Updated: Apr 1, 2022
"Frankly, it's time for a turbo and more gears."
Okay, clearly, product planning was well underway when I wrote those words a year and a half ago, but it's fun to think you said "Open Sesame!" and it worked.
For 2021, you can indeed get a turbo in your Mazda CX-30. It's a 2.5-liter with 227 horsepower---a boost of 41 horsepower from the standard unboosted 2.5. Fuel economy dips from 25 city/32 highway to 22 city/30 highway. Even if I were to indulge my fantasy of influence, Mazda still only acted on half of the order. Gears are still too few---a six-speed automatic.
Still, in terms of driving, the turbo transforms the CX-30. This is the car my wife and I drove back to Folsom (suburban Sacramento) from Western Automotive Journalists Media Days in Half Moon Bay in July. And in 140 miles of freeway cruising (not as simple as it sounds with half that trip being in the Bay Area), the CX-30 impressed us as a smooth ride with reserve power just a nudge of the gas pedal away.
Our tester was the 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus AWD. Base price $33,900. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights at that price are 18-inch alloy wheels, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system and navigation.
There was very little in the way of extra-cost options on our test vehicle---$150 for a cargo cover, $125 for all-weather floormats, and $125 for a stainless rear bumper guard. So, with $1,100 delivery processing and handling fee, the as-tested price of the 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus AWD is $35,400.
That's an attractive price for the power and the premium interior, and it makes the 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo AWD a strong contender.
Now, about more gears...