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Refreshing or Revolting: Mazda CX-30 vs. Mazda CX-3

Which of Mazda's small crossovers is the style winner?

Which of Mazda's small crossovers is the style winner?

In today’s market, it seems like an automaker can never have too many crossovers. Mazda is bringing out a new crossover that will slot between the CX-3 and CX-5. The new model, dubbed the CX-30, straddles these two crossovers in terms of size, and it also ventures upmarket into the semi-premium space. Did Mazda do enough to make this tweener stand out from its more established siblings? Read on to find out.

The new crossover takes Mazda’s existing Kodo design language and makes it more dramatic. It features a wide grille that connects directly to the very thin, drawn-out headlights. To keep the spotlight on the large grille, the lower valence area is simplified. The LED turn signals have a unique light-up signature that starts at full power and gradually winds down, which Mazda says gives the effect of a live, pulsating creature.

 

By looking at the side profile, the first thing you’ll notice about the CX-30 is the bold body cladding. The CX-30 has upscale window trim and straight body lines, while the CX-3 has more fluid lines. The CX-30 does not have a floating roof like its sibling. Both vehicles try for a coupe-like appearance. Mazda has released preliminary European specifications for the CX-30, which, if they ring true for North American market, would put the model at 4.7 inches longer than the CX-3 and 1.2 inches wider. They would share the same height, while the wheelbase on the CX-30 would be 3.3 inches longer. Ground clearance increases 0.6 inch on the CX-30.

In the rear, the CX-30’s taillights are just as narrow and long as the headlights. Just like on the sides, there is plenty of body cladding here in the rear. Once again, Mazda left out unnecessary design details; there are no bold creases or distracting silver accents.

Mazda has really stepped up its game for the interior. The 8.8-inch display conforms to the shape of the dashboard and is operated by a rotary controller. Between the screen and the climate control knobs, there is a lot of empty space. Still, the dashboard is cut into two layers, which provides some visual interest. Upscale leather and leatherette upholstery is available.

 

So which is the better looking small crossover of the family: the CX-30 or the CX-3? Let us know in the comments on Facebook.