Ace of Base: 2020 Mazda CX-30

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

At first blush, the confusingly-named 2020 Mazda CX-30 might seem to be simply a CX-3 appended with an errant naught. They do, after all, appear similar now that Mazda has adopted Audi’s different-lengths-of-sausage styling credo. Fortunately for us, the look is a good one.

About 4 inches of length, 40 horses of power, and about 400 pounds of weight separate the CX-30 from the CX-3 (makes it easy to remember, eh? Maybe they shoulda called this the CX-4). As always, the Ace of Base meter is primarily concerned with the entry level model, simply called the “CX-30.”

Priced at $21,900, the cheapest CX-30 is $400 more than the little 3 sedan and about a $3,000 walk down from the larger CX-5. It’s a front-wheel drive affair at this price, of course, with power to all four wheels coming with a $1,400 surcharge (and, yes, you can get AWD on the cheapest trim).

Under the hood is a 2.5-liter inline four making 186 horsepower and a like amount of torque. This compares favorably to the four pot in its little brother, which is down half a liter of displacement. Neither is available with a manual transmission anymore.

Economies of scale are particularly evident at small car companies, as they often elect to put similar basic equipment in all the trims of a particular model rather than develop, say, a new infotainment cluster just for the cheapest trim. This benefits the Ace of Base shopper in the market for a CX-30, as they’ll be treated to a large 8.8-inch center display, 8-speaker audio system, and a brace of USB audio inputs. Satellite radio doesn’t appear until the $26,200 Preferred trim, however.

Lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and smart cruise control with stop & go capability are on board for similar reasons. LED headlights, DRLs, and combo taillamps pepper the exterior and look good doing so. Body-colored folding side mirrors won’t give away your cheapskate buying decision, either. The natty Soul Red paint that’s shown in all the ads isn’t available on this base car, so we’ll opt for this Deep Crystal Blue Mica.

There is usually a lot to recommend in a Mazda — and it’s no different with the CX-30. Attractive styling, good dynamics, and a raft of standard equipment. They just should have called it the CX-4.

[Images: 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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