In terms of length, the CX-30 splits the difference between the CX-3 and CX-5, although in terms of cargo room and price, it’s closer to the CX-3. Photo: Mazda

A sweet ride that fits in Mazda’s sweet spot

The CX-30 is a smart play on Mazda’s part and could be a smart buy for anyone seeking flair and finesse in a useful package

Achieving mastery in the utility-vehicle segment is not necessarily defined by the automaker that sells the most, but by which one, or ones, best combine styling, spaciousness and driving competency.

By that measure, the current trio of Mazda models — the CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9 — are highly regarded.

Despite what the name implies, the new CX-30 plugs a noticeable gap between the 3 and the 5. As for the tale of the tape for a vehicle that should be called the CX-4: About 13 centimetres longer than the three and 15 centimetres shorter than the CX-5.

Why is it called the CX-30? Apparently because Mazda already makes a CX-4, although not for this market.

In terms of cargo capacity, aft of the front seats, the CX-30 offers only slightly greater room than the CX-3. That’s due in part to a sloped liftgate, which gives the newcomer a sportier silhouette but cuts into stowage room (with the split-folding rear seat up or lowered). This is big deal because one of the CX-3’s shortcomings — and therefore one of the reasons to move up to the CX-30 — is cargo room.

Fortunately, the rear door is relatively wide and the cargo floor is quite low (unlike in the CX-3) to accommodate bulkier objects.

When viewed head-on, the CX-30’s visually appealing grille and elongated hood — part of the Kodo design language — appear to be lifted straight from the CX-5.

As you would expect, the CX-30’s passenger volume falls between that of the 3 and 5. The control panel and standard 23-centimetre touch-screen — appearing partially sunken into the dashboard — is also similar to the CX-5’s unit.

Elsewhere, Mazda focused on a quiet cabin. Along with added insulation, the sound system’s low-frequency speakers, which are normally placed in the lower front-door panels, are moved upward and closer to the pull handles. The automaker claims this means more bass plus a reduction in outside noise leaking in through the speaker grilles.

The base CX-30 engine is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that produces 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet. Both engines are connected to six-speed automatic transmissions.

Front-wheel-drive is standard for both engines, and all-wheel-drive is optional for both.

Fuel consumption for the FWD 2.0 is rated at 8.9 l/100 km in the city, 7.1 on the highway and 8.1 combined.

A new AWD feature is the Off-Road mode that assists traction on rough/uneven/loose surfaces.

Pricing in Canada starts at $26,000, including destination charges, for the base CX-30 GX. That’s $3,000 higher than the CX-3’s base, but the CX-30 includes extra-cost content such as an 22.3-centimetre screen, heated front seats, LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels and eight-speaker audio. Also standard is blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The midgrade GS comes with the 2.5-liter engine plus dual-zone climate control, 18-inch wheels and a heated steering wheel. There’s also a much larger grouping of key active-safety tech, including adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, inattentive-driver alert and emergency braking.

The top-line GT trim level comes with all-wheel-drive plus a 12-speaker Bose-brand audio package, heated front seats with power adjustment (including lumbar support and memory settings) for the driver.

You also get leather seat inserts, power moonroof, power liftgate, adaptive (left-right pivoting) headlights and head-up display that projects speed and other information onto the windshield.

Note than the GT’s 2.5-litre engine includes cylinder deactivation that shuts down two cylinders during light cruising to save fuel.

For the 2020 model year, every CX-30 (as does every new Mazda in Canada) comes with an unlimited-kilometre warranty with three years of comprehensive coverage (including roadside assistance), five-years of powertrain and seven years of anti-perforation (rust-through) coverage.

As buyers continue to gravitate to utility vehicles, the CX-30 is a smart play on Mazda’s part and could be a smart buy for anyone seeking flair and finesse in a useful package.

What you should know: 2020 Mazda CX-30

Type: Front- / all-wheel-drive compact utility vehicle

Engine (h.p.): 2.0-litre DOHC I-4 (155); 2.5-litre DOHC I-4 (186)

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Market position: The CX-30 gives Mazda four utility vehicles to cover a wide range of size and price. It fills a critical spot in the lineup between the CX-3 and the CX-5.

Points: Slightly less practical (but better looking) than the CX-5, but a nice option to the CX-3. • Interior remains spacious for people and cargo, despite the smallish dimensions. • Stout optional engine is the same one installed in the heavier CX-5, so it should perform well with less heft to haul around.

• Well priced considering the lengthy list of base content.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (opt.); emergency braking (opt.); drowsy-driver alert (opt.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 8.9/7.1(2.0, FWD); Base price (incl. destination) $26,000

BY COMPARISON

Honda HR-V

Base price: $26,100

Smallest of Honda’s utility model provides a versatile space for cargo stowage.

Chevrolet Trax

Base price: $27,600

Tall, stubby model uses a modest 138-h.p. engine. Replacement due for 2021.

Kia Soul

Base price: $23,350

New second-generation wagon is roomy, stylish and affordable, but no AWD.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lee Porteous will be one of the performers at the Duncan Showroom’s storytelling event later this month. (Photo Submitted)
Duncan Showroom hosts storytellers series

Monthly shows will be broadcast live on YouTube

A freight train makes its way over the Black Bridge in Duncan, back when rail was still running on the E&N corridor. A new survey from Island Corridor Foundation found that there is still a large amount of support for getting trains up and running again. (Citizen file)
Big support for rail on Vancouver Island, survey finds

80 per cent of survey respondents believe a modern and revitalized rail system should be funded

Premier John Horgan and Rob Douglas, BC NDP candidate for Cowichan Valley, meet with Cowichan First Nation elders, as they demonstrate spearfishing along the river. (Submitted)
Horgan fishes with Cowichan elders at Cowichan Valley campaign stop

B.C. premier talks mental health and addictions, universal income

Will Arquiett had 30 points in 53 games with the Caps last season. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Capitals continue making trades

Four players added in return for Arquiett and Morgan

“The area’s youth Scouting commissioner Brian Crockett, at the campground on the Bald Mountain Peninsula’s Camp Woodlands Scout/Guide Camp, which saw overnight campers and international radio communication, Saturday, Oct. 16.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette, Oct. 20, 2010/Tyler Clarke photo)
Lake Flashback: Scouting return, fish biting, and election looms

Remember these stories from Cowichan Lake?

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Most Read