2020 Mazda CX-30

Further honing the Kodo design language
June 6, 2020 Updated: June 6, 2020

The 2020 CX-30 was introduced as a subcompact SUV, but with a little more room. Major competitors will be Nissan Rogue Sport and Honda HR-V.

The CX-30 is available in four trim levels: base, Select, Preferred, and Premium.

This SUV is powered by a 2.5L Skyactiv-G 4-cylinder engine producing 186 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine power is channeled through a Skyactiv-Drive quick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift and Sport modes, resulting in a FWD fuel consumption rating of 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, for a combined 28 mpg.

The cabin is comfortable, and appears to have more room than some competitors. The power driver seat with lumbar support is heated, and can be quickly returned to preferred position through the memory system. The good seat size is also a bonus.

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Inside the CX-30 with white perforated leather seats. (Courtesy of Mazda)

The top-of-line Premium trim gets you perforated leather seating surfaces as well as a layered design on the dash. More leather is found on the shift knob and steering wheel. Power moonroof and power liftgate are strong quality-of-life improvements, and persuasive motivations to jump for the Premium model.

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Power moonroof. (Courtesy of Mazda)

The front cabin speakers are located under the dash board rather than door panels, helping to keep the cabin quiet. The 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with rear seat armrest and cup holders provides the flexibility to further expand the excellent storage space of 20.2 cubic feet before fold down.

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Minimalist dash with the infotainment screen. (Courtesy of Mazda)

One major difficulty I had was with the media control. The 8.8-inch multimedia display sitting on top of the minimalist dash is controlled by using the rotary knob and buttons on the center console. They were hard to use and compromised usefulness. The complicated menu system kept me from going from AM to FM. You can forget about finding Satellite Radio. Too many steps while making little headway.

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Center console control panel with dials and buttons. (Courtesy of Mazda)

It was especially difficult operating Apple Play or Android Auto.

However, the most frustrating was the rear camera. The tracing lines were hard to follow when steering using the rear camera. Even more challenging when trying to park in small, big city parking spaces.

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CX-30 in premium Soul Red Crystal paint on 18-inch wheels. (Courtesy of Mazda)

The test CX-30 rested on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in P215/55 R18 all-season tires. The full suite of LED illumination — include headlights, daytime running lights, and tail lights — were stylish. The headlights had auto on/off.

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Looking from the back. (Courtesy of Mazda)

Mazda has the CX-30 loaded with all the safety and security measures you would expect: Full set of airbags, side impact beams, ABS, traction control, and dynamic control. Standard Vehicle Immobilizer System adds further protection to your investment. Lane Departure Warning, Lane-keep Assist, and Intelligent Brake Assist are also standard, which is nice.

Though the CX-30 was reasonably comfortable driving on road, construction patches and rough pavement stemmed some of that comfort.

The MSRP for the 2020 Mazda CX-30 starts at $21,900 for the base model, and goes up to $28,200 for the Premium Package trim. Opting for iActiv AWD adds $1,400 to each model.

36-month/36,000-mile Basic Warranty
60-month/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty
60-month/unlimited mileage Corrosion Perforation Warranty
36-month/36,000-mile 24-hour Roadside Assistance

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.