Ace of Base: 2020 Mazda CX-30

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
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.

Join the conversation
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.

  • El scotto My iPhone gets too hot while using the wireless charging in my BMW. One more line on why someone is a dumbazz list?
  • Buickman yeah, get Ron Fellows each time I get a Vette. screw Caddy.
  • Dusterdude The Detroit 2.5 did a big disservice by paying their CEO’s so generously ( overpaying them ) It is a valid talking point for for the union ) However , the bottom line - The percentage of workers in the private sector who have a defined benefit pension plan is almost non existent - and the reason being is it’s unaffordable ! . This is a a huge sticking point as to have lower tier workers join would be prohibitive ( aside from other high price demands being requested - ie >30% wage gain request ) . Do the math - can a company afford to pay employees for 35 years , followed by funding a pension for a further 30 years ?
  • El scotto Human safety driver? Some on here need a human safety thinker.
  • Carlson Fan Stupid vehicle, that can't do any of the things a truck should be able to do. If I want something fast/quick and sporty I'll get a corvette or a 4 dr sport sedan. Taking a truck & neutering it to try and make it into something it's not is just pointless. But maybe that's the point of this road disaster