2022 Mazda CX-30

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2022 Mazda CX-30 Review: Playful High-Rider

The Mazda CX-30 is the Japanese brand's solution to culling sedans and hatches. You can't expect decent sales figures in the USA if you don't offer a high-riding crossover or SUV, which is why the CX-30 exists. At its core, it's not much more than a taller Mazda 3 hatch. Even so, that extra ride height ensured the CX-30 was Mazda's second-most successful car in the US last year, right behind the CX-5.

The 2022 Mazda CX-30's main rivals are the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Crosstrek. Scooby's compact crossover is a more significant threat as it has traditionally been the default if the owner requires an all-wheel-drive drivetrain. Mazda has now closed that gap by making all 2022 Mazda CX-30 models AWD as standard.

The CX-30 now has something for everyone. The naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter producing 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque is perfect for those who want a humble, high-riding runabout. The turbocharged 2.5-liter four-pot with up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft on tap best suits those who want something more engaging.

All of the positive attributes are still present. The CX-30 boasts decent build quality, a long list of standard features, and satisfactory handling characteristics.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
9.0
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2022 Mazda CX-30 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2021 CX-30?

The most significant change this year is all-wheel drive being the only drivetrain option. All models get Mazda's i-Activ AWD with Off-Road Traction Assist as standard.

Mazda's famous Carbon Edition trim has been added to the range. This is good news for the consumer, as Mazda's Carbon Editions tend to offer fantastic features at an affordable price. This model comes with a Polymetal Gray exterior and red leather upholstery.

Pros and Cons

  • The turbo model is a blast
  • It handles well
  • Understated, yet handsome
  • High-quality interior
  • Attractive pricing
  • Standard AWD system
  • The NA engine is underwhelming
  • Second-row legroom is tight
  • The turbo model could use suspension upgrades

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2022 Mazda CX-30 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5 S
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$22,500
2.5 S Select Package
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$24,900
2.5 S Preferred Package
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$27,950
2.5 S Carbon Edition
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$28,590
2.5 Turbo
2.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$30,500
See All 2022 Mazda CX-30 Trims and Specs

2022 Mazda CX-30 Handling and Driving Impressions

The CX-30 is based on the Mazda 3, which is one of the best-handling compact cars in the automotive industry. Naturally, Mazda had to lift the CX-30 slightly to give it that highly sought-after crossover stance and elevated driving position. The good news is Mazda did not lift the CX-30 enough to compromise the 3's playful characteristics.

The steering is light at low speeds, but it firms up the faster you go. It doesn't provide much feedback but it is at least direct. Mazda includes a sport mode but it only makes the throttle more responsive, so you only really notice a difference in performance in the turbo model. With the standard engine, the CX-30 just becomes more shouty.

The ride is on the firm side but not overly so. It's just firm enough to tell you what the car is doing underneath and we like a little feedback.

The big news is obviously the standard fitment of the AWD system with off-road traction assist. We wouldn't venture too far off-road as the suspension lift is minor. The car can clear a standard brick, and that's about it.

Demand for the AWD system was obviously high enough for Mazda to include it as standard, and we don't see that as a bad thing.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Mazda CX-30 a good SUV?

The Mazda CX-30 is a remarkably simple yet successful vehicle. Instead of going back to the drawing board and designing an entirely new compact crossover from scratch, it lifted the Mazda 3 hatch slightly. Enough to give it that SUV-like stance, but not enough to compromise the ride.

Mazda's CX-30 is also affordable without feeling cheap. We also like that Mazda includes a performance model in the range, which is something its rivals don't do. Now that all-wheel drive is standard across the field, the CX-30 removed the Subaru Crosstrek's unique selling point.

The CX-30 is perfect for someone who needs to upgrade to something a bit bigger without having to compromise too much. We're not saying the CX-30 is a hot hatch, but it's certainly more entertaining than your average compact crossover.

It will not make the neighbors jealous, but you can sleep comfortably knowing that you have a safe, high-quality, quasi-off-roader in the garage.

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