Crossover & Midsize

Is the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Better Than the Mazda CX-30 at Anything?

Subcompact SUVs are becoming a pretty crowded class on the market. Finding one that offers everything you need at the right price point isn’t always easy to do. The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek and the 2020 Mazda CX-30 are proving to be excellent choices for those looking to go the subcompact SUV route. One is perfect for rougher terrain and the other offers a much more pleasant ride. U.S. News reviewed both vehicles, starting with the Crosstrek.

Overview of the Subaru Crosstrek 

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek now has automatic climate control as a standard feature. Also, the new year brings the stop-start engine function to the CVT models. U.S. News gave it good ratings for the way it rides, comfort, user-friendly controls, and excellent cargo capacity.

The interior looks good, both rows of seats have enough leg and headroom to handle longer drives. Its navigational system has a 6.5-inch touchscreen using both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity features. The Limited trim offers an 8-inch display screen. 

Under the hood of the Subaru Crosstrek, you’ll find a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 152 hp. Along with it is a standard six-speed manual transmission, with the choice to upgrade to a CVT one. However, if you choose the standard manual, it’s important to note that it will get only 29 highway mpg, whereas the CVT boosts it up to 33 highway mpg.

Overview of the Mazda CX-30

The 2020 model is the first line of the Mazda CX-30 subcompact SUV. For its debut season, it rated pretty high in its class because of its exceptional interior, great handling, and outstanding safety scores from the IIHS. It appears to have great promise for a vehicle that doesn’t have any history as of yet. 

This SUV seats five passengers and has a fair amount of cargo space for hauling personal items. It has an impressive 8.8-inch infotainment screen, but it’s controlled by knobs and not a touchscreen as most other competitors offer. You will still be able to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for their connectivity features, depending on which type of smartphone you may use. 

Powering it up is a four-cylinder inline engine putting out 186 hp that’s mated with a standard six-speed automatic transmission. For gas mileage, the CX-30 gets 33 highway mpg for the front-wheel-drive drivetrain, which surprisingly is only a couple of miles more than the models that have an all-wheel drive. Those can get 31 highway mpg. 

How do they compare with each other?

RELATED: How Reliable Is the Subaru Crosstrek?

The Mazda CX-30 outshines the Subaru Crosstrek in a few different ways. One way is with its plushier interior and above-average seat comfort. It also has better safety scores and a bit more powerful engine. There’s also no denying that Mazda has a better reputation for reliability than Subaru does.

However, Subaru has a couple of features that set it apart from the CX-30. It offers all-wheel drive as a standard feature on all trims with no extra cost, and it’s built to handle off-roading adventures far easier than the Mazda. So, it’s by far more fun to drive on rougher terrain. 

Both SUVs come in at around the same $22,000 base price. However, Subaru offers its mid-level and high-level trims at $23,000 and $27,000. They come in lower than the mid- and high-level trims that Mazda offers. The Preferred trim is $26,000 and the Premium trim is $28,000.

All in all, they come pretty close in competition, but if you’re an off-roading enthusiast, the Crosstrek is the way to go.