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2021 Mazda CX-30 Review: Expected Price, Release Date, MPG and Performance

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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist July 31, 2020 at 10:37 AM
Initially, rumors suggested that the 2021 Mazda CX-30 would replace the CX-3, Mazda later decided to launch the CX-30 separately. Placed safely between the Mazda CX-3 and Mazda CX-5. The Mazda CX -30 will probably remain the same for the 2021 model year. But that isn’t a bad thing since it was already a very impressive car.

Mazda launched the CX-30 in the year 2020 as a brand new vehicle. Yes, there were speculations that the CX-3 would get replaced, but both badges have continued with the CX-3 sold as a single trim. The 2021 CX-30 will carry over the same “image of things in motions” design philosophy from its 2020 model, with some minute alterations at most. Ride quality fairly remains the same, courtesy Mazda’s evolved SKYACTIV-G engines’. But with stiff competition from the same island in the form of Kia, Honda, will the 2021 Mazda CX - 30 get any award for Mazda? Let’s find out.

What’s New in the 2021 Mazda CX-30?

  • An updated infotainment system

Expected Release Date and Purchase cost of the 2021 Mazda CX-30

Mazda has not announced any exact date for the release of the 2021 CX-30. We can make assumptions based on the time the 2020 model was launched, which was the beginning of January, making it somewhere between January and February. The CX-30 built in Mazda’s Salamanca Plant, Mexico and there should not be much delay. After all, its origin remains from the western shore.

The CX-30 will be available in the same competitive price range. It’ll start from around $21,900, which when availed with the Premium package, it’ll cost around $28,200.

What’s under the hood of the 2021 Mazda CX-30?

Like its outgoing model, the 2021 Mazda CX-30 will be powered by the same 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine. This naturally aspirated engine pumps out 186 horsepower and it is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The CX-30 has both All-wheel drive and front-wheel drive powertrains, the 2021 version have the same too.

As part of the SKYACTIV-G range of engines, this 2.5l Inline-4 has been developed keeping fuel efficiency in mind. By having a compression ratio of 13:0:1, one of the highest in any production gasoline engine, and coupling that with the Mazda’s latest cylinder deactivation system, the CX-30 can be regarded as the fuel-efficient vehicles in its competition.

But that doesn’t mean, performative behavior has taken a back seat. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 has a sport mode that amplifies the volume of the engine sound and increases throttle response with smooth upshifts.

Models

2021 Mazda CX-30* (Expected)

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Chevrolet Trax

2020 Honda HR-V

Base MSRP

$21,900

$21,990

$21,400

$20, 820

Engine

2.5-liter inline - 4

2.0-liter inline four-cylinder

1.4-liter inline four-cylinder

1.8-liter inline four-cylinder

Transmission

6- Speed Shiftable Automatic

Continuously Variable Transmission

6-speed Automatic

Continuously Variable Transmission

Horsepower (hp@rpm)

186 @ 6000

146@6200

138@4900

141 @ 6,500 

Torque (lb-ft@rpm)

186@ 4000

132 @4500

144@1850

127 @ 4,300 

0-60 mph (seconds)

7.8

7.3

9.3

9.6

*2020 figures used for reference.

This subcompact crossover segment sees some competition in the pricing range, with all models with the same starting MSRP’s. However, when it comes down to performance, the CX-30 produces the most amount of power from its higher capacity engine. Followed by the Kia Seltios. Both Kia and Mazda have almost similar offerings in the market. The Chevy Trax turns out with the least amount of power. The Honda HR-V with is a pretty comfortable car is the silent competitor in this segment with tremendous potentialities.

How well will the 2021 Mazda CX-30 handle?

Now, because the Mazda CX-30 is based on the more refined Mazda-3, sportiness and refinement are at its core. To start with the N.A. engine. Given that most of its competitors feature turbocharged engines, the Mazda CX-30 does not have blisteringly acceleration potential at low rpm, it has to wait until 4000 rpm for some meaningful torque that will get the vehicle groovy on its AWD. Riding is on the firmer side of things and the height does dull a bit of response compared to the Mazda 3, yet not that delayed to suck away all that joy.

Another clever choice made by Mazda is the selection of Automatic Transmission. Unlike, Kia and Honda, who used computers to negate the rubber band effect of the CVT, the Automatic Transmission distinguishes itself from the clan.

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Mazda CX-30 deliver?

Mazda is well known for creating fuel-efficient vehicles and the 2021 Mazda CX-30 with the SKYACTIV-G engines follows the trend too. To put things in perspective, the 2020 CX-30 delivered 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on highways. With a fuel tank that can hold 13.5 gallons, the 2021 CX-30 has a decent range and does not lag much.

Models

2021 Mazda CX-30* (Expected)

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Chevrolet Trax

2020 Honda HR-V

MPG (city)

25

29

26

28

MPG (highway)

33

34

31

34

MPG (combined)

28

31

28

30

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

13.5

13.2

14.0

15.8

Range (City/Highway miles)

338 / 446

383 / 449

364 / 434

370 / 449

*2020 figures used for reference.

