The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is an interesting crossover SUV for many reasons. First off, it seems to fit in between the CX-3, a subcompact, and the CX-5, a compact SUV. So why isn’t it the CX-4? How did we get to 30?
We may never know the reason for the deviation in the naming convention but that’s okay. The Mazda CX-30 is an impressive new entry in the Mazda lineup. With its innovative styling, impressive technology, and the same dynamic engine as the Mazda 3, the CX-30 is an SUV you’ll want to take a closer look at. Throw in the Premium trim and you have an SUV with enough luxury additions to stand toe-to-toe with a luxury peer like the Buick Encore.
The 2020 Mazda CX-30
There’s a lot to like about the new 2020 Mazda CX-30. It’s highly ranked in the subcompact SUV segment. With solid safety scores, an opulent cabin, and a smooth ride, it has a lot to offer.
On the inside, the CX-30 is well-executed like the Mazda 3. The infotainment system is user-friendly and centered on the dashboard with an easy-to-use rotary knob to navigate it. The climate-control buttons are centered between the upper and lower dash areas. You can select an eight or twelve-speaker stereo system. Heated front seats are available. The CX-30’s cargo and passenger space are average in its class.
The CX-30 models all feature a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 186 horsepower. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission which is the only option. Still, it shifts well and navigates different driving situations very well. The team at Car and Driver finds the CX-30 to have the same handling and performance chops as the Mazda 3 on top of being a fun ride.
The CX-30 with its smooth movements and precise steering offers a quality ride whether you’re on windy country roads or cruising on the highway. Its fuel efficiency is above average and that’s a big bonus.
The Premium trim
The Premium trim available for the 2020 Mazda CX-30 demonstrates the brand’s interest in producing upscale vehicles. According to Automobile, they just might be phasing out the CX-3 in the U.S. market since currently, you can only get the base Sport model.
The new Mazda CX-30 Premium is all-wheel-drive and fits into crossover category with the likes of the Buick Encore GX and the Chevy Trailblazer. With its raked roofline, it’s taller than the CX-3 but short than the CX-5. There are roof rails if you need to tote kayaks or bikes. And that’s handy because the CX-30 Premium isn’t at the top of its class on cargo space.
The interior of the CX-30 Premium is almost posh enough to compete with models from luxury brands. There are heated front seats and there’s a moonroof, power liftgate, and advanced keyless entry too. The infotainment system’s rotary knob requires a couple of steps so it’s a little bit of a detractor. But it comes with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
There are plenty of great driver-assist features here too like blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, driver attention alert, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, and radar cruise control with stop and go functioning. The team at Automobile didn’t care for the electronic parking brake because it would automatically set when the vehicle was parked. It doesn’t automatically release when you’re ready to go again.
The drive, the Automobile team says, is as good as that of the Mazda CX-5. But keep in mind that the CX-30 Premium is much lighter, offering a drive that’s precise and tight. Its suspension isn’t too firm so the ride is comfortable on most road conditions. That’s a real bonus.
Taking on the competition
So can the 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium take on the 2020 Buick Encore GX? Actually, it can.
The two SUVs are pretty evenly matched when it comes to comfort and interior space. Both offer opulent cabins with plenty of head and legroom. While the two SUVs are comparable in size, the Buick does offer more cargo space than the CX-30.
When it comes to power, the CX-30 has a little more power than the Encore. Yes, the Encore has a lower torque engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). But it isn’t as efficient in sending power to its wheels as the CX-30.
The two SUVs are comparable in price but the Buick Encore GX can cost a bit more depending on what you get. That makes the Mazda CX-30 a pretty good value and a quality crossover SUV worthy of your consideration.