2021 Mazda CX-30 has top performance

BY H. THROTTLE
AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST

Mazda is a very historic and creative Japanese manufacturing company with many success stories.  They are rising fast in the auto industry with creative engine designs, especially the SKYACTIVE 4-cylinder turbo engines.

The test drive Mazda CX-30 is powered by a unique 4 cylinder turbo engine that creates 227 horsepower and 310 lb ft of torque. The result is  teamed with a versatile sport mode transmission making for a fast SUV. 

Mazda CX-30s are assembled in Salamanca, Mexico using a transmission from Japan and Mexican manufactured engines.  The combination package combines the components into an efficient, masterful Mazda CX-30.   

The vehicle is small in stature, but large in performance.  Being an all-wheel vehicle makes it especially desirable for Colorado weather.

Competitively priced with options included at $33,900.

Mazda didn’t spare the options and safety features in this well-engineered product,  starting with the exterior with “Polymetal gray” metallic paint.  The design is similar to many Japanese and Korean car models with sleek lines in a SUV format.

The interior is black and brown.  Front bucket seats are heated with lumbar support.  The rear leg seating space is tight and the seats fold down to allow for more cargo space. 

Many of the electronic and entertainment features are controlled by steering wheel buttons.   The control knobs  are hard to read, but practice makes perfect, and after some early drive experience the driver learns what buttons to push.  

The control visual screen is recessed in the center window which is unusual, but gives the driver a better view of  the road along with viewing  the control data screen..  The menu is controlled by a center dial to select the many technical and entertainment features. The Bose sound system works well and features the many XM channel choices.

The CX-30 has an excellent five-star safety rating that is an important score in today’s driving hazards.  The rating comes from a bevy of safety features,  from 4-wheel disk brakes, to a long list of warning alerts.  The radar cruise control works extremely well with practice and adapts to forward vehicle speeds.  

Best overall feature of the CX-30 is the crisp steering and powerful turbo engine performance.  The versatile transmission works perfect with the sport’s mode and acceleration is outstanding.  Fuel economy is 30 on highway driving, 25 mpg overall.

This is a very versatile SUV for work or pleasure, handles very well, and was a pleasure to test drive.