Crossover & Midsize

Improved Engine Beefs up the 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo

Similar to the Mazda3, the Mazda CX-30 is an upscale SUV with attractive styling and a highly responsive ride. In fact, until this point, reviewers at Car and Driver only had one major complaint about this vehicle: its disappointing lack of power. For 2021, Mazda has solved this problem by introducing the 2.5 Turbo trim level, a powerful new engine that significantly improves an already stellar vehicle.

What to expect from the Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 Turbo starts at approximately $31,225. Despite its impressive new turbocharged engine, this trim has only seen a 1 mile per gallon reduction in its combined fuel economy, dipping from 26 miles per gallon to 25 miles per gallon.

Test drivers praise the CX-30’s highly responsive steering, which provides feelings of confidence even on roads that twist and turn. However, they do note that it is most comfortable to drive more slowly on straighter roads in order to properly enjoy the upscale cabin.

This vehicle comes standard with leatherette upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and an 8.8-inch infotainment system. The CX-30 has 20 cubic feet of cargo space and a fair amount of headroom in the rear seat. However, Car and Driver notes that regardless of this headroom, the backseat is really only comfortable for children.

Additionally, while the CX-30 offers a generally comfortable ride, it doesn’t handle large bumps and potholes particularly well. At highway speeds, there is also a fair amount of road noise that enters the cabin.

The CX-30’s turbocharged engine

The Mazda CX-30 Turbo features a 2.5-liter inline-four turbocharged engine that makes 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque when on premium fuel. It is slightly less powerful on regular fuel, making 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Car and Driver notes that this turbocharged engine is the same one that is standard on almost every other new Mazda model. 

This engine adds approximately 120 pounds to the SUV’s overall weight. Although it is similar in many ways to other CX-30 models, the Turbo trim is visibly recognizable from its black wheels, large tailpipes, brushed aluminum roof rails, and exterior mirrors. This vehicle also has a small Turbo badge on its liftgate.

Although reviewers haven’t tested how rapidly the CX-30 Turbo can get to 60 mph, they forecast that it will be around six seconds. This means that the CX-30 Turbo will be one of the fastest subcompact SUVs on the market that is not specifically performance-oriented. These numbers are all the more impressive given the CX-30 Turbo’s reasonable starting price, which is significantly lower than similarly powerful crossovers from automakers such as BMW and Jaguar.

Upgrades for the new model

RELATED: The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo Actually Makes the SUV Safer

Although the interior of the 2021 Mazda CX-30 is largely unchanged, there are some upgrades for the new model year. The Turbo Premium Plus package all-wheel-drive version features offerings such as a high-resolution camera system, rear parking sensors, and steering assistance with adaptive cruise control.

However, these upgrades can push the cost of the CX-30 Turbo close to $36,000. Car and Driver points out that at this price, you might be better off opting for the Mazda CX-5, which starts at $31,935, offers similar perks, and is more spacious.

Overall, though, the Mazda CX-30 Turbo is an excellent addition to an already stellar lineup. Although it is not quite a luxury vehicle, it gets pretty close, and will likely continue to be one of the automaker’s top sellers. It is well worth consideration for anyone on the market for an excellent subcompact SUV.