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New Mazda CX-30 Vs The Segment Leader Subaru Crosstrek, Which Subcompact Is Best For You

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek is the subcompact SUV segment leader but there is new competition.
See how it compares with the new 2020 Mazda CX-30.

 

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I'm cross posting this same video from the thread on grill shutters. It also mentions an issue with tire replacements for subarus. apparently, due to the Subaru AWD system all tires need to retain similar tread depth. If one tire is damaged and needs to be replaced they may recommend replacing all 4 tires together so tread depths match more closely. Yikes.

 

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2020 Mazda CX30 Soul Red Select AWD
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That is true of all AWD systems. The tires should always be the same tread depth. Rotate every 5000 miles and replace all 4 at the same time. Now if you blow a tire and they all only have say 1000 miles on them... then it is ok to replace just one.
 

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The sales guy in the video says replacing all 4 tires would not be required for the CX-30 though (section 4:00 - 4:30 in the video). Would that be correct?
 

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I'm cross posting this same video from the thread on grill shutters. It also mentions an issue with tire replacements for subarus. apparently, due to the Subaru AWD system all tires need to retain similar tread depth. If one tire is damaged and needs to be replaced they may recommend replacing all 4 tires together so tread depths match more closely. Yikes.

Monroney sticker/label
 

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The sales guy in the video says replacing all 4 tires would not be required for the CX-30 though (section 4:00 - 4:30 in the video). Would that be correct?
I don't think there is a reason the AWD system of the CX-30 would be different from most others when it comes to tires.
 

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2020 Mazda CX-30 FWD Sport, Deep Crystal Blue Mica
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2020 CX-30 GS FWD, Snowflake White
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just viewed the video review on "Straightpipes" of the 2021 Crosstrek Sport Outdoor Edition and did this comparison photos against my model.
Just find it odd that a few CX-30 complain about the gap above the tires, yet when you compare it to this Crosstrek it doesn't seem any different to me, also which black body molding looks better, as some complain it's too wide?

1503
 
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2021 CX-30 GT AWD - Machine Grey Metallic
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My complaint with the excessive lift compared to the European models is that it is largely done to make the car look more like something it's not: a true off-road vehicle. Neither the CX-30 nor the Crosstrek are anything more than lifted hatchbacks, and while the extra ground clearance over a normally stanced sedan/hatch are welcome in winter weather, the overwhelming majority of owners are never leaving the pavement with them - except maybe onto a dirt road. But the image in North America that many SUV and CUV owners like to imagine is that these things are rugged, off-road vehicles like a Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator, Land Rover Defender, etc. So hence the plastic cladding, fake skid plates, and excessive lift found in lots of vehicles in this category.

To me though, I just wanted a Mazda 3 that was easier to climb in and out of but retained the excellent street handling and performance that Mazda is known for. Personally, I'd far prefer the springs from the European models as I think they're better balanced while not trying to look like something they're not. But hey, to each his own and aesthetics are all subjective anyway.
 

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just viewed the video review on "Straightpipes" of the 2021 Crosstrek Sport Outdoor Edition and did this comparison photos against my model.
Just find it odd that a few CX-30 complain about the gap above the tires, yet when you compare it to this Crosstrek it doesn't seem any different to me, also which black body molding looks better, as some complain it's too wide?

View attachment 1503
Yes ... but the crosstrek looks clunky to begin with and lacks the Mazda's clean, beautiful lines. Both would look better without the excessive cladding and fender gaps, but in the Mazda's case they're as tragically out of place as prison tats on the face of a supermodel, whereas the Subaru's not much to look at in the first place.
 
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The subby is a little more usably shaped with a lower belt line and better interior space, but yeah, like most cars in this class ,it has way too many fussy lines and unnecessary details. The overhangs on the Subaru are also greater, a negative in both looks and approach/ departure angles.
I'll take Mazda's looks over Subaru's space. Both look perched too high on their wheels. It may be difficult to avoid that look in a small suv with 8" ground clearance. Cars which do avoid that look seem to sacrifice ground clearance ( Q3,, CX 3, T-roc, Euro CX 30) or are larger, making it easier to maintain proportion ( Most any large or midsize SUV)

I see various reports that the CX30 has only 6.9" of clearance. Mazda USA specs list it as 8.0. I think that the press is mistakenly reporting the Euro spec.
Does anybody here know the fact?

