It’s an all-new vehicle and, coming from Mazda, it is more than welcome. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy a fun-to-drive and energetic ride keeping in mind the “Zoom-Zoom” emotion of motion phrase made so popular by the Japanese carmaker? Best of all, the CX-30 isn’t replacing any vehicle in the lineup. Instead, the fresh SUV fills a slot between the subcompact CX-3 and the bigger CX-5.
Seating five in comfort and style, this sporty ride is equipped with a 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder engine developing 186 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 186 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm while coupled to a six-speed auto gearbox. Whether you choose front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the compact crossover is equipped with the direct-injection Skyactiv, which uses a torque boost via a high compression ratio to increase fuel economy. Want to have some excitement on the road? Just turn on the sport mode and step on the pedal.
Up front, a matte-finish grille with the Mazda emblem is flanked by horizontal, trapezoidal eagle-eyed LED headlights and daytime running lights. The well-crafted, intelligently-designed and simple cabin conveys a classy and tailored look. Pleasing to the eye is a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster of analog speedometer, tachometer, fuel/temp and driver information center. The 8.8-inch screen for navigation, phone and audio is easy to use via a commander control knob on the center console.
Our top-level Premium arrived with standard dual auto a/c, leather seats, shifter and steering column, power moon roof and lift gate, push-button start, heated front seats, paddle shifters, metallic-finish trim, power driver’s seat, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities and a 12-speaker Bose sound system. Head and leg room is adequate for adults and, best of all, is the 60/40 split rear seat, which folds flat via a lever release in the trunk.
Included in the CX-30 are dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, dynamic stability and traction controls, four-wheel antilock brakes, hill launch assist, blind spot monitor, lane-keep assist and departure warning, rear-cross traffic alert, front/rear crumple zones and stabilizer bars, rearview camera, three-point safety belts for all, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights. The G-Vectoring Control Plus (enables driver to handle emergency situations or untoward road conditions with more accurate steering inputs) comes at no extra cost. And the i-ACTIV AWD works along with G-Vectoring to control torque distribution between front/rear wheels.
Like its siblings in the CX fold, we are sure that the CX-30 also will carve a niche in the competitive compact crossover segment. It delivers a powerful performance, ample cargo/passenger room, sportiness and commendable fuel mileage.
CX-30 PREMIUM (AWD)
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, torsion beam axle rear
Steering: power rack and pinion
Wheelbase: 104.5 inches
Length: 173 inches
Weight: 3,408 pounds
Fuel capacity: 12.7 gallons
City: 25 mpg
Highway: 32 mpg
Base price: $29,600
Web site: www.mazdausa.com
Nitish S. Rele operates motoringtampabay.com and Khaas Baat, and was an automotive editor/columnist for the Tampa Tribune. Email him at email@example.com.