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2022 Mazda CX-30

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 is a stylish small crossover SUV with available turbocharged power and standard all-wheel drive.

This year, the CX-30 loses its front-wheel-drive option but otherwise sees few notable changes. The CX-30 replaces the now-discontinued CX-3, which had more conventional lines and lacked the available 250-horsepower turbo-4 engine option. All CX-30 models use a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The CX-30 is rated by the EPA at 24 mpg city, 31 highway, 26 combined with the base 186-hp inline-4. Opting for the turbocharged engine drops those figures only slightly to 22/30/25 mpg, though premium fuel is recommended for optimum performance.

When it comes to safety, the CX-30 is well-regarded. This small crossover earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS plus five stars overall from the NHTSA when it was crash tested. Add to those accolades its standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control plus blind-spot monitors are included on most trims.

Model Lineup

The 2022 CX-30 starts at $23,425 in base S trim level, which buys standard all-wheel drive, those driver-assistance and crash-avoidance features, 17-inch alloy wheels, and an 8.8-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 17-inch alloy wheels. There’s a pushbutton starter, too.

The Select trim costs $2,500 above that for blind-spot monitors, synthetic leather upholstery, keyless access, and rear cross-traffic alerts. A sunroof and heated front seats are paired with a few other features for $3,000.

Opt for the Carbon Edition and you’ll find special gray exterior paint and black accents paired with a red leather interior for a little under $30,000. The well-equipped Premium trim level costs a little under $31,500, and it adds a head-up display plus a power liftgate.

Swap in the turbocharger and the CX-30 runs $31,500, though shoppers can top out with the Premium Plus version at $35,625 that includes such luxuries as adaptive headlights, a surround-view camera system, a heated steering wheel, and leather upholstery on its seats.

Exterior

The CX-30 has balanced, clean lines that almost look muscular. Its roof slopes curvaceously back toward the rear bumper, making it look more like a high-riding hatchback than a chunky SUV.

The biggest wheel options look the best, though even the wheels fitted to the S have a dressier style than most rivals bolt on for the money.

Mazda also offers some gorgeous paint hues.

Interior

The CX-30 carries over those uncluttered looks to its interior, which is decidedly light on buttons and knobs. Light tan and all-black hues dominate, aside from the red leather fitted to the Carbon Edition, though blue-gray accents provide some relief. Interior materials and small-item storage are a cut above class norms, too.

The front seats have good support and a wide range of adjustment. Rear-seat riders will find limited space, but that’s to be expected from an SUV with tidy exterior dimensions. The CX-30 offers up 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seatbacks, about 50 percent more than you might find on a comparable sedan.

Driving Impressions

The base version of the CX-30 delivers good scoot thanks to the healthy 186-hp output, which bests many rivals by around 20 to 30 hp. It’ll hit 60 mph in around eight seconds, which is fine for most driving.

The 250-hp turbo-4 may seem like an extravagance in a crossover SUV this small, but it rewards drivers willing to pay up with thrilling acceleration. One note, though: its 250-hp rating is achieved when running on costlier premium fuel. Regular unleaded will do the trick, but it cuts power output by almost 10 percent to 227 hp.

It may be down on gears compared to some rivals, but the 6-speed automatic furnishes smooth, predictable shifts. Standard all-wheel drive adds some wet-weather confidence, but don’t look to take the CX-30 off-road.

Perhaps the CX-30’s biggest selling point is its willing handling paired with communicative steering. The CX-30 takes to corners more like a smaller, lower-slung hatchback than a high-riding crossover.

Final Word

The Mazda CX-30 is a balanced, fun, and stylish choice that stands apart from its rivals by serving up good power (with even more available) and exceptional handling.

 

—By Andrew Ganz, with driving impressions from The Car Connection

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