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Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek: Here’s The Difference

Mazda steering wheel

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The Mazda CX-30 and Subaru Crosstrek are both sub-compact crossover SUVs built by Japanese automakers and marketed as an entry-level vehicle for individuals and families.

The Mazda CX-30 has been in production for just a few years, making its debut in 2019 at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The Subaru Crosstrek is still relatively new itself, with production beginning in 2012 and the second generation overhaul taking place in 2017.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek and the differences between these 2 comparable vehicles.

Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek: Performance

Although performance may not be top of mind when you are in the market for an SUV, many car buyers do prefer a vehicle with a sporty feel, smooth handling, and of course, a bit of a kick on the acceleration. Both the Mazda CX-30 and the Subaru Crosstrek deliver in this area, providing a fun driving experience.

The CX-30 boasts agile steering and balanced handling that makes it a winner in its small SUV class. The base model’s 186 hp engine leaves a bit to be desired, but the optional turbocharged 250 hp engine is very enjoyable to drive. Overall, this vehicle’s performance and handling are similar to the Mazda 3 and other sporty models.

Similar to the CX-30, the base model of the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek leaves a bit to be desired with its standard 152 HP engine. In addition, the suspension results in choppy turns with body lean and sway. However, the available 2.5-liter engine boosts the HP to a more respectable 182 HP with improved acceleration and less engine noise. The ride is comfortable for an SUV, with responsive steering and easy maneuverability, and the Crosstrek’s AWD is helpful for poor driving conditions.

While both vehicles perform relatively well for an SUV and have optional upgraded engines, the CX-30 offers a slightly better ride when it comes to performance and handling.

* Winner – Mazda CX-30

Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek: Safety

Safety is one of the most important things to keep in mind when making your next vehicle purchase, especially when you are searching to buy a safe and reliable SUV for your family. Consumers will want to look for cars that are outfitted with advanced safety technologies, high crash test ratings, high reliability ratings, a low number of recalls (if any), and other features. Both the CX-30 and the Crosstrek will deliver on each of these points, with the slight advantage going to the CX-30.

According to data published on the U.S. News & World Report website, the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek scores a highly coveted 9.4 out of 10 when it comes to safety. The NHTSA Safety Ratings give the Crosstrek a 5-star overall rating, 4-star frontal crash rating, 5-star side crash rating, and 4-star rollover rating.

Safety ratings for the 2022 Mazda CX-30 have not yet been published, but the 2021 model also scores highly in all areas. The 2021 CX-30 earns a 5-star overall rating, 5-star frontal crash rating, 5-star side crash rating, and 4 stars in the event of a rollover accident. In fact, the site lists it as a nearly perfect 9.8 out of 10.

Standard safety features of the 2022 CX-30 include a full suite of technology known as i-Activsense that includes cruise control, collision warning, smart braking, pedestrian detection, high beam control, driver attention alerts, and lane departure alerts with lane assist. Key fob panic buttons, engine-immobilizer anti-theft systems, and rearview cameras are also standard on all Crosstrek models. Optional upgrades include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, reverse automatic emergency braking, traffic jam assist, a surround-view camera system to assist with parking, traffic sign recognition, and an adaptive front-lighting system.


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The 2022 Crosstrek comes standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology that includes lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, lane centering, automatic pre-collision braking, and more. In addition, the SUBARU STARLINK® Safety and Security suite is standard on the Premium, Sport, and Limited models and offers more services designed to keep passengers safe, including automatic collision notification that will alert an operator SOS emergency assistance for roadside help and other services and alerts. Optional upgrades include blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking.

In conclusion, while both vehicles have a solid commitment to safety, the Mazda CX-30 offers slightly more protection than the Crosstrek and competitive technology features to assist drivers.

* Winner – Mazda CX-30

Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek: Reliability

According to U.S. News & World Report, the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek has been rated 79 out of 100 by the industry-respected J.D. Power Quality and Reliability ratings. These scores are based on owner feedback and long-term ownership experiences.

While the information for the 2022 model has not been released, the 2021 Mazda CX-30 earned a 75 out of 100 and has been subject to 2 minor recalls on the tires and hatchback liftgate.

Both the CX-30 and the Crosstrek are covered by basic warranties for 3 years / 36,000 miles and powertrain warranties for 5 years / 60,000 miles powertrain.

