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February 15, 2021

2020 Mazda CX-30 AWD Sport: Long-Term Test Update # 1

Apologies for delays in updates surrounding our long-term Mazda CX-30 AWD Sport. With the lack of driving (blame the community quarantines), we haven’t really racked up the kilometers in our compact crossover.

In fact, seven months into our ownership experience, we’ve just managed to clock in 4,069 kilometers. Yeah, we know—we need to drive more. Anyhow, how is our Top Pick for 2020 doing so far?

It’s a mixed bag, honestly.

To our eyes, the CX-30 is still a thing of beauty. It doesn’t exude the same “tough” or “aggressive” look that’s all too common with crossovers nowadays, and for that it still stands out. The decidedly cab back design and sweeping roofline exudes a sporty, elegant feel that might make you think twice taking it off-road and stuff. Don’t be fooled though—the 175 mm of ground clearance is perfectly adequate in taking driveways and humps with zero fears of scraping.

We could say the same thing about its interior. The minimalist design still feels special and is backed up by impeccable fit and finish. Single-handedly, the best aspect of the CX-30 remains its ergonomics. We spent 6 hours crawling in traffic, and we ended up not being tired at all.

Fuel efficiency also remains a strong suit of the CX-30. With the i-stop engaged all the time, it’s not difficult to achieve close to 10 km/L. In fact, our average is 9.56 km/L with our worst mileage being 8.40 km/L, while our best at 10.75 km/L. And remember, these figures were achieved with the all-wheel drive variant.

Dynamically, it behaves more like a raised hatchback than it does a full-blown SUV, and for that it’s great to chuck into corners. It doesn’t have the same level of immediacy as its Mazda3 twin near the center (it’s actually closer to the CX-5), but once we got used to turning the wheel more, it’s quite fun.

So, what are the problems then?

Switching between the CX-30 and CX-5, the first issue (and this is entirely subjective) is that the former feels much more claustrophobic. While this is great for those who want a more cocooned feel, the high-set dashboard and lower-for-a-crossover seating means you’ll be relying on the 360-degree camera for those extra tight maneuvers.

The second issue is far more objective, and it’s one that deters from the joy of CX-30 ownership: rattles. Yes, there are numerous rattles in our Machine Gray unit—something we never encountered in our long-term CX-5 and Mazda3. After repeated drives, we counted at least four sources, and we’ve managed to eliminate all but one thanks to stuffing it with, wait for it, old socks.

It’s a strategy we’ve done to settle our Toyota Yaris’s tailgate rattle before, and it seems to have worked here as well.

The first source of the rattle is located on the passenger’s side, near the “hidden” AC vents. Opening the glovebox, we noticed that the ducting had some play and would squeak each time you moved it up or down. Our solution was to stuff it with socks there to prevent the ducting from moving around. The second is also located near there, and this has to do with the wiring harness. Cutting up old stocks and stuffing it between the wires did the trick. Finally (and surprisingly), the third source is the overhead console with the map lights and sunglass holder. Pressing it down would eliminate the rattles. The solution? Pry the console off, stuff the area between the plastic and metal parts with pieces of old socks, re-install the console, and voila, it’s gone.

There’s still one source of rattle—by the passenger B-pillar door trim, but we haven’t gone around to monkeying around with it yet (it disappears when the weather’s hot making it hard to pinpoint accurately).

Finally, eagle-eyed readers would notice that we installed side roof rails on our CX-30. We did it completely DIY (the parts though are genuine Mazda parts). It took about three hours with the right set of tools. The instructions required that the OE clips be cut off, but we noticed you can keep it on and the side rails will still fit. Now, we didn’t do this because we’ll be engaging in some sort of biking activity any time soon, but we did this because it’s easier to clean the roof with something to hold on to. Yeah, we’re weird that way.

2020 Mazda CX-30 AWD Sport Long-Term Test Update # 1

Months Since Last Report: 7
Kilometers Covered: 4,069
Kilometers Since Last Report: 4,069
Average Lifetime Fuel Consumption (km/L): 9.56
Best Fuel Consumption (km/L): 10.75
Worst Fuel Consumption (km/L) 8.40

Maintenance / Issues / Cost:
  • Numerous rattles - AC vent, passenger side dashboard, overhead console, passenger door trim (all solved except for passenger door trim).
Past Updates:


  1. Is our Mazda CX-30 built in Japan, Thailand or China? And any possibility that we’ll get the MX-30 soon?

  2. One thing that bugs me with car companies here in our country (Mazda included) is they bring variants that is detuned than the base models offered in other countries. Case in point, mazda in U.S. already has the 2.5turbo in almost all of their line ups. But here in the Phil.,only the cx9 and the 6 has it. The rest still has naturally aspirated 2.0's and 2.5's. Which, even if better performing than the rivals, is still on the slow side when accelerating from stand still.

  3. its because, our import taxing system, if you bring the entry level specs equivalent from US or any other first world nation, it will be way expensive, price of being a third world nation, over priced under spec

  4. nakasakay na ako dito. maganda yung loob kaso parang manipis na lata tunog ng mga pinto


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