2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium AWD Arrival
Much like Jim and Pam’s relationship on The Office, an automaker moving from a mainstream brand to a luxury brand is compelling to watch. There is a will-they-they-they-tension as the product and marketing teams battle customer perception as they attempt to move from A to B. Some brands have been successful. Hyundai, which went from selling Excels to Equuses (which ended up becoming the luxury brand Genesis) – it comes to mind. Others, like Chrysler’s pivot in the mid-2000s, have fallen flat. The latest automaker to attempt the transition is Mazda, and we’ll be spending the next 12 months with the 2020 Mazda CX-30 Premium AWD to see how this transitioning brand fares.
Why is the CX-30 instead of something like a Mazda 6 or CX-5 Signature, you ask? Simple: This is Mazda’s latest vehicle, and it competes in a hotly contested subcompact SUV segment. This is a segment that has seen the low-end entries of luxury heavy goods vehicles – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – as well as the high-end attempts of mainstream automakers like Buick and Kia. To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, if Mazda can be successful here, it can be successful anywhere.
Our new Polymetal Gray Metallic (God I hate modern car paint names) CX-30 seems well suited to this challenge. For starters, our premium premium model looks like a luxury pint-sized ute with clean, sleek lines and understated light work. Inside, the CX-30 has an unmistakable premium cabin with a nice mix of colors, textures and materials, with the soft and supple white and brown leather of the seats and dashboard being our favorite feature.
As expected in a modern luxury SUV, our CX-30 Premium comes with the mandatory package of technology. On the entertainment front, it has a crisp 8.8-inch infotainment screen (don’t touch it, however; it’s controlled via a scroll wheel on the center console), Android Auto and Apple Car compatibility. Play, and a 12-speaker Bose sound system. In terms of safety, the CX-30 features a color head-up display, radar cruise control with stop and go, lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking. .
Pricing for the base front-wheel drive CX-30 2.5 S starts at $ 23,000, with all-wheel drive adding $ 1,440 and the high-end pack with another $ 6,260. Our loaded Premium All-Wheel Drive Tester cost $ 31,625, with a cargo cover, cargo tray, floor mats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and wireless phone charger, which is the difference of $ 925 .
Will the CX-30 convince us that the famous Japanese brand is on its way to becoming a premium car manufacturer? This little Mazda has a year to convince us.