We originally scratched our heads when we saw photos of the Mazda CX-30. It looked more than good enough (as pretty much all Mazdas do), but we weren't quite sure if it was a good fit, wedged between the CX-3 and the CX-5 crossovers. We had to see it for ourselves and drive it. We were thoroughly impressed by the styling, fit and finish, and especially the driving experience, even with its 186-horsepower engine. As with most Mazdas, the steering and chassis proved fun and made up for the sub-200 horsepower output. Well, Mazda has addressed that by giving the CX-30 a turbocharged engine, and what a difference it should make.
The CX-30 will now receive the same powerful mill as the upgraded Mazda3 sedan and five-door hatch. Under the hood will be the brand's punchy 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G turbocharged engine. The CX-30 2.5 Turbo produces 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, quite a bump up from the naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter that delivers 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque.
Keep in mind that on regular 87 octane gasoline, the output is reduced to 227 horsepower (which is still plenty good to move the 3,400-lb crossover). We found the 186 horsepower CX-30 to be adequate and still fun to drive, but the new engine should make it pretty quick. No figures have been released, but since the 186-hp version gets to 60 mph in about 7.8 seconds, we estimate the 64-horsepower increase will knock it down to the mid-sixes. The engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic and get Mazda's i-Activ all-wheel-drive system.
Again, while we don't find the 186-horsepower engine dull in any way, we welcome the increase in power that will exploit the great handling characteristics of the CX-30. Of course, the price will climb to almost $30,000 base MSRP, which is significantly more than the $21,900 price of the base CX-30. That said, the CX-30 is easily one of our favorite compact crossovers right now, and this change should make it an even better seller.