Road Test: 2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo

Looking for a stylish, compact and versatile little crossover? The 2023 Mazda CX-30 might be just the thing for you then.

And if you want the most fun out of it, the GT Turbo trim we tested is the one you want.

2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo

Opting for the GT ups the power output from the engine for more responsiveness over the base engine.

The GT also comes with some trim-exclusive exterior features that distinguish it from the rest of the lineup and the model is priced at $40,545.

Powertrain: The CX-30 has two available engines, a smaller 2.0-litre four cylinder and a larger 2.5L version. And the 2.5L comes either naturally aspirated or turbocharged, which was the case on our tester.

2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo

It’s a fun little engine that can put out up to 250 horsepower and an impressive 320 pound-feet of torque, should you opt for 93 octane fuel. Using a lesser grade fuel will result in slightly lower power output.

The CX-30, no matter the engine, comes with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

The turbo engine has an estimated combined fuel economy average of 9.3 litres per 100 kilometres, but my test period with it came nowhere near that at 13.2 L/100 km.

2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo

Exterior: The CX-30 follows the same design cues that Mazda has for its crossovers, which results is an attractively-styled vehicle.

The front end has the signature grille, featuring a chrome accent that encompasses the headlights and makes for a clean look.

The proportions on this car all work well, except when you view it from the rear. The taillights, in my view, could be a little larger. I just find there’s too much metal vs lights proportion at the back.

2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo

That said, the overall look is a good one.

The GT Turbo model has some distinguishable exterior features, such as exterior door mirrors finished in Jet Black Mica, black metallic 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, larger exhaust outlets, and Turbo badging on the rear hatch.

Interior: Inside the cabin, Mazda does a great job designing and building clean, simple and effective cabins.

The CX-30 is certainly no exception.

Up front, there is minimal clutter from buttons, and a nicely curved dash design gives it a wider appearance. Materials in the cabin are of excellent quality and workmanship.

The clean design also extends to the steering wheel, which on some vehicles is overly complicated by buttons these days!

The leather-trimmed front seats are comfortable and up front you have decent headroom. The same cannot be said for rear occupants.

2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo

Headroom in the back is quite limited, as I bumped my head getting out of the back seat. Legroom is also not the greatest, especially if front passengers are tall and have their seats back.

Infotainment: Just about the only knock I have with the Mazda infotainment screen is the lack of touchscreen functionality. It forces you to rely on the large dial and buttons in the centre console, which does take some getting used to.

The 8.8-inch screen mounted atop the dash is a good size for the cabin and blends in nicely without protruding too much into your line of sight.

2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo

The interface is pretty monotone in design, with the only colour showing up when you are looking at maps or on satellite radio when album covers help depict what you are listening to.

And the audio is excellent thanks to the Bose Premium Sound System including 12 speakers. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

However, I found it odd that there is no USB-C port for plugging in the cables of the newest generation of iPhones.

Drive: The turbo engine delivers more than enough power to make the CX-30 a fun little ride. It delivers quick acceleration, with a nice sound from the engine, and more than adequate power for passing moves.

The AWD system proved to be quite adept at handling the winter weather experience during my test with it, with very minimal slippage.

2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo

The suspension also does a good job for ride quality and comfort, and the cabin is kept well insulated from exterior noise.

Conclusion: The lack of headroom and limited storage space means this probably isn’t going to be your first choice if you have a family. That being said, this is a vehicle that fits perfectly in an urban environment thanks to its size, offering just enough space for younger drivers who might want to take weekend getaways outside the city.

Mazda does the small crossover very well in my experience, and the CX-30, taken as a whole, is no exception.

2023 Mazda CX-30 GT Turbo
Price as tested: $40,545.00
Freight: $1,995.00
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 2.5-litre turbo 4-cylinder/ 6-speed automatic
Power/torque: 250 horsepower/ 320 lb-ft of torque (with 93 Octane fuel)
Fuel (capacity): Regular or Premium (48 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 9.3 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 13.2 L/100 km
Warranties: 3-years/unlimited km (basic)
Competitors: Hyundai Tucson, Kia Seltos, Nissan Kicks, Subaru Crosstrek, Volvo XC40

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