What is the CX-30?
The 2023 Mazda CX-30 is an extra-small crossover SUV and one of the best-driving and most premium vehicles in its class. Introduced in 2020 to slot between the diminutive Mazda CX-3 and the larger CX-5, the CX-30 drives and feels more like a hatchback than it does an SUV. That's because it shares much underneath the sheetmetal and from behind the wheel with the Mazda 3, one of Edmunds' favorite compacts. Since the CX-30 is only a few years old at this point, we don't expect Mazda to introduce any significant changes for 2023. Last year's updates included standard all-wheel drive.
It might sound like a contradiction, but the CX-30 is one of the largest extra-small SUVs around. That means decent passenger and cargo space with a smaller footprint and better fuel economy than a larger model. It's surprisingly fun to drive, too, especially with its available turbocharged engine. While we wouldn't call it luxurious, the interior has an upscale design and feel that you won't find in other compacts. In other words, the CX-30 feels like a small SUV, not a cheap one.
There are plenty of competitors in this segment, with strong offerings including the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Buick Encore GX, Subaru Crosstrek and Volkswagen Taos. There's not a bad vehicle in the bunch, though nothing in this class looks, feels or drives like the CX-30. It may not have class-leading tech or the best fuel economy, but this Mazda is pretty fantastic when you consider the total package.