Stick Shift: 2020 Mazda CX-30

The CX-30 is an all new vehicle from Mazda for 2020. Sized somewhere between the CX-3 and CX-5. Why they didn’t name it something like the CX-4 is beyond me. But troublesome nomenclature aside, the CX-30 is built with the Mazda mission in mind. The perfect option for anyone straddling the fence between car and small crossover SUV.

A 2.5L 4-cylinder churns out 166 horsepower. Though slower than other rivals packing turbochargers, there’s enough pep in the acceleration to uphold the ‘zoom-zoom’ reputation. Exterior design follows the sharp lines, large grille and aggressive features common to the rest of the line-up right now. Upscale and luxurious beyond the price-tag. Handsome 18” alloy wheels pair with LED lighting at each corner. Rear privacy glass looks great and keeps the occupants in the back shielded from the bright Arizona sun.

As is common of Mazda interiors, the CX-30 comes equipped with a well-crafted cabin. Sharing most of its layout and design with the Mazda 3. A smart move, as the Mazda 3’s interior is one of its most impressive parts. Climate control buttons are easy to operate, have a quality feel and are laid out in an orderly fashion. Dividing the upper and lower dash panel to create a visual symmetry. An 8.8” color infotainment display sits high in the center of the dashboard. It’s controlled by an easy-to-use rotary dial.

Photo via: Mazda

Numerous other little luxuries abound in the Premium package. Like a 12-speaker Bose audio system, leather seats, shift knob and steering wheel. There’s heated front seats, lumbar support and more. In addition, Mazda has outfitted the new CX-30 with a host of safety features and useful driving aides to help mitigate collisions, keep you in your lane, assist with tricky parking and maintain the distance between you and the car out front with radar cruise control. Each driving aide works well, stepping in politely without trying to yank control away from you entirely. 

A new Mazda could never truly fit into the family unless it possessed a few inherited character traits. Lucky for us, the CX-30 has all the right DNA in place. It’s light on its feet. There’s good acceleration. Steering is crisp, handling is sharp with stable body movements. Put the CX-30 on a winding road to really see it come to life. It’s this fun-loving, playfulness that we’ve come to expect from the Mazda brand. It’s also what keeps people coming back for more, as so many other vehicles in this segment can feel dull in comparison. If you’re a fan of the Mazda 3, as many are, you’ll find a lot to like in the new CX-30. 

By: Brandon Randall

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