What’s Up with the Mazda CX-30?

The Mazda CX-30 is far from the most popular SUV in the Mazda lineup. While consumers may be more familiar with the common options like the CX-3 and CX-5, the Mazda CX-30 might just check off most of the boxes on your list if you’re looking for a reliable SUV. With its weird name that doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the brand’s SUV naming structure, the CX-30 name might suggest that there is something a bit different about this spunky option.

The Mazda CX-30

As the name might suggest, the Mazda CX-30 is based on the Mazda3, one of the brand’s most popular sedans. It was designed to fill the space looming between the larger Mazda CX-3 and CX-5, Mazda’s two popular SUVs. With a sporty design and compact size, it directly competes with other common options like the Nissan Rogue and with a price range in the more comfortable $20,000 range.

A red 2020 Mazda CX-30 parked, looking toward a mountain range
The 2020 Mazda CX-30 on display | Mazda

The driving experience

If you took the Mazda CX-30 on a test drive, you won’t be blown away by its performance. But, after all, it isn’t designed to be a sports car or high-performance SUV option. Instead, this more modest and affordable SUV offers just what you need for the price. Nothing more, nothing less. According to Consumer Reports, you can expect to get around 28 miles to the gallon on average.

The liftgate, which has been recalled, in action on a red 2020 Mazda CX-30
The 2020 Mazda CX-30’s liftgate raising up | Mazda

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Space and practicality

While there is no third row of seating hiding unsuspectedly in the CX-30, it still offers a surprising amount of interior space for its size. If you’re traveling with adults, however, you may find the back seats to be lacking that extra bit of wiggle room in the leg-area. Some owners and test drivers have complained about the unfriendly nature of the infotainment system, but that also makes it a decent option if you aren’t into new tech and features.

A red 2021 Mazda CX-30 parked on sand on a hill overlooking an ocean
2021 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda North American Operations

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Overall, the Mazda CX-30 fills a small gap that perhaps should have been left open. For the right drive, this minimalist car is a great bargain, but the average driver might find themselves looking for something with more modern tech.