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2020 Mazda CX-30 Review

The all-new 2020 Mazda CX-30 ranks highly among subcompact SUVs because it has a plush interior, responsive steering, a comfortable ride, and a great safety score.

Pros & Cons

  • Pleasing interior quality
  • Engaging handling
  • Comfortable ride
  • Excellent safety score
  • Tepid acceleration from a stop
  • Mixed reviews of infotainment controls

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Mazda CX-30's #2 ranking is based on its score within the Subcompact SUVs category. Currently the Mazda CX-30 has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 18 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.0
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Mazda CX-30 a Good SUV?

Yes, the new Mazda CX-30 is a good SUV. It handles with finesse, echoing the best quality of nearly all other Mazda vehicles. A high-class interior and a soft ride quality make the CX-30 a treat to drive on a regular basis.

For a subcompact SUV, the CX-30 has a decent, but not great, amount of passenger and cargo room for its size. Its fuel economy is about average for the class, and while the engine struggles a bit from a stop, it's perfectly adequate after you get going.

Should I Buy the Mazda CX-30?

You should strongly consider buying the Mazda CX-30 if you want fun performance in a small package. This new offering is a good value thanks to a long list of standard driver assistance features, and its upscale interior is impressive for its midclass price point.

Among Mazda crossovers, the new CX-30 slots between the CX-3 – another subcompact SUV – and the CX-5, a compact SUV. The CX-3 doesn’t have as much passenger and cargo space as the CX-30, but it's less expensive and comes with more standard features. If you need more room for people or stuff, the CX-5 is a better choice.

Compare the CX-30, CX-3, and CX-5 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mazda CX-30?

The Mazda CX-30 is a new compact crossover for the 2020 model year, so there are no older models available.

We Did the Research for You: 18 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed nine Mazda CX-30 reviews – along with interior dimensions, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2020 CX-30 is the right new car for you.

This 2020 CX-30 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2020.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Mazda CX-30 Cost?

The all-new 2020 Mazda CX-30 carries a starting price of $21,900. That's about average for the subcompact SUV segment. Three higher trims start at $23,900, $26,200, and $28,200. Front-wheel drive is standard, and adding all-wheel drive increases any trim's MSRP by $1,400.

The CX-30 slots in as more expensive than the Mazda CX-3, which starts at $20,640, though it costs several thousand dollars less than the Mazda CX-5 ($25,090).

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Mazda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mazda deals page.

Mazda CX-30 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mazda CX-30 or Mazda CX-3?

The Mazda CX-3 and the new CX-30 are both considered subcompact SUVs. The CX-30 serves up about 8 extra cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and its second row feels a little more spacious than the CX-3’s. For 2020, Mazda cuts the CX-3 lineup to one trim and packs it with standard features like automatic climate control, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. You'll pay extra for those amenities in the CX-30, which also has a slightly higher starting price than the CX-3. Overall, we think you should consider spending the extra money on the CX-30, which is marginally better than the CX-3.

Which Is Better: Mazda CX-30 or Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 is a compact SUV that's more spacious than the CX-30. The CX-5 offers around 3.5 extra inches of rear legroom, about 10 more cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and a maximum capacity of about 60 cubic feet. Pricing for the larger Mazda starts roughly $3,200 higher than that of the CX-30, but if you can afford it, it’s worth upgrading for the extra space. You can also equip the CX-5 with a potent 250-horsepower engine.

Which Is Better: Mazda CX-30 or Subaru Crosstrek?

Although it's still a good compact crossover, the Subaru Crosstrek ranks a little lower than the CX-30. That's mostly because the Subaru has a weak engine and slightly lower safety and predicted reliability ratings. The Crosstrek also isn't as athletic as the CX-30. On the plus side, you get standard all-wheel drive with the Crosstrek and one of the largest maximum cargo volumes in the class. These subcompact SUVs are similar in price across their trim lineups, and each one is a good buy. Go with the Mazda if you want to have more fun behind the wheel, or choose the Crosstrek if you want a little more utility.

Compare the CX-30, CX-3, and CX-5 »

CX-30 Interior

How Many People Does the CX-30 Seat?

The new subcompact Mazda CX-30 has five seats. The driver and front passenger seats are comfortable and well-sculpted, affording a relaxing position for long trips. The CX-30 also has ample head- and legroom.

In the back, accommodations are good but not great. There's a sufficient amount of legroom for most adults, but taller travelers may wish for a little more space to stretch their legs. Overall, the CX-30 feels roomier than many other subcompact SUVs.

CX-30 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the CX-30’s rear outboard seats, and the middle seat can borrow lower anchors from either outboard seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the highest rating of Good+ for ease of use. The "+" indicates that the system is among the easiest to use.

CX-30 Interior Quality

This new Mazda compact crossover punches above its price point for interior quality. Nearly all surfaces are soft to the touch, and multicolor combinations of upholstery and trim pieces give the CX-30 a unique appearance.

CX-30 Cargo Space

Behind its rear seats, the CX-30 has 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which is about average for a subcompact SUV. The cargo hold is more impressive in reality, thanks to a wide hatch opening. You should have little trouble wedging in large or bulky objects, and a low trunk floor makes it easy to load heavier items.