However, because its competition uses either smaller engines or turbocharged engines they end up being more efficient than the Mazda’s naturally aspirated engine. But then again for 2.5-liters that promises to deliver some action in the name of sports performance, the 2021 Mazda is not the least fuel-efficient vehicle in the segment.

What to expect from the 2021 Mazda CX-30’s interior?

Inside, Mazda has kept the cabin very minimalistic and yet functional. The cabin blends luxury and ergonomics pretty well too. Starting with the dashboard that is covered in soft leatherette touch. There are stitches but they’re not dual-tone stitches. The steering wheel evokes a sense of upscale touch that can be seldom found in its competitors' interior. The seating position is very SUV-”esque” with higher seats which are undoubtedly comfortable. Talking about the cabin, it is properly insulated and rear seats are not that comfortable for its compact dimensions.

It matches the same rear seating style as the Toyota C-HR, which means seating 3 people through long journeys is difficult. At the center of the dashboard, the 8.8-inch infotainment display is set nice and the design is clean and sober. The 2021 CX-30 will not have any major changes to its interior design when compared to its outgoing model.

Models

2021 Mazda CX-30* (Expected)

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Chevrolet Trax

2020 Honda HR-V

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.1/55.6/-

40.0/55.5/41.4

39.6/54.1/40.8

39.5/56.8/41.2

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.3/53.6/36.3

38.0/54.7/38.0

38.8/52.8/35.7

38.3/54.5/39.3

*2020 figures used for reference.

Having compact dimensions, the Mazda CX-30 has a decent cabin size and cargo space. But when we compare the car with its rivals, it stands down. Honda HR-V tops the list in terms of interior space.

2021 Mazda CX-30: Infotainment and Connectivity

The MAZDA CONNECT Infotainment system is not the best in the business but it does not feel outdated. It is modern with voice command, integrated to both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also SiriusXM Satellite Radio and 12 speaker Bose audio system to complement the enthralling experience from infotainment set up.

While it might not be the slickest of the systems out there, it performs pretty well and responds instantly to the touch inputs. The screen could have been a bit brighter as the present setup fails to impress under direct sunlight.

Some of the highlight features of the infotainment system are:

  • Bluetooth hands-free phone & audio capability
  • Voice command
  • Aha, Pandora and Stitcher internet radio integration
  • USB audio input
  • Steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Mazda CX-30?

The Mazda CX-30 does not intend to be refined CX-3. Instead, it follows a design philosophy in the entirety of its own. To start with, the CX-30 is longer than the CX-3 by 3.3 inches, wider by 1.1 inches, and longer by 4.7 inches. When it debuted in 2020, the CX-30 was longer than most of its competition and since it shared the platform with the award-winning Mazda 3, it had the best ride quality.

Carrying over its strong points from 2020, it will retain several quirks like the power tailgate, the vanishing indicators, and that unmistakable KODO design. The sleek headlights swoop into the grilled mesh with chrome surroundings. The long bonnet with strong crease lines on it has a point.

What stands out are the wheel arches on this SUV. Compared to its dimensions, the wheel arches on the CX-30 looks and is quite magnanimous to the 16-inch alloy wheels. Off-road capabilities of the CX-30 shouldn’t be ruled out.

The rear design of the car is again, on the simpler side of things. The black plastic cover on the wheel arches continues to the back in the shape of the rear black undercover. With two exhaust tips, the Mazda CX-30 does look a bit sporty.

Models

2021 Mazda CX-30*

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Chevrolet Trax

2020 Honda HR-V

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3232

2948

3124

2906

Length (in.)

173

172

167.6

170.4

Width (in.)

70.7

70.9

69.9

69.8

Height (in.)

61.7

64.2

64.9

63.2

Ground Clearance (in.)

6.9

7.3”

6.2

7.3

Wheelbase (in.)

104.5

103.5

100.6

102.8

*2020 figures used for reference.

The Mazda CX-30 is the heaviest followed by the Chevrolet Trax. It is the longest and widest SUV in the competition but the swooping roofline eats into the headroom space and for obvious reasons. In which case, the Chevrolet Trax is the tallest vehicle in this class. However, the 104.5-inch wheelbase does not help much in Mazda’s case, for rear space isn’t that great.

Will the 2021 Mazda CX-30 be worth it?

There is no doubt that the 2021 Mazda CX-30 is an all-rounder. It’s sporty looks and sport-ish ride quality is like a reasonable man that can never go wrong in logic.

It stands up to most of its rivals in the segment. Especially when it comes down to the quality of material used in the interior that gives a proper premium look to the car. It comes with class-leading features, infotainment is easy to use and user-friendly. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 no doubt holds the potential to be the best compact SUV in the market. And probably that is the reason why the CX-30 should be in your “To Consider” list for this is a serious car and not just any gimmick of the Mazda 3.

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