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Eric's Autos: 2023 Mazda CX-30

Eric Peters on

But it's the little CX's optional engine, or version of it, that really stands out. It's the same size (2.5) liters and type (an inline four) but with a turbo boosting its output to 250 horsepower and 320 foot-pounds of torque.

So equipped, this Mazda can get to 60 in 5.7 seconds.

It also goes almost as far on a gallon of gas -- 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway -- as the standard (non-turbo'd) version goes, which is 26 city, 33 highway. You exchange 3-4 mpg for almost 60 more horsepower, which isn't a bad trade-off.

The standard 2.5-liter engine (without the turbo) also goes a little farther on a gallon than the slightly less powerful version (186 horsepower) of that engine in last year's CX-30 went, which was 24 city, 31 highway. That's a gain of about 2 mpg, and a gain of 5 horsepower, which isn't a trade-off at all.

On The Road

Crossovers are fundamentally about practicality.

 

But that doesn't mean they can't also be fun, at least a little bit.

Mazda puts more effort in here than most. Echoing the Miata, Mazda's popular sports car, the CX's suspension tuning invites pushing it a little. The steering feel has just the right weight to it. Everything syncopated and focused not on the getting-there so much as having a little fun getting there.

Also: This Mazda's six-speed automatic doesn't have too many gears (just six) and so it does not have to shift down -- and back up -- as often as automatics with eight (or more) speeds.

At The Curb

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