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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

2023 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD Premium Plus: A Premium Vehicle without an Eye-Watering Price Tag

Today, we're delving into the world of Mazda once again, and this time, we're putting the spotlight on the 2023 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus. This is the last vehicle in the Mazda lineup for us to put through its paces and if you've been following our channel, you know we have a soft spot for Mazda's vehicles. Does this small crossover measure up?

A Familiar Design with an Elevated Twist

Let's start with the basics: the Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus is a compact crossover that finds its roots in the beloved Mazda 3 hatchback. This taller sibling retains the essence of the Mazda 3 we've previously tested but adds a touch of ruggedness with its black cladding and downhill descent control, making it a worthy contender in the ever-popular crossover segment.

From the get-go, it's clear that Mazda has poured its signature style into the CX-30's design. The front fascia carries the familiar Mazda face, complete with adaptive LED headlights, turn signals, and a sleek grille that houses the adaptive cruise sensors. The profile has caught the attention of meme-makers on the internet who believe Ferrari’s latest (and first-ever) SUV has ripped off the design of this affordable crossover.

Peek Under the Hood

Lifting the hood, we're reintroduced to the engine that propels our CX-30, a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has been found in many of our other Mazda review vehicles. This engine is capable of producing 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque on regular gasoline. But when you opt for premium fuel, power numbers increase to a gratifying 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. The result? A peppy and exhilarating driving experience that's sure to put a smile on your face.

One thing worth noting is the transmission choice. Mazda has equipped the CX-30 with a Skyactiv six-speed automatic. While a bit old-fashioned in today's sea of transmissions with numerous gears, it's important to remember that Mazda focuses on driving dynamics. While a few gears short of rivals, this 6-speed was never hunting and was generally responsive overall. Want to take things into your own hands? Put it in manual mode and use the paddles behind the wheel.

Comfort Meets Elegance Inside

Sliding into the driver's seat, you're welcomed by an interior that exemplifies Mazda's commitment to upscale quality and attention to detail. The materials and textures come together in a blend of elegance and functionality. This particular model, the Premium Plus, boasts perforated leather seats that are both comfortable and supportive, even for longer journeys. The steering wheel is typical Mazda – simple, not overloaded with buttons, but with all the controls you need within easy reach.

The center console holds Mazda's infotainment controls, and here's where opinions might differ. It's not a touchscreen; instead, you navigate the system using the controller. Some find this approach less intuitive, but it's a design and engineering choice that allows Mazda to set the infotainment screen further back while still allowing easy access to the controls, right at your fingertips.

Behind the Wheel: Driving Dynamics and Performance

Hitting the road, you'll immediately sense the lively spirit that Mazda embeds into every vehicle it creates. The CX-30's turbocharged engine delivers power smoothly and eagerly, and the steering response is precise, ensuring that you feel connected to the road. While this crossover isn't designed for track days, it does offer a level of engagement that sets it apart from many of its competitors.

The ride quality is impressive, too. Despite the vehicle's taller stance, the suspension tuning keeps body roll in check, making for a comfortable and controlled ride. The noise isolation inside the cabin is commendable, with minimal road noise making its way in, even on rougher surfaces. This lends itself to an enjoyable driving experience, whether you're on a long highway stretch or navigating city streets.

Is the CX-30 for You?

At the end of the day, the 2023 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus checks a lot of boxes. It's a crossover that retains the soul of a hatchback, providing a practical and engaging driving experience. Priced like mainstream offerings while giving the appeal of a premium brand like Audi, it might not be the most powerful or luxurious option amongst lid-luxury brands, it certainly strikes a balance that will resonate with many buyers. The Mazda brand is carving its own path in the automotive world, and the CX-30 is a testament to their commitment to craftsmanship, style, and driving enjoyment.

So, if you're in the market for a vehicle that combines sportiness, style, and everyday functionality, the 2023 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus is definitely worth a test drive. It's a statement that Mazda isn't just building cars; they're building experiences that connect drivers with the road and the world around them.

Family Review:

2023 Mazda CX-30 Specs:

  • 2.5L SKYACTIV®-G Dynamic Pressure Turbo 4-cylinder Engine

  • 227 Horsepower (250hp with 93 Octane)

  • 310 lb-ft of Torque (320lb-ft with 93 Octane)

  • Skyactiv-Drive 6 Speed Automatic Transmission with Sport Mode

  • i-Activ All-Wheel Drive

  • 4 Wheel Disc Brakes

  • G-Vectoring Control Plus

  • Independent MacPherson Strut Front Suspension

  • Torsion Beam Rear Axle

  • Seating for 5

  • Heated Front Seats

  • Perforated Leather Seats

  • Power Driver’s Seat with 2-Person Memory

  • 18-inch Black Alloy Wheels

  • 215/55 R18 All-season Tires

  • 20.2 Cubic Feet of Trunk Space (20.1 in Mazda3 Hatch)

  • 8.8-inch Infotainment Screen with Apple CarPlay® & Android Auto™

  • Bose Premium 12-Speaker Audio System

  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control

  • LED Adaptive Headlights

  • 360º Camera System

  • Front & Rear Parking Sensors

  • Traffic Jam Assist

  • Adaptive Cruise Control

  • Lane Keeping Assist System

  • Traffic Sign Recognition

  • Proximity Key with Push Button Start

  • EPA Fuel Economy 22/30/25 (city/hwy/cmb) (-1 vs Mazda3)

  • Starting MSRP $22,950 (+400 vs Mazda3 sedan)

  • Price as tested: $36,810 ($36,895 Mazda3 hatch we tested)

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