The New Mazda CX-30 Turns Mazda's Lineup Into a Russian Doll Collection of Small SUVs

All images: Mazda

Mazda already makes two small SUVs, the CX-3 and CX-5, the latter of which is about 11 inches longer and three inches wider than the former. Still, the company just introduced at the Geneva Motor Show a crossover that slots between those two, and for whatever reason, it’s called the CX-30 and not the CX-4 (perhaps because the CX-4 is already available in China?).

We always talk about how America is in love with crossovers, and while that’s true, the segment is hot pretty much all around the globe, which is why brands like Jeep offer three compact SUVs, all within about 15 inches of length of one another. Now Mazda is joining the club with its CX-30, giving the brand its own trio of small SUVs that can fit just inside one another like Russian Matryoshka dolls.


The CX-30 is the second of Mazda’s newest generation of cars, and like the first—the 2019 Mazda 3—it’s based on the company’s newest Skyactiv vehicle architecture. Like the 3, the new CX-30 will get the Skyactiv-X “Holy Grail” gas motor, as well as a 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G
conventional gas engine and a 1.8-liter Skyactiv-D diesel, with a six-speed auto and a six-speed manual as the only transmission options.

The Skyactiv-X and Skyactiv-G powertrains will come with Mazda’s mild hybrid system, which Mazda introduced on the 3. In fact, looking at the specs, the CX-30 does seem a lot like a taller 3, sharing not just three of its engine options and its basic architecture (with its MacPherson struts up front and torsion beam suspension out back), but also its available “i-Activ” all-wheel drive system.


The new SUV also shares the “mature” version of Mazda’s Kodo design language that debuted at the LA Auto Show on the Mazda 3, and that’s a good thing, because—like its smaller compact car cousin—the CX-30 looks good.

I’m not sure what I think about the thick cladding around the wheel arches, but I can see some door ding-preventing value to the plastic on the doors, so I’m all for that. The rear lights are thin and sharp, the side doors have wavy but attractive skins, and the front has the same thin lights and big chrome-surrounded grille that makes the new 3 so attractive. You can read a long-winded breakdown of the car’s design on Mazda’s media site, but the main point, here, is that, as far as small crossovers go, this thing looks pretty.


In case you’re curious about dimensions, the CX-3 is 168 inches long, the CX-5 is about 179 inches, and the new CX-30 comes in at 173. As for width, the CX-3 is around 69.5-inches across, the CX-5 is about 72, and the CX-30 is around 71. So it’s pretty much right there in between.


The interior looks nice in these press pictures, sharing a number of design elements with the new Mazda 3, like the dial-style user interface for the 8.8-inch widescreen display, which sits on top of the dash. That dash appears to have multiple “layers,” one of which wraps around to the doors, and ties in with the silver door handles; it’s a nice look.


As is becoming more common in many new cars, the new crossover offers a bunch of driver safety features, too, like Front Cross Traffic Alert and Driver Monitoring system, the latter of makes sure the driver isn’t falling asleep at the wheel.

For more details, check out Mazda’s media site, but the takeaway is that, with the CX-30, it seems that Mazda took the new Mazda 3, crossover-ified it, and slotted it into the gap between the CX-3 and CX-5. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.


There’s no information on release dates, or even if the CX-30 is coming to the U.S., but I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

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About the author

David Tracy

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).