Mazda CX-30 Turbo SUV

The Mazda CX-30 Turbo SUV is pleasant to drive on the street.

One of the advantages of Mazda vehicles is their reasonable base price, with this CX-30 starting at only $22,000. However, our example here is loaded up with all the goodies, so it reaches a tidy $34,000. This includes $495 for the dark metallic paint job. But charging extra for floor mats seemed rather greedy.

The base engine is a 2.5-liter putting out 186 horsepower rated at 25/33 mpg. This has the optional upgraded turbo, rated at 227 hp using regular fuel, or 250 with premium blend, hooked to an all-wheel drive system. Gas mileage is claimed to be 22/30. This motor provides brisk acceleration. Real-world fuel economy in a week of driving was 22/28.

The cabin is nothing fancy but has good features. The glove box is roomy, and the info screen is large with excellent clarity. The climate controls are simple to use. There are paddle shifters on the steering wheel for manual gear selection. 

On the negative side, the sun visors poorly block sun from side windows, and there is too much glare reflecting into the gauge cluster.

The CX-30 is pleasant to drive on the street. The ride quality is firm but comfortable. We saw a brisk 0-60 mph time of less than 6 seconds. With higher ground clearance than a typical car, and all-wheel traction, the ability to traverse on back dirt trails is very good.

Most vehicles in the Mazda line are made in Japan, which has always been a good selling point. Some potential buyers are not happy to hear the CX-30 models are now made in Mexico. As other brands have set up factories there, this situation is likely to be more common.