Ace of Base: 2020 Mazda CX-30

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • 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.

  • Bd2 First, this was totally predictable. 2nd, Genesis already does have hybrids in the form of a 48V mild hybrid, but more performance oriented (supercharged and turbocharged), so not really helping with regard to fuel consumption. 3rd, Hyundai's hybrid systems don't really help as there currently isn't one that would be suitable power-wise and the upcoming 2.5T hybrid system would have to be heavily reworked to accommodate a RWD/longitudinal layout. 4th, it seems that Genesis is opting to go the EREV route with the GV70 the first get the new powertrain.
  • Bd2 Jaguar's problem was chasing the Germans into the mid size and then entry-level/compact segments for volume, and cheapening their interiors while at it.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Aja8888 I expected that issue with my F150 starting at 52,000mi. luckily I had an extended warranty and it saved me almost $8,000. No more Fords for me, only Toyota.
  • Lou_BC I saw a news article on this got a different read on it. Ford wants to increase production of HD trucks AND develop hybrid and EV variants of the SuperDuty. They aren't scaling back EV production. Just building more HD's and EV variants of HD's .
  • Lou_BC Backing up accidents are one of the most common causes of low speed accidents. You'd think sensors and cameras would help.