Ace of Base: 2020 Mazda CX-30

ace of base 2020 mazda cx 30

There are many things difficult to fathom in the automotive industry, with the story of Carlos Ghosn exiting Japan in a musical instrument case being but one of them. Another is Mazda’s seemingly perpetual streak of diminutive (compared to other brands) sales numbers. When someone asks your author for a recommendation, be it compact car or crossover, the zoom-zoom brand is invariably on the list. They’ve also been enjoying success in endurance racing, taking a podium at this year’s Daytona soirée. Go figure.

But I digress. The mystifyingly named CX-30, apparently picking up an errant “0” on its way to America, is fresh off the boat for 2020. Does it stack up in terms of feature content like other offerings in the showroom?

Starting at $21,900 -— just $150 more than a Civic hatchback, by the way ⁠— the CX-30 is equipped with a familiar 2.5-liter four banger making 185 horsepower and near-as-makes-no-difference equal amount of torque. Front wheels are driven at this price, though all-wheel drive is available for $1,400. A six-speed automatic stirs the gears rather than a wretched CVT.

All manner of LED lighting peppers the exterior, with front peepers and tails shunning the low rent incandescent bulbs for such brightwork. Those side mirrors are power and color-keyed, with Mazda applying a matte finish to the grille and installing 16-inch aluminium alloys at all four corners. Deep Crystal Blue Mica, shown here, is the only non-greyscale shade available on the base model.

It never ceases to entertain your author that such affordable machinery now comes standard with driving aids only seen on S-Class sedans not that long ago. This near-$20k Mazda has lane departure warnings, lane keep assist, and radar cruise control capable of stop & go action. The expected yaffle of airbags turns the interior into a pillow in the event of calamity.

Inside, expect a 8.8-inch jumbotron of an infotainment system even on this base model, but it does seem that Apple CarPlay is reserved for the next rung on the CX-30 ladder. Air conditioning, power accessories, keyless entry, and push button start are all but expected these days, though some companies bin the latter on base cars to save a few shillings.

With a cleanly styled interior and a hint of personality to their products, there’s a good chance Mazda will remain on the recommended list when advice is solicited. We’ll steer away from suggesting one take up residence in a musical instrument case, though.

[Image: Mazda]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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2 of 41 comments
  • B-BodyBuick84 B-BodyBuick84 on Jan 30, 2020

    A little different than the Canadian model, ours has the smaller 2.0 as the base engine. Funny enough, the mid-trim gets the 2.5, and the top trim get the same 2.5 but with cylinder deactivation. At steady highway speeds it can turn into a two cylinder. I'm honestly curious as to what the exhaust will sound like when it kicks in.

  • Slavuta Slavuta on Jan 31, 2020

    Just yesterday watched Doug Demuro review on this. The discussion on the numeric nomenclature vs Naming the cars. Then I thought, Mazda always had 323, 626, 929, MPV. Yea, there was once Protege and Tribute, Miata even. The hardest of them all were Lincoln and Cadillac. I could not differentiate their one 3-letter configuration vs another.

  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.