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There must be something going on over at Mazda HQ these days. For some reason, the Mazda CX-30s are flying off dealer lots like Taylor Swift tickets. In October of 2021, the company sold only 3,147 versions of the spunky small SUV. This October, the company sold 6,666. That’s a 112% difference, for those of us can’t do the math in our heads.

Is it the CX-30’s value that is setting it on fire?

The CX-30 is Mazda’s 2022 current sales leader

A red 2023 Mazda CX-30 subcompact SUV is parked.
The 2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

In the latest sales numbers released by Mazda, the CX-30 wasn’t the only Mazda to see major sales percentage jump. The CX-9 seven-passenger SUV, saw a 43% increase and several cars did, too. For the year, the company has so far sold 44,052 CX-30s.

Sure, Mazda sold about 3,000 more versions of its larger CX-5 SUV, but sales of that SUV are down 7% this year. The CX-5 sales could possibly be cannibalized by Mazda’s own CX-50 SUV, which is almost the same midsize SUV.

The CX-30 packs a lot of class into its small footprint

 The CX-30 starts at about $23,000, but if you sat in one, you’d probably think it sells for $5,000 more. The seats are covered in a firm, high-quality fabric (or leather), and Mazda generally hides its cheaper plastics well behind chrome.  And if you don’t believe it, you can read Car and Driver’s review, where it’s compared to the Mazda 3 sedan.

But, it’s not just the materials. The base engine isn’t much to rave about, but the optional 250-horsepower turbocharged engine that wakes it up, compared to the 191-hp standard engine. That turbo motor works well with the tight suspension to give this small SUV a perky demeanor that belies its tall roof and generous cargo hold. It can hit 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

The options are what makes the CX-30

Dashboard and front seats in 2023 Mazda CX-30
2023 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

The base CX-30 may start at a low price, but the upgraded Select for $25,400 offers leather seats and a steering wheel, but you have to step up the $28,000 Preferred to get heated seats and more safety aids.

To really exploit this fun SUV, you should step up to the CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium, which brings 250 horsepower to the party. It raises the price quite a bit, to $33,800 or $35,400 in Turbo Premium Plus trim. Though a CX-30 starts to get into BMW X1 money at that price, it outguns the little Bimmer’s 228 horsepower and has more options. Also, the Mazda has all-wheel drive standard, while the Bimmer doesn’t.

What does the Mazda CX-30 compare to?

2023 Taos in blue parked on dirt
2023 VW Taos | VW

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The Mazda seems to punch above its weight when its base version is compared to competitors, and that may be one of the reasons it’s selling well. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, for example, is about $25,000, but it has 40 fewer horsepower. The Volkswagen Taos, too, seems to compete with it, but the base VW doesn’t offer nearly the options. The Buick Encore is a good competitor that offers a lot of features for about $25,000, but it doesn’t have the taught handling of the CX-30.