Subcompact crossovers are a dime a dozen, and so common in fact, that they’re replacing small sedans and hatchbacks in the price range between $20k – $30k. However, consumers have had a love/hate relationship with these vehicles as they’re practical and affordable, but often fall short in comfort, styling, driving dynamics, and technology. Despite many of these aspects beginning to trickle down to more affordable segments, sub compact crossovers are still lacking in many areas these leaves much more to be desired. The Mazda CX-30 is here to change all that, with an aggressive road presence, upscale interior, a more than adequate amount of performance, and a price tag that suits the lives of everyday Americans. So here are 5 reasons why you should buy a 2021 Mazda CX-30.
Starting off at number 5 is the versatility and year round drivability that the Mazda CX-30 provides, especially for consumers who are a bit more adventurous or need a capable crossover to take on the winter. It’s become a preconceived notion that the CX-30 is really just a lifted Mazda3 hatchback, and whether there’s any truth to that or not, this subcompact crossover is going to be more suitable for the tin\mes you go off-road or encounter snowy conditions, and that’s really due in part to the CX-30’s 7 inches of ground clearance in conjunction with the optional AWD system.
It’s no secret or surprise that Americans are gravitating towards crossovers because of the perception that they’re more practical and capable. With rivals such as the Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Seltos, and Chevy Trailblazer all appealing to buyers with a more active lifestyle, the CX-30 fits right in, but where it differentiates itself will lead us to the 4th reason why this sub compact crossover should be the newest addition to your driveway.
4) Interior Refinement
Often lacking in this price range and segment is interior refinement and an entry level luxury feel, as most manufacturers cut corners in quality, resulting in cheaper materials and a lack of soft touch padding. The Mazda CX-30 Premium bucks this trend, by captivating you with a comfortable two-toned leather trimmed cabin, that includes heated leather seats for both the driver and passenger, a leather stitched dashboard, and an adjustable leather center armrest. Controversial by some journalists, the gloss black trim pieces add a nice contrast while also providing a more upscale design, despite being very difficult to keep clean. The CX-30’s refinement when compared to many rivals in this segment isn’t just exclusive to comfort, as technology also impresses for a vehicle priced around $30k.
Once you step inside you’re greeted by a digital display in the center of your analogue gauges, which provides fuel efficiency numbers such as estimated range, and while this screen is very minimalistic, quality and resolution is what you’d expect in a Lexus or Acura. Not common for a sub compact crossover is a head up display, with traffic sign recognition, and blindspot detection to help keep your eyes on the road, rather than looking down at the gauge cluster. Also helping you stay focused on the road ahead, the 8.8 inch screen that pairs up well with the rotary dial, touchpad, and quick access buttons is placed closer to eye level and once you get acclimated with this user interface, rarely will you be looking down at the center console to find the right button to choose. Arguably the interior layout of the CX-30 is remisceient to what we see in current BMW models and older Audi’s, adding to the luxury appeal, but from a design perspective is certainly more simplistic.
3) Driving and Handling
Subcompact crossovers are notorious for their numb, boring, and uninspiring driving dynamics that usually bring a negative connotation to this segment. The Mazda CX-30 for what it is, differs in that regard and feels more planted and car like than competitors. Without a sports tuned suspension you’re obviously going to feel body roll and it won’t necessarily hug the road, but steering input gives you confidence when traveling on winding backroads. Working in it’s favor, the CX-30 is built on the same platform as the Mazda3 hatchback and you feel it, as there’s a firmness to the steering that we just don’t see with vehicles in this segment. It should also be noted that during our time with this sub compact crossover, driving was actually quite enjoyable even after a 2 hour cruise making this vehicle suitable for road trips when you want to getaway from the city.
Where Mazda stands out among a sea of cookie cutter competitors is the standard performance you’ll receive whether you spend $22k for a Select or $31k for a Premium, Under the hood the CX-30 is powered by a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine that puts out 186 hp and 186 lb ft of torque and is paired with a 6-Speed automatic transmission. By no means is this impressive, however it’s one of the more powerful options available in this class, as it’s common for sub compact crossovers to range anywhere from 150-170 hp. Also when factoring in the transmission, brands such as Toyota and Honda use a CVT which has been subject to criticism by both consumers and enthusiasts alike, whereas as Mazda has a conventional automatic that might not be the best on the market, but certainly inspires more excitement behind the wheel. For the 2021 model year, Mazda will take things one step further by dropping a turbo under the hood to give us an eye opening 250 hp and 320 lb ft of torque to outperform every vehicle in this segment.
It wouldn’t be far fetched to say that this will be a game change for the entire automotive industry, as the CX-30 sets the bar higher for this class. Depending on what you’re priorities are, whether you prefer comfort and affordability or performance and entry level luxury, we recommend waiting for the turbo to arrive as the horsepower to price ration will certainly make this sub compact crossover very appealing.
1) Value For The Price
And finally at number 1 is the value for the price you receive by going with the Mazda CX-30, specifically the Premium trim which comes in just under $31k. While it’s not the most spacious or practical, it surprises and impresses in other ways that to us makes the CX-30 the gold standard of the sub compact crossover segment. For buyers on a budget who don’t necessarily need a compact crossover and just desire a taste of luxury, good performance, versatility, and enough cargo space for groceries and daily tasks, the CX-30 checks off all those boxes. To find the amount of refinement and comfort you experience when you step inside, you’ll likely be paying $5k – $10k more by going with an Audi Q3 or BMW X2 because competitors such as Honda, Toyota, and Chevy just aren’t going to match what Mazda is providing.
Then when you take into account the performance, not only for current CX-30 models but also the turbo that will be arriving soon, it becomes more difficult to find a worthy rival. To us, Mazda found a way to package everything consumers want while also retaining a price tag around $30k, and that’s why if you’re in the market for a sub compact crossover, we highly recommend at least test driving one for yourself because it will surely impress the minute you leave the dealer.