It's Turbo Time: Mazda Boosts the CX-30

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
it s turbo time mazda boosts the cx 30

If you ever thought, “Gee, I like this Mazda CX-30, but it could stand to offer a skoosh more power”, well, Mazda has news for you.

Yes, that’s right – “dude, you’re getting a turbo!”

The now available 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo will make 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque when running premium (93 octane) fuel. If you’re running 87 octane, you cheapskate, you’ll drop to 227 ponies and 310 lb-ft.

Those numbers represent a big jump over the 186/186 presented by the 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated engine.

All-wheel drive is standard. Mazda didn’t mention a transmission, but it is likely to be the six-speed from the non-turbo CX-30.

Some new safety features will be available, too. Rear-cross traffic braking, traffic-jam assist, and a 360-degree camera among them.

The subcompact crossover’s exterior has specific changes for Turbo models. They will have 18-inch black aluminum-alloy wheels, larger tailpipes, gloss black door mirrors, and “Turbo” badging on the liftgate.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo should be available by the end of 2020 (just like a coronavirus vaccine, hopefully). Pricing and details about specific trim/packaging options will be announced later.

Presumably, so will fuel economy numbers. Nothing is listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel-economy research site, as of yet.

A turbo CX-30 could end up being a fun little runabout, though the last one I tested ran through fuel fast. Not because of poor mpg, but because of a small fuel tank. A drive from Chicago to Detroit, around Detroit/Windsor, and back, required more refills than it should. A turbo will likely suck fuel even faster, but then again, the extra power will almost certainly be appreciated.

[Images: Mazda]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 17 comments
  • Texasjack Texasjack on Sep 17, 2020

    Yummy. I like it.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Sep 17, 2020

    I'm utterly ambivalent about fuel tank size as long as the fuel economy rating is high enough. I recall my 1995 Accord with its 17 gallon tank, one of the larger fuel tanks in a car I've owned. Given my habit of filling from half tank, something I picked up from my dad, I used to go in every 5 or 6 days. With my current car, what has a 12.7 gallon tank, I'm in every 4 or 5 days. It doesn't bother me much considering I like to buy a bottle of pop often enough and stopping for the extra 5 minutes isn't too much of a hassle to me. What I've noticed is that in adverts there will be a more prominently quoted range for a given vehicle, with no real reference to tank size. "Our vehicle, X, has a 350 range while its competitor, vehicle Y, only has a 300 range." This often hides that vehicle X gets 20 mpg out of 17.5 gallons, while vehicle Y gets 30 mpg out of 10 gallons***. All things equal I'd take vehicle Y with the shorter range, but better mileage. ***Numbers being pulled directly from the fundament for illustrative purposes only.

  • RICK Lou, not sure about panthers and Cougars , BUT at 76,I now consider myself a vintage Rolls Canardly. I roll down one hill and Canardly get up the next! Wishing you a Very Happy, Merry HanaKwanzaMas. 🎅🎄
  • Lou_BC The dealbreaker for me is the $80k starting price in Canada.
  • Zipper69 The Grenadier was designed ground up to be a "better Land Rover" and by most press accounts comes close.What little we know about the Quartermaster it's clear that it's intended for serious off road work without additional aftermarket fettling needed.The price is clearly a barrier, but IF it's the real deal, it will have a slot in the market.
  • Michael Charging more for less. Hmmmm
  • FreedMike Meanwhile, over at Nissan, you can get a perfectly nice, well equipped Frontier four-door that has a V-6, 4wd, and is capable of all the "truck stuff" you could ever want for $36,000. And unlike the "pay over sticker or go f**k yourself" nonsense you get at the Toyota place, the Nissan store will probably happily make you a nice deal.