Auto review By Veeno Dewan

New for 2021, is the Mazda CX-30 turbo, a subcompact crossover that slotted on between the smaller CX-3 and the larger, compact-sized CX-5. The CX-30 has undergone some surgery with the fitting of the larger Mazda Skyactiv-G 2.5 —with a big 250 hp and 320 pound-feet of torque.  It’s a great move from Mazda, the Skyactiv-G amps up the acceleration muscle  with a power and performance figures stepping on the toes of such  premium subcompacts as the:  BMW X1, Audi Q3, and Mercedes GLA. However the Mazda undercut them all when it comes to performance at a price. The CX30 CUV adopts Mazda’s Kodo design language and is a graceful, lithe looking vehicle.

The Turbo model gets a few minor revisions with a stronger six-speed automatic transmission and revised differential mount to handle the extra torque in the rear. The suspension is also tuned to be stiffer to support the heavier turbo engine. Exterior changes are minimal, the sleep hot hatch profile remains, while the Turbo model receive 18-inch black alloy wheels, a bigger tailpipes, gloss black door mirrors and a “Turbo” badge on the liftgate.

We tested a 2021 GT All-Wheel Drive version that came with standard equipment featuring: SKYACTIV-G 2.5L engine, SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and Drive Selection switch, paddle shifters, G-Vectoring Control Plus, 18-inch alloy wheels, push button start, Mazda Connect with 8.8-inch display, HMI commander, rearview camera, power moonroof, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, leather-trimmed upholstery, 10-way power driver seat (includes power lumbar support), and full LED exterior lighting. Also added was: navigation system, Bose Audio system w/ 12 speakers, automatic climate controls, advanced keyless entry, power liftgate, Safety included:  Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Pedestrian Detection, High Beam Control, Forward Obstruction Warning, Smart City Brake Support, Smart Brake Support, Smart Brake Support Rear, Smart Brake Support Rear-Crossing, rear parking sensors, colour windshield-projected Active Driving Display. Our tester stickered for $38,400 including options freight and PDE.

The interior layout is as usual typical Mazda with its neat uncluttered design. There is a nice sporty gauge cluster and the dash is a of a multi-tier two tone design with an available black and brown  contrasting  trim that looks very cool. Slivers of   brushed aluminum rim pieces add a very upmarket feel. I also liked the use of supple two-tone leather type material instead of hard plastics used in the cabin doors, dash and center armrest. The front seat are well designed with just the right amount of cushioning. Certain models do offer heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The automaker has added a newly updated version of its infotainment system, using a high resolution 8.8-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android.

Rear seating position is excellent as well with good headroom. However, legroom for adult passengers is a tight. Cargo capacity is a very useful, with 572L of space behind the rear seats a full 100L more room than the CX-3,   the back seats, also fold down. Rear access is via a generously wide cargo door and a low load floor to make it easier to put larger and heavy items.

On the road, the CX-30 Turbo is a joy to drive. The sporty exhaust note, willing drivetrain and deft, nippy handling means an entertaining drive all the time. The addition of i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive ensures stability in all conditions. There is a Sport mode as well as paddle shifters and maximum torque is arrives at 2,500 rpm.  The CX-3 six-speed automatic transmission delivers power to all four wheels via Mazda’s i-Activ intelligent on-demand all-wheel-drive system. Acceleration is much improved thanks to the    SKYACTIV Turbo engine, advanced engineering coupled with a well- geared transmission means the CX-3 feels willing all the time The CX-3’s sport driving experience is enhanced by the Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system, which reduces engine torque, and adjusts steering and throttle inputs to add slight weight on the front wheels to make the steering feel firmer and more direct.   The suspension is taut, offering minimal body roll, while the responsive steering offers agile handling, the hallmark of all Mazda’s. There are paddle shifters and a Sport mode, which does ratchet up the response somewhat by holding the gear longer. The all-wheel-drive system offer superb traction by the way.  Not a lot to complain about – One of the better, sportier compact CUVs – The CX-30 Highly recommended.

2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo price as tested $38,400. Including freight and PDE.