The Mazda CX-30 subcompact utility has only been in the Mazda lineup for just one year, yet already is second only to the Mazda CX-5 in terms of sales for the brand. 

It’s a great-looking feature-packed crossover with premium intentions; but like us, many buyers have made their desires known for more power, and Mazda has certainly been in the giving mood lately in that regard.  So, if you saw our recent First Drive of the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo, you can probably tell where this is going. Yep, that same engine has found its way into the CX-30. 

The 2.5-liter I4 turbo rates the same 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque; but it’s not just a straight transfer, as there is a slight retune, with the aspects of a utility vehicle in mind. 

The suspension also gets minor tweaks to compensate for the additional weight of the engine, the rear differential gets added reinforcement, and Sport mode has been recalibrated to increase response from the G-Vectoring Control.  All designed to improve off-road ability without sacrificing on-road performance. 

Smaller vehicles generally mean more content at a lower price, and that’s exemplified here with a truly premium feel; having more power than what you may need also plays into that.  It’s all the Mazda3 performance that we love, with some additional practicality and capability.

Brian Robinson: “Remember, this engine was originally designed to replace a V6 in a big 3-row crossover, so having essentially that same power-plant in such a small utility obviously makes for a fun time.  But, it’s not overwhelming, and I love that they stuck with the 6-speed automatic transmission it gets you where you need to be without a lot of shuffling or gear hunting.”  

The 2.5 Turbo is designed to deliver not just a more powerful, but a more premium experience in the 2021 CX-30, so expect to pay around $30,000 for the privilege. The 2021 CX-30 is on sale now so stay tuned for more here on MotorWeek.


  • Engine: 2.5L I4 Turbo
  • Horsepower: 250
  • Torque: 320 lb-ft