The trend of creating subcompact crossovers of various kinds has continued to gain traction. With many automakers aiming to meet your lifestyle needs. It comes to a point that you will find a micro-SUV for any kind of style, sporty or outdoor. Though if you squint and stare long enough, you will find the options being a bit contrived. The recurring problem is that the performance does not back up the façade.
Mazda is on that effort and they pull it off well. With their CX-30, they made sure that the performance matches the look. This model stands as an in-between entry for the CX-3 and the CX-5. How does this crossover fare? Let us take a look.
What the CX-30 Brings with Looks
This all-wheel-drive CX-30 comes out as a pleasant car that has the look of a lifted Mazda3 hatchback. You can see this observation when you look at CX-30’s main design. But there are some differences that make it stand out from its hatchback counterpart.
For instance, it has higher ground clearance at around 6.9 inches. The body has a unique look as shown by the 61.7-inch roof height (5 inches taller than the Mazda3). Although when you compare it to the hatchback, it is rather compact. As for the cargo volume, it has 20.2 cubic feet behind the second row.
Style is also something that the CX-30 brings to the table. With Mazda’s interpretation of the Kodo design language, this model ends up with an elegant look with creases and pointed details acting as the counter-element. What adds to the tough exterior of this vehicle is the black cladding around the lower body. Though the sheet metal’s contours can grab your attention.
The downside to this is the visibility. Due to the high beltline and the large D-pillars, it ends up giving the driver some considerable blind spots. Though this gets compensated through its rear cross-traffic alert, which is one of the CX-30’s standard safety features.
The CX-30 On the Inside
Under the hood and behind the black mesh grille, you have a 2.5-liter I-4 engine that is also present in the Mazda3. Capable of producing 186 hp and an equal amount of torque, Mazda claims this to be class-leading. This shows in the test track as it ran from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. It is just behind the all-wheel-drive Hyundai Kona Ultimate and its 6.6-second sprint. On the bright side, the CX-30 is way ahead of the Nissan Rogue Sport and its 9.8-second stroll.
In terms of handling, the CX-30 has quick and smooth shifts from its six-speed automatic transmission during the acceleration tests. This could be the case as well when on the road. Having a six-speed transmission system seems rather rare when most models use the eight-speed automatic transmission system, if not higher. This is not an issue for the CX-30.
The good thing about gear shifting is in how responsive the paddle shifters are, perfect for manual gear selection.
The CX-30 also has well-calibrated brakes. They can bite immediately but they are not overly grabby. They work well in most situations, though the brake pedal becomes rather squishy during panic stops. Despite this, it has a consistent stopping distance.
Handling and Performance
When it comes to steering and handling, you expect no less from a Mazda. This rings true with this particular version. Even the tiniest of wheel inputs can cause directional changes. This accuracy allows for a greater sense of control. When you are in the freeway, however, this can be very taxing due to the minute adjustments needed to keep you going straight ahead.
The CX-30 has Lane Keep Assist but it provides a minimal intervention that you feel it once you drift across the line.
Despite this, the CX-30 is a nimble vehicle. It shows in how it performed in the figure-eight handling course. It is not a sporty vehicle and it isn’t as eager as a sports car would be. Due to the relaxed power delivery, it seems laid back. But its agility proves it otherwise. It can take corners smoothly but it can also understeer.
It can perform fine when subjected to off-roading, but it is far from being trail-tuned. With dirt and terrain being real threats to the suspension, it doesn’t work well when rock crawling. But it drives fine through slick and wet weather. Make sure to not let the off-road mode fool you, as the CX-30 is far from off-road ready.
On the city streets, it does wonders. Add the wonderful leather interior, the controls, and a quiet ride. The Mazda CX-30 is an SUV that you should try out. It offers a nice experience while onboard. It provides a relaxing experience and an enjoyable ride to drive in.
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