2022 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD Premium Plus Package – Review by David Colman
It’s a very reasonable car
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Here are three reasons why I would buy the Mazda CX-30 over any other compact SUV:
- (1) It looks better than the others.
(2) It's more fun to drive than the others.
(3) It's well worth the money.
The design of the CX-30 is visually stunning, both inside and out. Such is the grace of its exterior sculpting that it puts to shame the ham-fisted styling efforts of others in its class. This Mazda looks good from any angle. Particularly notable are the oversized plastic wheel well arches which work perfectly with the 18-inch black alloy wheels to give an illusion of stability. The finely tuned suspension system confirms the promise of that visual illusion. The CX-30 is the best-handling compact SUV I have had the pleasure to drive. The stylish charcoal rims mount 215/55R18 Bridgestone Turanza EL440 radials (TW480). At the expense of a slightly taut ride, this Mazda handles more like a Miata than an SUV.
The CX-30 is not only nimble and responsive, but pleasingly faster than it needs to be. The turbocharged 2.5 liter engine which graced our top-level test Mazda churned out 227hp on regular fuel and 250hp on 91-93 octane hi-test. Even on regular gas, the CX-30 whistles through the standing start quarter mile in 14.3 seconds at 95.6mph. On the way to that terminal velocity, it records an impressive 0-60mph time of 5.8 seconds. With peak torque of 310lb.-ft. ramping up at just 2000rpm, you'll never need to use the paddles to downshift in preparation for passing maneuvers. Just mash the loud pedal, and the CX-30 will get the job done with convincing alacrity.
The third element of satisfaction derives from the unexpectedly modest price of this Mazda. Our test car, finished in a lovely shade called Platinum Quartz Metallic, and upholstered with white and brown leather, carried a base price of just $34,400. With nothing extra beyond a $125 stainless rear bumper guard, the final MSRP tally amounted to just $35,750. In today's new car market, that figure falls $8,000 below the average new car transaction price. Given this Mazda's lavish interior detailing, standard all-wheel-drive, and no-extra-charge "Turbo Premium Plus Package," the CX-30 gets our primo deal award this year. That freebie turbo package adds the following niceties the German brigade would never give away gratis: front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming driver side mirror, Homelink, 360 degree view monitor, smart brake support (rear), and rear cross traffic braking.
Automotive stylists are currently engaged in a never ending competition to transform car interiors into cell phone screens. The first offender and still champion in this massive stupidity is Tesla. But a horde of followers are intent on replacing individual control buttons with vast screens displaying barely decipherable pictographs. The whole greasy, finger-printed mess is sure to distract you from your driving long enough to promote an accident. Thankfully, Mazda has taken a different route to solving the command control interface. In the CX-30, the non-touch 8.8-inch color information screen is small and discrete, activated by a central knob that takes patience and familiarity to operate. Even the instrument dials are fixed in place, with classic hash marks and vivid pointers. Traditionalists will love the CX-30 dashboard layout.
You can buy a cheaper CX-30 than the one we tested. For 2022, all versions of this Mazda boast AWD, including the non-turbocharged, 186hp base model. This comparative slug takes 8.3 seconds to reach 60mph from a standing start, and 16.3 seconds to traverse the quarter mile at 86mph. If we were buying a CX-30, we would not hesitate for an instant to opt for the Skyactive-G 2.5 liter turbo version. It's a great compact SUV, so why saddle it with a mediocre motor?
2022 MAZDA CX-30 2.5 TURBO AWD WITH PREMIUM PACKAGE
ENGINE: 2.5 liter inline 4, turbocharged, DOHC 16-valve
HORSEPOWER: 227hp TORQUE: 310lb.-ft.@2000rpm
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 22MPG City/30MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $35,750
HYPES: Locked Down handling, Strong Motor, Great Looks
GRIPES: Tiny Center Armrest Compartment
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10