Reader Review: 2021 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo AWD
Apart from a quibble with engine power, test driver very impressed with ‘luxurious’ hot hatch
Mazda does not have a second luxury brand like many of its competitors. But that doesn’t mean some of the vehicles produced by the automaker aren’t near-luxury in terms of accoutrements and performance. That’s what Rod Johnson of Olds, Alberta discovered during a week behind the wheel of a subcompact 2021 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo five-door crossover with all-wheel drive.
“Without that luxury line,” Johnson says, “I think what Mazda tends to do is have a higher level of trim inside, and I was impressed with that.”
Introduced in 2020, Mazda’s CX-30 was, as the automaker says in a news release, “…quickly recognized by media and fans as the ideal package of sleek styling, driving dynamics and superior craftsmanship.”
Johnson’s Mazda CX-30 GT, fitted with the optional $2,400 turbocharged engine and finished in the $200 polymetal grey metallic paint, cost $38,400 before taxes.
“That front end is sporty and aggressive,” Johnson says of the CX-30, and continues, “but it’s not overdone. The hood subtly comes over the front almost like a beak, and the grille drops down into the bumper line while the headlights tip up to the corners. It’s got a bit of a mean look to it.
He says, “It’s very nicely appointed inside. It almost feels like luxury, and then you open the glovebox; it’s plastic, and you can tell that. However, this Mazda is above its class in refinement.”
Leather-trimmed surfaces cover the seats, which include a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory function. The passenger must contend with a four-way manually adjustable seat, and Johnson says his wife, who is extremely picky about seat comfort, didn’t find the chair comfortable.
“But she doesn’t like the seat in our Audi, either,” Johnson explains.
All CX-30 models come equipped with an impressive array of safety technology, including a wide angle rearview camera and advanced blind spot monitoring. Moving up to the GS and GT trims, Mazda includes radar cruise control with stop and go function, pedestrian detection and a lane-keep assist system. In the GT, Mazda’s windshield-projected colour active driving display comes standard, and this is a feature Johnson appreciated.
“I was impressed with all of the safety features,” he says. “I liked the hologram display that was projected onto the windshield that showed speed, blind spot monitoring, cruise control settings and directions for navigation – good on Mazda for putting that technology in this car.”