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Mazda CX-30 Turbo has plenty of punch

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Sometimes it seems like every other vehicle on the road is a Mazda. Specifically, one of the CX models: 3, 5 or 9. These are very popular SUVs and I’ve driven most of them at one time or another.

The CX-5 is the sixth most popular compact SUV sold in Canada, behind perennial leaders Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V (not necessarily in that order), and the Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue and Hyundai Tucson.

This is a very competitive market and the fact that the CX-5 is in the top 10 really says something about its appeal. If you threw all the CX models into the mix, you’d probably find that Mazda sells more compact SUVs in Canada than anyone.

But Mazda isn’t leaving well enough alone and recently added yet another compact SUV to its stable: the CX-30, which is available in a newly-minted turbo variant, which I drove recently.

The little things may drive you crazy

Power is provided by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that has what Mazda calls a “dynamic pressure” turbocharger. This engine is a $2,400 option and – in normally aspirated form – is used elsewhere in the company’s lineup. In this configuration, it develops 227 to 250 horsepower, depending on the grade of fuel – fill up with premium and you get almost 25 additional horses and 10 more foot pounds of torque.

The CX-30 has just about everything you could ask for

Transmission is six-speed only and the CX-30 has all-wheel drive.

If the CX-30 feels like the CX-3, that’s because it’s pretty much the same vehicle. It has about the same dimensions and offers 1,280 litres of cargo space, with the second row seats folded. The CX-3 has slightly less: 1,260 litres (44.5 cubic feet). A Honda CR-V has 2,146 litres, while the Hyundai Tucson offers 1,754 litres.

Like the CX-3, the CX-30 is pleasant to drive – with some caveats. It has a well-thought-out driving position and ingress/egress is straightforward. Road noise is under control, and fuel economy is okay but not noteworthy. I also liked the heads-up display, which is used by Mazda in many of its SUVs.

The good

The bad

Would I buy this one?

It represents good value for the money but the little things would probably drive me crazy.

Mazda CX-30 Turbo

Engine: 2.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: six-speed
Drive: all-wheel
Horsepower: 227 to 250 at 5,000 rpm
Torque: 310 to 320 at 2,000 rpm
Price as tested: $38,400
Fuel economy: 10.5 litres/100 km (city) and 7.5 litres/100 km (highway), with regular or premium gas

Some alternatives: Hyundai Tucson, Honda HR-V, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-3, Subaru Crosstrek

Ted Laturnus writes for Troy Media’s Driver Seat Associate website. An automotive journalist since 1976, he has been named Canadian Automotive Journalist of the Year twice and is past-president of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

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© Driver Seat


The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.


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