* Winner – Subaru Crosstrek

Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek: Value

The 2022 CX-30 has a starting MSRP of just $22,200 for the base model and $30,200 for turbo trims. The highest trim level is the CX-30 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus, and the price begins at $34,400 before upgrades. New features include a Carbon Edition model and an all-new i-Activ AWD system standard in all vehicles.

Likewise, the starting MSRP of the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is a budget-friendly $22,445 for the base model and ranges all the way to $28,295 for the upgraded Crosstrek Limited trim. In addition, there is a hybrid model which starts at $35,645 and boasts an impressive 90 MPGe.

While the Mazda CX-30 and Subaru Crosstrek have almost the exact same base model price, the most tricked-out Crosstrek is around $6,000 cheaper than the highest trim level of the CX-30, making it the clear winner. In fact, you can purchase the hybrid Crosstrek for just about $1,000 more than the CX-30 Turbo Premium Plus model and enjoy phenomenal gas savings over the lifetime of the car.

* Winner – Subaru Crosstrek

Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek: MPG

Both vehicles have decent fuel economy, especially for SUVs. The Crosstrek wins the MPG face-off with slightly higher MPG ratings and the availability of a hybrid option.

The 2022 Crosstrek base model and Crosstrek Premium model are listed as having an MPG of 3328 City/Hwy, while the Crosstrek Sport and Crosstrek Limited are rated at 3427 MPG. In addition, there is a Crosstrek Hybrid model that is rated as having an MPGe of 90.

While the MPG numbers have not yet been released for the 2022 CX-30, the 2021 base model, as well as the CX-30 Select, Preferred, and Premium models are listed as having an MPG of 3325 City/Hwy. The MPG rating changes with the Turbo trim options to a still respectable 2230 MPG.

* Winner: Subaru Crosstrek

Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek: Interior Design & Features

The Crosstrek’s interior is roomy and comfortable, although it is described by some owners as being quite plain. Cloth upholstery seats and manually adjustable front seats are standard, but owners can upgrade to leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat as well as a moonroof.

Remote keyless entry and automatic climate control are standard technology features in addition to a 6.5-inch touch screen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Optional upgrades to the infotainment system include a larger screen, Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, satellite radio, and HD radio.


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A Harman Kardon® Premium Audio system complete with an 8-channel amplifier and 8-speaker sound system is another popular upgrade that is standard on the Limited trim model. Other available Crosstrek technology features include remote engine start with climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, and the STARLINK® Safety and Security suite.

In comparison, the Mazda CX-30 boasts one of the best interiors in its class, along with average legroom and cargo space. Cloth upholstery is standard, but upgrades range from synthetic and genuine leather upholstery to the option for a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Other interior options include heated front seats, a moonroof, LED lighting, and an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat complete with memory settings.

 When it comes to interior technologies, all CX-30s come standard with a 7-inch display and an 8.8-inch infotainment system complete with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, HD Radio, voice recognition, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Drivers who are craving more can upgrade to an impressive 12-speaker Bose premium sound system, satellite radio, navigation, wireless device charging, dual-zone automatic climate control, and keyless entry.

* Winner – Mazda CX-30

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 Mazda CX-30 vs. Subaru Crosstrek: The Bottom Line

While either of these budget-friendly SUVs would make a great choice for your next family vehicle, the decision of which car is right for you will come down to a few determining factors. Looking at the differences in available features, price, safety, performance, and reliability of each vehicle will help you figure out which vehicle you would prefer.

Both vehicles offer nearly identical starting prices, fuel economy, and safety and reliability ratings but have different pros and cons when it comes to interior features, safety technologies, and performance.

If you are looking for an SUV with the latest and greatest in safety and driver-assist features, the highest possible reliability rating, the option for a hybrid vehicle, and a slight edge on MPG, the Crosstrek wins out. On the other hand, if you prefer an SUV that delivers the best possible performance, crash test ratings, and an impressive interior, the Mazda CX-30 is your best bet.



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Get a Curated List of the Best Used Cars Near You

The CoPilot car shopping app is the easiest way to buy a car. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll search the inventories of every dealership in your area to make you a personalized list of the best car listings in your area.

Only looking for newer models? CoPilot Compare is the search engine for nearly-new cars. Only see cars five years or newer with low mileage — CoPilot Compare is the best way to find off-lease, early trade-in, and CPO cars.

The best part? CoPilot is built using the same technology that dealerships use to buy and sell their inventories, so we have more info on each vehicle than competitors. CoPilot doesn’t work with dealerships, so there are no sponsored posts or other shady practices — just the most info on the best cars. Check out our About Us page to see how CoPilot works.