Agreed, Subaru lacks the Mazda's premium looks. but I read, crosstrek has bigger wheels and standard AWD in a review
. Also, Crosstrek has more interior space, so isn't it more valuable than Mazda?
Depends on what you're looking for. Crosstrek actually has the same size factory wheel options (17" & 18"), but does come with wider tires, 225s vs the Mazda's 215s -- a mistake on Mazda's part, I think, for marketing vs Audi-BMW-etc if nothing else. If you want AWD that might be a plus, but if you prefer FWD, then it's a negative. If maximum interior space is what you're looking for, neither car is a contender.
The point, in general, is that although manufacturers and auto journalists might classify these vehicles as competitors -- and there might be some cross-shopping overlap -- they are really targeted at VERY different markets. If you want a sporty, great-handling, fun-to drive car that looks terrific outside and in, and that can handle mild off-pavement travel without ripping the bottom out of the chassis, then the CX30 is aimed at you. But if you want a more practical car but in a similarly small envelope that gets the job done adequately and may be more suited to mild off-pavement adventure, then the Crosstrek might be the better choice.
We already have an Outback and like it very much for the purpose we had in mind when we bought it (comfortable road trips with better off-pavement ability than similarly comfortable sedans). I was interested in the new Crosstrek now that it finally has an adequate engine, but my wife did not share my interest. She's less practical than I, and this car was meant as a new daily driver for her. She swooned over the new Mazda 3/CX30's good looks and elegant interior, loved its crisp handling, and was sold the first time she tapped the throttle of the 2.5 liter turbo. By comparison, the Subaru is a wallflower. A very nice wallflower, arguably the best in its class ... but a different class altogether.