Cars and Trucks

View Photos of the 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

Jessica Lynn WalkerCar and Driver

The Mazda CX-30, now in its sophomore model year, has shown to be an impressive subcompact-crossover alternative to the brand’s Mazda 3 hatchback. But its upscale feel could benefit from more than the 186 horsepower that its standard 2.5-liter inline-four delivers, an issue Mazda has addressed with a new-for-2021 2.5 Turbo model.

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The Mazda CX-30’s new 2.5 Turbo model features the brand’s familiar turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four, which develops 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel. Output drops to 227 horses and 310 pound-feet on regular gas.

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The turbocharged CX-30 comes standard with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

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The CX-30 2.5 Turbo’s engine and drivetrain can now be had in most new Mazda vehicles, including the Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback on which the CX-30 is based. Compared to those models, a notable difference for CX models is the addition of an off-road mode for stability-control and all-wheel-drive programming.

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Along with black 18-inch wheels and exterior mirrors, the CX-30 Turbo can be identified by its larger tailpipes, brushed aluminum roof rails, and a Turbo badge on its rear liftgate.

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The turbocharged engine adds about 120 pounds to the curb weight of a regular all-wheel-drive CX-30 and trims 1 mpg from its 26-mpg EPA combined estimate.

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In 2.5 Turbo trim, we expect the CX-30 to hit 60 mph in about six seconds, down from the regular all-wheel-drive model’s 7.6-second effort.

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In order to maintain the CX-30’s handling character with the heavier turbo powertrain, Mazda revised the tuning of the CX-30’s strut front and torsion-beam rear suspension.

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Pricing for the CX-30 2.5 Turbo starts at $31,225, but the optional Premium Plus package and a few small extras pushed the price of the car we drove to $35,895.

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Little has changed in the CX-30’s cabin with the turbo-engine upgrade. Standard features include leatherette upholstery, a heated steering wheel and front seats, and Mazda’s latest 8.8-inch infotainment system.

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Rear-seat passengers get slightly more headroom in the back of the CX-30 than they would in a Mazda 3 hatchback, but overall space is similar and both models offer the same 20 cubic feet of cargo room.

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo

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