Two things have happened since my first review of the CX-30. One, Mazda announced that North American customers will no longer get the smaller CX-3 for the 2022 model year. That now makes the CX-30 the smallest SUV in the lineup. The other bit of news is the addition of the powerful Skyactiv 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the CX-30 lineup.
There is some truth to this. Consider how the first generation RX-7 became an icon by focusing their rotary engine development towards performance to engage with enthusiasts looking for something different in the marketplace. One could argue that the 626 had a sporty demeanor that could be seen as a 3-Series fighter – sort of.
Translation: Japanese cars were thought of as cheap tin boxes that would never make it through a Minnesota winter. That was the mentality of the American consumer until the last couple of decades. It does help that several Japanese automakers set up shop building vehicles on our soil to change our collective minds.
In an age where the SUV and crossover are the bane of our existence, we often forget that a small car will do. The advantages are clear – if you don’t need a lot of space and can carry average-size folks and their luggage across town or further afield, then you really don’t need an SUV. Especially one that may be of the same size as your small car.