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A surprisingly roomy small crossover that's fun to drive and loaded with premium touches for a great price.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The brand new 2020 Mazda CX-30 looks great and drives even better, with better performance and handling than most other affordable subcompact crossovers.The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is an all-new small SUV designed to appeal to subcompact buyers who want a little more performance and interior room. The CX-30 is a true crossover because it uses the same chassis and mechanical underpinnings as the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback. That helps the CX-30 offer sporty performance and responsive handling that has been lacking in other subcompact SUVs.

The CX-30 is powered by the same 2.5-liter gasoline engine found in the Mazda3 and the larger CX-5 compact SUV. The engine is rated at 186-horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Mazda pairs this engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, and that delivers a big performance advantage over the continuously variable transmissions in many competing SUVs. The CX-30 is available with your choice of front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. All-wheel-drive is available on all trim levels, and costs $1,400.

PMG PHOTO: JEZZ ZURSCHMEIDE - The interior of the 2020 Mazda CX-30 has a luxury feel and is centered around aan 8.8-inch infotainment display mounted high on the dash controlled by a dial on the center console.

The CX-30 is surprisingly roomy. Two large adult men were able to ride in the front seats without knocking elbows, and there's plenty of headroom for taller people. The rear seat is smaller, however. The main thing to know about the CX-30 interior is that the seats are among the most comfortable in the industry and it is one of the quietest small SUVs on the market.

Mazda has also given the CX-30 a great in-car tech package, centered around an 8.8-inch infotainment display mounted high on the dash. Unlike most competitors, the Mazda unit is not a touchscreen. Using a touchscreen requires taking the driver's attention away from the road. Instead, Mazda uses a rotate-and-click dial interface on the console. It takes a little getting used to, but one great feature is a "favorites" button that gives you instant access to preferred radio stations and frequent navigation destinations.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The interior of the 2020 Mazda CX-30 is surprisingly roomy and the front bucket seats are both supportive and comfortable.

On the road, the CX-30 is a delight to drive. The engine provides excellent power, and Mazda has a few special technical features that give their vehicles an edge. Mazda's all-wheel-drive system is predictive, meaning it anticipates wheelspin and engages wheels with traction before you could notice a loss of traction. Mazda's unique G Vectoring Control also helps handling by modulating engine torque very slightly as you make a turn. This keeps the vehicle's weight on the front tires for better grip.

The best thing about the CX-30 is its price. The base trim with front-wheel-drive starts at just $21,900. This includes adaptive cruise control and smartphone support. The most you can spend on the CX-30 is about $31,240, including all fees. That gets you the top trim with AWD, head-up display, heated leather seats, navigation and that amazing Soul Red Crystal paint. The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is arriving at area dealers now, and it is well worth your time for a test drive.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Cargo space in rhe 2020 Mazda CX-30 is exceptional for a subcompact crossover.

2020 Mazda CX-30

Base price: $22,945 (including all fees)

Price as tested: $30,845

Type: Small SUV

Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder (186 hp, 186 lbs-ft)

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: 25/33

Overall length: 173 inches

Curb weight: 3,408 pounds

Final assembly: Guanajuato, Mexico


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