The French Mazda web site lists the ground clearance at 180mm (7"s) and overall height at 60.6
If the US version has the same 7 " ground clearance ( it clearly does not, look at the pictures) and is 61.7 inches tall then the French car's body must have gotten smushed some way.
 

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My complaint with the excessive lift compared to the European models is that it is largely done to make the car look more like something it's not: a true off-road vehicle. Neither the CX-30 nor the Crosstrek are anything more than lifted hatchbacks, and while the extra ground clearance over a normally stanced sedan/hatch are welcome in winter weather, the overwhelming majority of owners are never leaving the pavement with them - except maybe onto a dirt road. But the image in North America that many SUV and CUV owners like to imagine is that these things are rugged, off-road vehicles like a Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator, Land Rover Defender, etc. So hence the plastic cladding, fake skid plates, and excessive lift found in lots of vehicles in this category.

To me though, I just wanted a Mazda 3 that was easier to climb in and out of but retained the excellent street handling and performance that Mazda is known for. Personally, I'd far prefer the springs from the European models as I think they're better balanced while not trying to look like something they're not. But hey, to each his own and aesthetics are all subjective anyway.
It would be great if they could apply the Euro ride height to at least the Turbo while the leaving the N.A. alone for those who really need suv type clearance. 6.9" would still leave it with a substantial advantage over the 3 for anything likely to be encountered on the street ,provide a boost over the 3 seating position and enhance the distinct high performance nature of the Turbo. They could kick up the tire size a notch while they are at it and it's road holding would equal the 3 on it's skinny tires.

I think I would buy that.
 

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The subby is a little more usably shaped with a lower belt line and better interior space, but yeah, like most cars in this class ,it has way too many fussy lines and unnecessary details. The overhangs on the Subaru are also greater, a negative in both looks and approach/ departure angles.
I'll take Mazda's looks over Subaru's space. Both look perched too high on their wheels. It may be difficult to avoid that look in a small suv with 8" ground clearance. Cars which do avoid that look seem to sacrifice ground clearance ( Q3,, CX 3, T-roc, Euro CX 30) or are larger, making it easier to maintain proportion ( Most any large or midsize SUV)

I see various reports that the CX30 has only 6.9" of clearance. Mazda USA specs list it as 8.0. I think that the press is mistakenly reporting the Euro spec.
Does anybody here know the fact?

The French Mazda web site lists the ground clearance at 180mm (7"s) and overall height at 60.6
If the US version has the same 7 " ground clearance ( it clearly does not, look at the pictures) and is 61.7 inches tall then the French car's body must have gotten smushed some way.
8"
I measured before I bought. That ground clearance was the most significant factor in choosing the CX30 over the 3.
The approach angle on the CX30 is not good -- but it's not intended to be a rock crawler. Nor is the baby subbie.
 

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always wondering where they actually measure the ground clearance figure to arrive at it?
 

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I measured to the lowest point of the undercarriage, excluding a couple of suspension bits about 2 inches inboard of the tires. That was a tie, between the exhaust pipe and other suspension bits front and rear.
 

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Yes ... but the crosstrek looks clunky to begin with and lacks the Mazda's clean, beautiful lines. Both would look better without the excessive cladding and fender gaps, but in the Mazda's case they're as tragically out of place as prison tats on the face of a supermodel, whereas the Subaru's not much to look at in the first place.
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?
 

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It's also less fun drive, noisier, has a relatively cheap looking interior and worst of all a CVT in place of a conventional automatic.
So isn't it less valuable than the Mazda?

AWD standard? Isn't it better to have a choice rather than no choice? Many do not need the extra weight and complexity.
Just because AWD is standard does not mean it is free. The vehicle has be decontented elsewhere to cover the added manufacturing cost while still being able to sell at a given price point.
 

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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.
 
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