back end of the 2023 Mazda CX-30
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Allison Barfield, Motor Biscuit

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 has an average reliability rating. It earned an 80 out of 100 from J.D.Power, so it came close to slotting in the above-average category. Scores between 70 and 80 are average, while anything between 81 and 90 is above average. It’s only one point away! 

You can expect the average Mazda CX-30 to last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles. Remember, proper maintenance and regular care make all the difference. A well-maintained Mazda CX-50 should provide around 15 years of service on the road. 

It costs roughly $465 to maintain the CX-50 annually. This is below the average yearly cost of $652 to maintain new SUVs. 

MotorBiscuit awards the 2023 Mazda CX-30 with a score of 8.6 

The experts at MotorBiscuit have provided the 2023 Mazda CX-30 with an overall rating of 8.6 out of 10. It’s hard to beat this subcompact option regarding the exciting driving experience, comfort, and value. 

While the CX-30 is a well-rounded option that feels more expensive than it actually is, it could use a better fuel economy, more driving modes, and updated tech.That said, everything works well and it’s easy to spend time behind the CX-30 wheel. 

We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the 2024 Mazda CX-30, it might be time for a mid-cycle refresh, and a new Carbon Turbo model is on the way.