My wife and I LOVE our new Mazda CX-30. I literally look for excuses to drive it. “Honey, we need pickles, I hear there’s a great new grocery store three hours west of here, I’ll be back tonight” kind of thing. I’m a little over 1k miles after owning the car for not quite three weeks.
Before getting the Mazda, we were going to get another Subaru Crosstrek to replace the 2018 Crosstrek we gave to one of our kids. We also really liked that car – the Crosstrek is the perfect size for us, lots of great safety features, it’s been super reliable for the first 30k miles. But it has two problems: it’s underpowered, and it’s noisy, especially at highway speeds. So, when Subaru came out with the bigger engine for 2021, I thought – great! They’ve fixed the power issue, I can live with the road noise.
Then my brother said I should look at the Mazda CX-30. I did, and I drove it. I went back to drive it again, then I drove a 2021 Crosstrek Sport, then went back and drove the Mazda. Hands down, the Mazda was the better driving car. It’s quick, quiet, comfortable, great handling.
Re the comfort – before buying the CX-30, I watched about every review on YouTube there is for the vehicle. There were a couple that complained about the front seats, especially the passenger seat. I have no idea what they’re talking about. I recently drove it for six hours in one day and was perfectly comfortable, and I’ve previously had back problems and hamstring problems. This car didn’t bother my back or hamstring at all. My wife was in the front passenger seat for three hours and found it to be extremely comfortable.
The cabin of the CX-30 is way more luxurious than the Crosstrek, and, as mentioned above, much quieter. The CX-30 also has a ton of features the Crosstrek lacks: rain-sensing windshield wipers, power lift gate, memory seats, and heads-up display. All of these you don’t think you need, but once you’ve had them for a day, you will never get a car without them again.
My wife and I also both really like the Mazda’s infotainment and nav systems, it took no time at all to get used to the dial control; in fact, now, I prefer it. I also really like the location of the screen on the dash, compared to the Crosstrek, which has it lower down. And it’s fabulous that navigation directions appear in the heads-up display.
The Crosstrek is still a great car. It has three advantages over the CX-30 that I can think of that might be more important to others than they are to my wife and me: 1. More back seat room. If you need more rear-seat room (eg if you will be driving around adults, or children in rear-facing car-seats), you’ll probably want to go with the Crosstrek. 2. The Crosstrek also has more ground clearance (I believe about another inch) so it should be better off-road. 3. The Crosstrek also has a much larger gas tank. That’s my one gripe about the CX-30 – for some reason, the gas tank is only about twelve gallons, compared to about 17 for the Crosstrek.
Initial impression of mileage for me is that the two cars are very similar, or perhaps the Crosstrek is a mile or two better. I just put three quarters of a tank in the CX-30 this afternoon, after a mix of highway and city, and got about 27 MPG. In the crosstrek, I was getting around that, maybe one or two MPG better. All of this is in very flat (non-mountain) conditions.
Now, excuse me, please I just heard there’s a grocery store a couple hours north of hear that’s got mayonnaise on sale.