2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium AWD Arrival
Like the relationship of Jim and Pam on The Office, an automaker evolving from a mainstream to a luxury brand is compelling to watch. There’s a will-they-won’t-they tension as the product and marketing teams fight customer perception as they attempt to get from A to B. Some brands have been successful. Hyundai, which went from selling Excels to Equuses (eventually spinning that off as the Genesis luxury brand)—springs to mind. Others, such as Chrysler’s mid-’00s pivot, fell flat. The latest automaker to attempt the transition is Mazda, and we’ll be spending the next 12 months with the 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium AWD to see how this brand in transition is faring.
Why the CX-30 instead of something like a Mazda 6 or CX-5 Signature, you ask? Simple: It’s Mazda’s latest vehicle, and it competes in a heavily contested subcompact SUV segment. This is a segment that’s seen down-market entries from the luxury heavy-hitters—Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz—as well as upscale attempts from mainstream automakers like Buick and Kia. To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, if Mazda can make it here, it can make it anywhere.
See all 73 photos
Our new Polymetal Gray Metallic (god, I hate modern car paint names) CX-30 seems well suited for the challenge. For starters, our top-spec Premium model looks the part of a pint-sized luxury ute with crisp, elegant lines and understated brightwork. Inside, the CX-30 has an unmistakably upscale cabin with a lovely mix of colors, textures, and materials, with the soft and supple white and brown leather found on the seats and dash being our favorite feature.
As expected in a modern luxury SUV, our CX-30 Premium comes with the obligatory set of technology. On the entertainment front it has a crisp 8.8-inch infotainment display (don’t touch, though; it’s controlled via a scroll wheel on the center console), Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatibility, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. On the safety front, the CX-30 has a color head-up display, radar cruise control with stop and go, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking.
If there’s a potential weak spot in the CX-30’s armor, for now it’s its engine. Whereas most competitors have torquey turbocharged engines, the CX-30 makes do for now with a 2.5-liter I-4 making 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, paired with a standard six-speed automatic—and on our car, optional all-wheel drive. (Mazda has already committed to adding a 250-hp turbocharged engine to the CX-30 for the 2021 model year.) The EPA rates our new CX-30 at 25/32/27 mpg city/highway/combined.
Pricing for the base front-drive CX-30 2.5 S starts at $23,000, with AWD adding $1,440 and the premium package tacking on another $6,260. Our loaded Premium AWD tester stickered for $31,625, with a cargo cover, cargo tray, floormats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and wireless phone charging pad making up the $925 difference.
Will the CX-30 succeed in convincing us that the famed Japanese brand is on its way to becoming a premium automaker? This little Mazda has a year to convince us.
See all 73 photos
Source: Read Full Article