2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo review: A value-packed performer

Nancy J. Delong

Who won’t like Mazda’s Soul Pink paint?

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Hey, do you like the Mazda3 but desire a taller seating situation and the capacity to do some light off-roading? Are you into turbocharged engines, exceptional cabin styles and the very best crimson paint work in city? All this and much more can be yours in the 2021 Mazda CX-thirty Turbo. With design and material in spades, this is one of the best subcompact crossovers out there nowadays.


  • Fantastic powertrain
  • Refined styling
  • Enjoyment to push

Really don’t Like

  • Sub-par infotainment method
  • Significantly less cargo house than the competition
  • Limited device charging

The CX-thirty slots just down below the CX-5, successfully having the area of the smaller sized and before long-to-be-discontinued CX-3. The CX-thirty shares a platform with the Mazda3, however it is really a little bit shorter in size, 5 inches taller and has 2.5 inches much more floor clearance. So yeah, it is really fundamentally a lifted Mazda3.

The CX-thirty originally launched with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter motor, but Mazda extra a turbo selection for 2021. Boosted CX-30s distinguish them selves visually with a small “turbo” badge, black wheels and mirrors and a little greater tailpipes, which you’ll need a eager eye to seriously discover.

Discreet appears apart, the turbo motor seriously stands out. This 2.5-liter turbo I4 pushes out 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, however that’s only if you are jogging 93-octane gasoline. (Hope 227 hp and 310 lb-ft on standard ol’ 87 gas.) This motor helps make for fast acceleration off the line and a ton of midrange punch, particularly when you are driving in Sport method. There are not any subcompact crossovers that give this substantially electric power at this selling price issue, however I am incredibly eager to push the forthcoming Hyundai Kona N with its rockin’ 275 hp.

The turbocharged CX-thirty is only out there with all-wheel push and a 6-pace automated transmission. The gearbox is a small archaic, particularly in light of 8- or even 9-pace transmissions that eke out improved gasoline financial system. The CX-thirty Turbo is rated at 22 mpg metropolis, thirty mpg freeway and twenty five mpg merged, which just isn’t tremendous great. In the course of my week of testing, I noticed 26.4 mpg, so at least all those quantities are effortless to see in the actual planet, even with only 6 ahead gears.

Mazda’s 2.5-liter turbo I4 helps make 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

With its taller experience height, the CX-thirty cannot rather match the Mazda3 in the dealing with division, but it is really still a hoot to press on a backroad. Mazda gave the CX-thirty Turbo a new differential to deal with the amplified torque, retuned the suspension to guidance the engine’s extra weight and switched up the programming of the transmission. Even so, the on-street working experience just form of feels like the standard CX-thirty, just with much more electric power.

Frankly, that’s A-Ok by me. The CX-thirty Turbo is happy to be chucked into corners, and properly handles them many thanks to Mazda’s G-Vectoring Management In addition tech. This know-how in essence transfers a tiny little bit of weight to the car’s nose on change-in, guaranteeing much more grip in excess of the entrance wheels and much less understeer. On corner exit, a little bit of brake is utilized to the outside the house entrance wheel to aid transfer weight again to the rear. I cannot seriously come to feel it occurring, but merged with immediate steering and tons of feedback, I have to make incredibly couple mid-corner corrections and, usually talking, the CX-30’s dealing with is nice and smooth.

The CX-thirty also has an off-street method. This switches up the all-wheel-push method to cut down wheel slip and can implement the brakes to an unloaded wheel (study: up in the air) to power torque to the wheel that still has speak to with the floor. On a couple effortless streets in the significant desert of California, the CX-thirty Turbo has no difficulty scrambling up a couple flippantly rocky hills and speeds down a flat filth keep track of with no difficulty, even on my tester’s Bridgestone all-season tires. The CX-thirty is rarely a rock crusher, but it must get you out to the lake and again.

Black wheels are special to the CX-thirty Turbo.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

My one gripe about the push working experience is the electric powered parking brake. It engages itself quickly, which is good, but then I have to don’t forget to manually change it off. Other companies with automated electronic parking brakes will also disengage when the driver puts the vehicle in equipment and touches the throttle. Mazda, get discover.

Each individual turbocharged CX-thirty will get highly developed driver’s aids like entire-pace adaptive cruise manage, lane-departure mitigation and blind-spot checking. My Top quality In addition tester provides rear cross-website traffic braking, a 360-diploma camera method and website traffic jam assist, which keeps the vehicle centered in its lane and controls the throttle and braking at speeds beneath forty mph. If part of your commute is frequently spent in prevent-and-go website traffic, this attribute is for you.

When it will come to cabin tech, having said that, Mazda seriously requirements to up its activity. Housed on an 8.8-inch monitor, the Mazda Hook up method is managed by a rotary dial on the heart console and a smattering of hard buttons. No touchscreen here, folks. Merged with a menu construction that just isn’t incredibly intuitive, jobs get substantially lengthier to complete than they should to. The native navigation tech is good and the voice recognition is equipped to have an understanding of odd road names. On the other hand, methinks most folks will just bypass Mazda’s method and use the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I know I would.

This is a seriously, seriously nice interior.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

System charging is a small sparse in the CX-thirty. There is only one USB-A port up entrance and it is really situated in a small storage cubby in which it is really actually form of hard to obtain. There is a next USB-A port and a twelve-volt outlet in the armrest, and wi-fi charging is out there for an additional $275. Rear seat travellers, in the meantime, get nothing at all.

Inside, the CX-thirty is great, with clean strains and significant-high-quality resources. There just isn’t substantially frippery here, but the minimalist aesthetic functions nicely. When sitting in the rear seat with the driver’s seat established for my 5-foot, 9-inch driving situation, I have about 2 inches of head- and kneeroom. Folks in excess of 6 feet tall could possibly have complications.

Cargo house is in the same way on the smaller sized aspect, with twenty.2 cubic feet of house with the rear seats up, growing to 45.2 cubes when folded down. That is smaller sized than the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek, but I am still equipped to load 16 boxes of flooring tiles, measuring 48 inches extended and weighing 51 lbs . every single, with no complications.

Not lots of SUVs give this form of performance for these a small selling price.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The 2021 CX-thirty Turbo commences at $31,225 which includes $1,a hundred seventy five for place. And nice as the much more premium trims are, I would just adhere with that base variation. I can stay with no a head-up display, heated steering wheel and the native navigation method. The Turbo design previously will come with a great deal of the CX-30’s niceties. All I want is that $595 Soul Pink paint.

When you glimpse at the competition here, nothing at all can seriously compete with the Mazda. The 275-hp Hyundai Kona N will set up a excellent combat when it comes in the US, but usually you have to soar up to much more premium cars and trucks with higher selling price tags to match the CX-thirty Turbo’s electric power. It is a great crossover that presents you a whole great deal for your cash.

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