2023 Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek

January 20th, 2023 by

The Mazda CX-30 and the Subaru Crosstrek are two of the most popular choices among crossover buyers. They’re both reliable, practical, and comfortable vehicles that provide excellent value for money. However, they’re different in many ways. If you’re wondering whether you should buy the Mazda CX-30 or the Subaru Crosstrek, check out this detailed comparison to see how they match up in different departments.


Both the Mazda CX-30 and the Subaru Crosstrek are good-looking vehicles, but they’re markedly different in terms of design language. The CX-30 looks more sophisticated and urban-oriented with its sleek, elegant silhouette and undulating surfaces. The Crosstrek, on the other hand, has a more rugged appeal thanks to its muscular lines and all-around beefy black cladding. Also, it’s worth noting that the Mazda is smaller than its rival, which may make it easier to drive in tight situations.


If you’re looking for a fun-to-drive crossover, the Mazda CX-30 is the better option. This Mazda SUV comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 191 horsepower. The engine works with an advanced six-speed automatic transmission that’s capable of choosing gears based on driving conditions. With this combination, the crossover takes 8.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standstill.

For greater driving excitement, it’s recommended that you choose a model equipped with the optional 2.5-liter turbo-four engine rated at 250 horsepower. That’s enough to reduce the sprint time to a brisk 5.8 seconds, making it one of the fastest models in the compact SUV segment. The CX-30 comes standard with all-wheel drive for enhanced traction in wet and slippery conditions.

The Subaru Crosstrek also offers two engine options. The base unit is a 152-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s mated to a six-speed manual transmission or the available continuously variable transmission. It scoots the SUV from zero to 60 mph in a leisurely 9.2 seconds. When equipped with the available 182-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder, the Crosstrek needs only 7.5 seconds to reach 60 mph. However, it’s still considerably slower than a turbocharged CX-30.


When it comes to driving dynamics, few compact SUVs can hold a candle to the Mazda CX-30. The crossover drives like a hatchback, thanks to its nimble and athletic handling. Its sharp steering and fluid movements make it a blast to drive on a winding road, while its wide stance and low center of gravity help it stay well planted at high speeds. It also does a fine job of smoothing out potholes and bumps, preventing vibrations and jolts from being felt in the cabin.

The handling of the Subaru Crosstrek is also pleasantly car-like because of its well-weighted steering and composed road manners. It rides comfortably over rough surfaces and feels stable around turns. Still, it isn’t as sporty as its Mazda rival.

Fuel Economy

For the 2023 model year, the standard four-cylinder engine of the CX-30 has been upgraded to deliver better fuel economy. Now, it returns an impressive 26/33 mpg (city/highway), while the turbocharged unit manages just 22/30 mpg. The most efficient Subaru Crosstrek is a model fitted with the base engine and continuously variable transmission, which is rated at 28/33 mpg. However, the figure drops to 22/29 mpg with the same engine and manual transmission.


Similar to other Mazda vehicles, the CX-30 features a handsome and immaculately crafted interior that uses plenty of premium-quality materials. The entry-level model comes with cloth upholstery, whereas the range-topping trim adds leather seats, a power liftgate, and other luxury features that put the crossover in contention with some of the vehicles from higher-end brands. While many small crossovers have cramped back seats, this Mazda model offers adult-friendly legroom in both rows.

In contrast, the interior of the Subaru Crosstrek favors function over form. It feels solidly built, but the overall atmosphere is somewhat dull and dark. However, the SUV compensates for its lack of flair with spacious and comfortable seats. It also provides more cargo space than the CX-50.

Infotainment Features

The Mazda CX-30 delivers a wonderful in-vehicle experience with its user-friendly and feature-rich Mazda Connect infotainment system. It comes standard with an 8.8-inch display, a 7-inch LCD instrument cluster, two USB ports, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and an eight-speaker audio system. You’ll also have access to Mazda Connected Services, which lets you remotely lock and unlock, start, and monitor your vehicle via the MyMazda app.

Not to be outdone, the Subaru Crosstrek also has a solid list of standard infotainment features, including a USB port, Bluetooth, and smartphone integration. However, it only offers a 6.5-inch display. You’ll have to choose the highest trim or the hybrid model to get the available 8-inch display.

Driver-Assist Features

The Mazda CX-30 is the clear winner in the safety department. In fact, it has one of the most generous lists of standard driver-assist features in the compact SUV segment. Every model of this Mazda is equipped with automated emergency braking, pedestrian monitoring, lane-keep assist, lane departure alert, a rearview camera, automated high-beam headlamps, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Upper trims come with additional features, such as blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic warning, traffic-sign recognition, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, and a 360-degree parking camera system.

Many of these advanced safety features are available on the Subaru Crosstrek, but they’re only standard on models equipped with the continuously variable transmission. If you opt for the manual transmission, you’ll only get a rearview camera as standard equipment. The continuously variable transmission costs extra on every trim except the top-of-the-line and hybrid models.

If you’re shopping for a compact crossover in or near San Juan Capistrano, California, consider coming to Capistrano Mazda to test drive the 2023 Mazda CX-30. Also serving Dana Point, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Mission Viejo, and Lake Forest, our dealership is one of the best places in Orange County to buy a new Mazda. With our extensive new inventory, attractive prices and discounts, and outstanding customer service, we can provide you with a truly satisfying car-shopping experience. Browse our amazing selection of CX-30 models now and contact us to schedule a test drive.


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