AGILE CUTE UTE TAKES ON PREMIUMS: For those who haven’t been paying close attention, Japanese automaker Mazda has developed a reputation as an over-achiever at delivering under-the-radar incremental improvements the kind that driving enthusiasts favor. Launched last year, the “Rider in Unity With Steed” CX-30 subcompact crossover utility has already proven it can hold it’s own against some entry luxury types.
KODO SMALL CROSSOVER OOMPHED: The official company line precluding an encore of in-house tuned MazdaSpeed models, however, has not prevented a prompt power enhancement of the CX-30. A mere transplant of the corporate intercooled turbo-charged Skyactiv 2.5L twin-cam gas inline-four confers that added top-end OOMPH to what is hardly a slouch in standard form. Thus, this Roadblazing.com Re-Drive of an invigorated 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo Premium Plus AWD is dedicated to those in the know and a platform which always knew it could handle more.
2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD Driving Hits:
227 to 250 horsepower = +39 bump (62 hp with minimum 91 AKI octane unleaded gasoline)
320 pound-feet = +129 pound-feet torque = 71% > standard atmospheric aspirated 2.5L Skyactiv G engine
6-speed automatic torque converter planetary transaxle, while low on gear ring count to the competition, betters most on quick down-shifts for throttle braking capability
More energetic acceleration above 85 miles per hour @ 3500 rpm to redline vs. non-turbo Mazda CX-30 2.5L
26 combined miles per gallon, 400 miles highway range in sporty subcompact all-wheel drive SAV
AWD standard on 2.5 turbo w/ ABS torque vectoring and G-Vectoring
Rear torsion beam semi-independent suspension adds compliance to Skyactiv taut body control
Bridgestone Turanza tires tuned for quiet touring
Stiffness in structure rivals luxury models
2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD Driving Misses:
100 lb. weight gain for engine turbocharger hardware
Loses some cornering stability over related Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo hatchback
-13% Combined fuel economy vs. naturally aspirated CX-30 2.5L AWD
Lack of fully independent rear suspension curbs some desired playful oversteer
Would benefit from stickier rubber option
Auto parking brake requires manual releasing
Gravely engine sound at idle
What It Has Got:
Pricing: from$31,150 (incl. destination) for a 6-speed manual 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD
$2696 higher price than CX-30 2.5 NA AWD Preferred
As tested top Premium AWD trim priced at $35,400
Sleek Mazda 3 hatchback Kodo language silhouette raised by 2.5″-inches
Full body and wheel arch cladding
Accommodates 5 adults & 20 cubic feet of belongings under the liftgate
Luxury brand attention to build and display & control details
Comprehensive standard feature set
√ Remote keyless access, push button ignition; √ Heated front seats, power driver’s w/ 2 position memory; √ 2-zone automatic climate control; √ Power moonroof
√ LED headlights, √ Rain sensing windshield wipers,
√ Auto dimming rear view mirror, √ Reverse power tilting side mirrors
WHAT:2020 Mazda CX-30 AWD Premium. This all new subcompact crossover utility model has platform commonality with the BP fourth generation of Mazda 3 sedan / hatchback. It is one size up from the DJ series Mazda CX-3 and one size down from the CX-5 crossover ute.
Power: transverse 2.5L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 186 hp/ 186 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm. G-vectoring throttle front wheel traction transfer. AWD models feature 2-cylinder deactivation.
WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE(S): Not content to be a mere lifted cookie cutter of the BP Mazda 3 hatchback, the addition of a D-pillar, with sail window between it and the C-pillar is less monolithic. The front shark’s nose comes through bearing the same seductive chrome link pentagonal grill, chrome arms extended to cradle the swept back thin headlamp housings, with cinched lower corners. It’s been dipped entirely in contrast darkened lower cladding, which verges on comically high especially at the wheel arches. The liftgate is more punched out as in the larger CX-5 crossover. The CX-30 shares it’s larger sibling’s thin tail lamp modules and a ruggedized bumper cover.