CX-30 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Mazda outfits the CX-30 with an 8.8-inch infotainment display that you control using a rotary knob on the center console. There is no touch-screen capability. You'll want to test out the system for yourself before buying. Some critics reported that a touch screen would make the system less distracting, as you can quickly tap the precise icon on the screen that you want. Other testers prefer the knob function, noting that you quickly get used to how it operates.

All CX-30 models above the base trim feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. However, these connectivity features are designed primarily for touch-screen infotainment systems, so using this interface without touch capacity feels a little convoluted.

Read more about interior »

CX-30 Performance

CX-30 Engine: Low-End Losses

Powering the new Mazda CX-30 is a 186-horsepower Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine. It's mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is a little slow off the line, but the transmission executes timely downshifts to make the most of the engine's power. Once you get moving, though, the inline-four has sufficient power for merging onto the highway and passing other cars.

CX-30 Gas Mileage: Middle of the Road

The front-wheel-drive 2020 CX-30 gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are about average for a subcompact SUV. When equipped with optional all-wheel drive, the CX-30 gets 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

CX-30 Ride and Handling: Like Its Brethren

With responsive steering and good feedback from the road, the new CX-30 upholds Mazda's reputation for fun-to-drive vehicles. It's easy to pilot this crossover as you would a sporty sedan, thanks to its controlled body motions and lively G-Vectoring torque steering system.

This athleticism doesn't come at the expense of ride comfort. The CX-30 glides comfortably over most surfaces, isolating the cabin from bumps and uneven pavement.

Read more about performance »

CX-30 Reliability

Is the Mazda CX-30 Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Mazda CX-30 has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Mazda CX-30 Warranty

Mazda covers the CX-30 with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Mazda CX-30?

The cost of insuring a Mazda CX-30 will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

CX-30 Safety

CX-30 Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Mazda CX-30 a 2020 Top Safety Pick. The CX-30 earned the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests.

The IIHS tested two different versions of the CX-30's headlights. The base setup earned a Good rating for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead, but the optional headlights received the lowest rating of Poor.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The CX-30 earned the top score of Superior for the effectiveness of its standard vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian front prevention systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash tested the CX-30.

CX-30 Safety Features

The new CX-30 comes standard with many of Mazda's i-Activsense driver assistance features, including forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. All models also come with adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, a driver monitoring system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a rearview camera.

Optional driver assistance features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive headlights, and a head-up display.

Read more about safety »

CX-30 Dimensions and Weight

The Mazda CX-30 is 14.4 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,232 to 3,408 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Mazda CX-30 Built?

Mazda builds the 2020 CX-30 in Japan.

Which Mazda CX-30 Model Is Right for Me?

Mazda offers the new CX-30 in four trim levels: CX-30 (base), Select, Preferred, and Premium. All models come standard with a four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is a $1,400 option in every trim.

With a solid list of driver assistance features and a standard infotainment system, the base model is a good choice for those who prioritize value. But for an extra $2,000, we recommend the CX-30 Select, which gains Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring, and synthetic leather upholstery. Step up to the Preferred for a Bose stereo, satellite radio, and heated front seats, or spring for the top Premium trim to get leather upholstery and a moonroof.

For every trim, wireless device charging is available for $275, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a universal garage door opener is optional for $375.

Mazda CX-30

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 starts at $21,900 and comes standard with cloth upholstery, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster display, LED headlights, and an 8.8-inch infotainment system with HD Radio, voice recognition, an eight-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, and two USB ports.

Standard driver assistance features include forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, driver attention monitoring, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a rearview camera.

Mazda CX-30 Select

For $23,900, the Mazda CX-30 Select adds Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, synthetic leather upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Mazda CX-30 Preferred

The Mazda CX-30 Preferred trim retails for $26,200. Building on the Select trim, it comes with a 12-speaker Bose premium stereo, satellite radio, heated front seats, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with memory settings.

Mazda CX-30 Premium

The CX-30 Premium comes standard with leather upholstery, adaptive headlights, a head-up display, a power liftgate, a moonroof, and paddle shifters. Pricing starts at $28,200.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mazda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Mazda deals page.

See 2020 Mazda CX-30 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The all-new 2020 CX-30 fills Mazda's need for a roomier subcompact SUV than the CX-3 at what is still a reasonable price point. Despite shy off-the-line acceleration and some infotainment hang-ups, this Mazda is fun to drive and nice to ride around in. Shoppers looking for an agile crossover with an upscale interior should have the CX-30 in their crosshairs.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Although the CX-3 is an impressively sporty small crossover, there’s just too much emphasis on the 'small' to attract buyers looking to that segment for utility. And while the much larger CX-5 takes care of that problem, it could be a bit too big (and a bit too expensive) for those looking for something tidier for city parking. So Mazda covered the difference with the CX-30, which for many may be juuuuuuust right." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Frankly, to get anything that handles as well and looks as good as the CX-30, you'd have to jump up to a German luxury crossover. Sure, the BMW X1s and Mercedes-Benz GLAs of this world have more power, but this little Mazda is just as potent, looks better and costs a heck of a lot less." -- CNET
  • "We're not jumping up and down with excitement, but we appreciate the addition of a good-driving crossover to an overly crowded market. We like the way the CX-30 goes about its job, but let's hope that it's not so subtle that potential buyers pass it over." -- Automobile Magazine
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