2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium AWD Track Test: Joy Beyond the Numbers?
The pandemic makes it hard to get to know a new car. I’m sure in some parallel universe our new long-term Mazda CX-30 Premium AWD was handed over by a smiling car porter, smelling of new car, and driven each and every day to work and on errands. Instead, reality is that our CX-30 was delivered by a masked man, smelled of rubbing alcohol, and, since the Mazda CX-30 is too large for most of our bedroom-to-the-kitchen morning commutes, it’s spent most workdays sitting idle in the driveway. To right that wrong, our CX-30 test vehicle hit the road a few weeks back bound for the test track, so we could become better acquainted.
You wouldn’t expect a small subcompact SUV to be a barnstormer, and, well, our 2020 CX-30 isn’t. Powered by a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine making 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, the CX-30 feels slower than its horsepower and torque numbers would suggest, largely thanks to a six-speed automatic that lacks the polish and decisive nature found in other Mazda transmissions. Without much low-end torque on tap, the CX-30 spent much of the highway drive out to the test track hunting through gears while attempting to keep up with the fast-moving traffic. The CX-30’s tidy dimensions and quick steering at least helped make it easier to keep momentum up when skirting around the occasional Prius or big-rig.
Once at the test track and with our test gear hooked up, our new CX-30 AWD proved dynamically competitive with the segment. It accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds and through the quarter mile in 16.1 seconds at 87.6 mph, making it a tenth of a second slower than the similarly powerful, new-for-2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport but quicker than the standard, smaller-engined Crosstrek. It’s also a bit slower than the new 2021 Kia Seltos that is equipped with a turbocharger, which will run from 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. Our CX-30 makes up some ground against that Crosstrek Sport on the figure eight, tying its 27.8-second lap but averaging one less g at 0.59. The Seltos laps our figure eight in 27.4 seconds at 0.63 g.
See all 73 photos
It’s worth mentioning a more powerful turbocharged CX-30 is coming for the 2021 model year. In the meantime, while fairly mid-pack when it comes to test numbers, as many of us have tried (unsuccessfully) pointing out to many math teachers over the years—numbers aren’t everything.
Now acquainted, we look forward to further evaluating how our No. 3 ranked subcompact SUV (as of press time) acquits itself out on the open road, where it so far displays a good deal of Mazda’s signature sporty chassis tuning. Handling and steering are smart, and the CX-30 carves a generally satisfying line done curvy back roads, so long as it isn’t pushed super hard. None of that shows up in the test figures, but we’ll see if the Mazda can leave those objective test figures in the rearview and satisfy as a small SUV in the coming months.
Read More About Our Long-Term 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium AWD:
Source: Read Full Article