Mazda has been quite active on the product front lately, both updating existing products and launching news ones based on its newest SkyActiv Vehicle Architecture. The latest to roll out of Hiroshima is the all-new CX-30, which slots into the line-up between the familiar CX-3 and CX-5 models.
The new model, debuting at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, is a striking example of Mazda’s latest, Kodo design language, both muscular and sculptural in a single package. With its steeply raked windshield and graceful silhouette countered by dark cladding around the wheel arches, it effectively blends coupe details with more SUV-like dimensions.
Surprisingly, Mazda won’t outfit the new crossover with the breakthrough SkyActiv-X engine that many had been expecting, a powertrain promising to deliver the best of both diesel and gas technology in a single package.
The decision to name the new crossover the CX-30, rather than the CX-4, has some folks scratching their heads and raises questions about the future of the CX-3 and CX-5 models that bookend it. For now, though, the new crossover’s features and striking styling – which, according to Mazda, mark “a new era” – will likely draw much of the attention in the brand’s showrooms.
Like the exterior, the design of the 2020 Mazda CX-30 cabin has an elegance that would suggest it sits a pay grade higher in the spectrum than its relatively diminutive size might normally translate into. The analog gauge cluster has a traditional, albeit sporty look that brings to mind the “zoom, zoom” theme that was long used to describe Mazda products.
Like other recent Mazdas, there’s a screen that pops out of the flowing instrument panel but the primary way to operate the infotainment system is through an each-to-reach control knob on the center console. The system replaces many traditional knobs, though Mazda has left enough to handle the appropriate functions, such as volume and climate control.
The CX-30 will be available with the Mazda Connected Services system which, among other things, provides onboard WiFi and links to a smartphone app. It allows an owner to remotely start the engine, lock and unlock the doors, trigger the hazard lights and check oil, fuel and tire pressure levels.
The CX-30 brings the newest array of Mazda i-Activsense smart safety systems with it, meanwhile. The list includes Driver Attention Alert, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with stop and go function, Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist, Smart Brake Support and High Beam Control.
All versions of the 2020 Mazda CX-30 will be equipped with the automaker’s Skyactiv-G 2.5, a 2.5-liter gas engine paired with a quick-shifting Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. The package makes 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.
If there’s one surprise, there had been speculation the CX-30 would be motivated by the SkyActiv-X engine, a breakthrough design that uses what engineers call homogenous compression to deliver almost hybrid levels of fuel economy. While there is still a sparkplug, the SkyActiv-X functions, much of the time, like a diesel, using higher levels of compression, rather than a spark, to ignite its gas/air mixture.
Set to reach showrooms early next year, the 2020 Mazda CX-30 will start at $21,900 in front-wheel-drive configuration, and $23,300 with the all-wheel-drive package. Add another $1,045 for delivery fees.