Mazda adds turbocharged, 250-horsepower engine to the CX-30

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo is the range-topping version of the CX-30 subcompact crossover that features a turbocharged version of the SkyActiv-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The most powerful engine available in the CX-30, the turbo-four joins the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter on the U.S. market and the 2.0-liter gas and 1.8-liter diesel engines on other parts of the world. Rated at up to 250 horsepower depending on the type of fuel, the 2021 CX-30 Turbo is the most powerful version of the crossover built to date.

What makes the 2021 Mazda CX-30 special?

2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo Exterior
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The turbocharged CX-30 is nothing special on the outside, so don't expect to find sportier body elements or go-fast stripes.

The only thing that will tell you this is the more powerful version is the "Turbo" lettering underneath the "Skyactiv G" badge on the tailgate. The Turbo model is also equipped with black, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, gloss-black mirror caps, and slightly larger tailpipes as standard. The same goes for the interior, where you’ll find the usual stuff and tech, including the 8.8-inch infotainment display, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and chrome trim on the black dashboard.

2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo Exterior
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Under the hood is where things look a bit different. Although it features a Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine like the standard U.S. CX-30, this mill is turbocharged and cranks out more oomph.

The turbo-four cranks out 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet on regular 87-octane fuel, but output jumps to 250 horses and 320 pound-feet of twist on premium 93-octane gas.

This means it generates up to 64 horsepower and up to 134 pound-feet more than the naturally aspirated model. There’s no word on performance, but that extra power and torque should make the Turbo model significantly quicker than its all-motor sibling.

This new Turbo model also comes with the i-Activ all-wheel-drive system, which incorporates off-road traction assist, as standard, so performance improves on all types of terrain.

2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo Exterior
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In addition to that, the CX-30 Turbo is available with a suite of technologies, starting with i-Activesense safety features, which include Smart City Brake Support Reverse with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking. This function will automatically apply the brakes when the vehicle is reversing at speeds between two to four mph if an obstacle or a crossing vehicle is detected. Mazda also added a new support feature, Traffic Jam Assist, which enhances the Radar Cruise Control by providing steering inputs that can help you stay within lane markers at speeds under 40 mph. A new 360-degree View Monitor is also available, as are Active Driving Display, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Adaptive Front-lighting System.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo is a solid alternative to the Volkswagen T-Roc

The New Volkswagen T-Roc R Is More Than Just a Sporty Variant Of The T-Roc
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This new engine turns the CX-30 into a better alternative to the Volkswagen T-Roc.

While the naturally aspirated version had sufficient power for the T-Roc 2.0 TSI, rated at 187 horses, it lagged behind in the torque department, where the VW delivered an extra 50 pound-feet at 236 pound-feet of torque. The Turbo model not only trumps the 2.0 TDI in terms of power, torque, and performance, but it also comes close to the range-topping T-Roc R. Fitted with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the R model comes with 296 horsepower, 46 more than the Mazda, but generates "only" 295 pound-feet of torque, 25 less than the CX-30 Turbo.

Read our full review on the Volkswagen T-Roc

2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo Exterior
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The 2021 Mazda CX-30 Turbo goes on sale by the end of 2020, but pricing information is not yet available. The standard CX-30 starts from $21,900 in base trim, but Mazda might not offer this powerplant on the entry-level model. The Select trim is likely to be a base option for the Turbo, which starts from $25,300 with AWD and the naturally-aspirated engine. This means that the CX-30 Turbo could retail from around $28,000 before options, while the range-topping Premium trim could cost around $32,000.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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The Mazda CX-30’s compact profile help it gracefully navigate through tight turns, while its bold proportions provide ample space to travel with all the essentials. The subcompact crossover is an ideal companion for chasing what’s next. Beyond its impressive styling, CX-30 delivers an engaging driving experience that is now being amplified with more power. Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today announces the addition of the turbocharged Skyactiv-G 2.5 Turbo engine to the 2021 CX-30.

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo will help uplift itself in its class with elevated performance and capability, new advanced technologies and superb craftsmanship and design. The Skyactiv-G 2.5 Turbo engine will deliver an impressive 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with premium (93 octane) fuel or 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque with regular (87 octane) fuel. The combination of the turbo engine and standard i-Activ all-wheel drive system with off-road traction assist help expand the capabilities of the CX-30 to offer fans the freedom to explore life in style, from the city to the outdoors.

Advanced technologies available on the 2021 CX-30 2.5 Turbo will complement the modern, sophisticated design while also providing occupants with peace of mind. New i-Activsense safety features include Smart City Brake Support Reverse with Rear Cross-Traffic Braking, which can help a driver by automatically applying the brakes when the vehicle is reversing at speeds between 2 to 4 mph if an obstacle or when backing out of a parking space a crossing vehicle is detected. A new support feature, Traffic Jam Assist, enhances Mazda Radar Cruise Control in certain situations by providing steering inputs that can help assist the driver stay within lane markers at speeds under 40 mph. The 360° View Monitor with high-definition digital clarity is also available. These new features accompany other premium technologies that help the CX-30 2.5 Turbo stand out from its segment, such as Active Driving Display, Traffic Sign Recognition and Adaptive Front-lighting System.

With more power and agile performance, the turbo engine is fulfilling the sense of passion invoked by the sleek and bold styling of the CX-30. Through Mazda’s Kodo design, the CX-30 2.5 Turbo’s silhouette reflects the driving pleasure of the engine while continuing to accentuate the engaging experience of a Mazda. The level of craftsmanship of the interior is elegant with its seamless blending of materials, such as a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, black upper dash and chrome finishes. Every aspect of the interior is purposely laid out to be intuitive for the driver and its occupants. From the steering wheel controls, the location of the Bose® 12-speaker audio, the proportions of the 8.8-inch large center display and support to help achieve the ideal seating position, Mazda focuses on human-centric philosophies to help offer a natural feeling while driving. The subtle enhancements to the exterior of the CX-30 Turbo highlight the new performance and capabilities with 18-inch black aluminum alloy wheels, larger tailpipes, gloss black door mirrors and a “TURBO” badge on the liftgate.

The 2021 CX-30 2.5 Turbo is scheduled to go on sale by the end of 2020. Specific packaging and pricing details will be announced in the coming months.

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