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I am looking to replace a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, and have narrowed it down to 3 cars, the CX-30 Turbo, Mazda 3Turbo Hatch & Volvo XC40. It also a shared family car with my college age son. This is the car that is used for weekend activities and tasks, so it is the car that goes everywhere versus the other family cars.

CX-30 - feels bigger than the Mazda3 hatch. We both really like the style of the vehicle. Storage capacity is a bit lower than the Crosstrek, but not materially so. The car drove really well. It just wasn't exciting, similar to the Crosstrek. Ride quality was really poor, though. It felt very unsettled and I wonder if the bump stops were still installed or if the tires were overinflated. Should the ride quality be similar to the 3? Our salesman was surprised by our comment, but he wasn't present for the drive. I am also not sold on the entertainment system and the lack of a touch screen. Is it a good system once you get familiar with it? I use CarPlay all the time if that makes it more user friendly. (I have a Miata and that interface is horrible even with CarPlay. It works since is the fun PT, nice weather car)

Mazda3 Turbo - I wasn't expecting to drive it, but our salesman pulled it around when we were on the CX-30 test drive. It was a turbo sedan (not the hatch) and it was great. I liked everything about it, but the low ground clearance. It was engaging, quiet and nimble. Acceleration was strong, but still very composed. The ground clearance could be an issue since this would be the car that we take on dirt roads (lake) as well as construction sites.

XC40 - IMO, this car came across as the most upscale. My son preferred the Mazda interior design, but I thought Volvo was nicer & felt more substantial. Acceleration was smoother, but I like the Mazda braking feel better. The Volvo entertainment interface is really nice (I am use to it) and I like the fact you can customized your driving mode (change the steering to have a heavier weight). It was also more fun to drive than I was expecting given the ride quality and amount of body roll. Overall, I thought it was more comfortable than the Mazda3, but the Mazda3 was more entertaining to drive.

There is about a $10K gap in MSRP between the Volvo and the Mazdas, so it might not be an obvious pairing. The Volvo, however, leases better, so the monthly payment is likely to be $40-60 higher than a CX-30 turbo based on posted MF and residuals.

Of the 3, the XC40 felt most similar to a SUV and we already have a larger SUV in the family. As a result, we are leaning towards the CX-30 Turbo, provided the ride quality is similar to the Mazda3. The second choice would be the Mazda3 Hatch followed by the XC40. Hopefully, the entertainment system is not an issue. Has anyone else cross- shopped the CX-30 with the XC40?
 

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2021 PP Turbo Polymetal Gray
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Has anyone else cross- shopped the CX-30 with the XC40?
It was on my short list but didn't make the cut for a test drive, largely because my wife did not like its larger, boxier appearance. She LOVES the looks of the Mazda both inside and out. Ride quality is firm and sporty but not harsh. I like it.

I also like the Mazda "Infotainment" screen with the command dial. It took about 30 seconds to learn and it's much easier for me to use than trying to poke the right place on the screen in a moving vehicle. And I suspect Mazda is right about the negative safety factor of touchscreens. Also, I am not a fan of those monster screens that are taking over the dashboards on cars these days -- like the one in the XC40. But obviously a lot of people like them or carmakers wouldn't keep making them bigger and bigger!

For us the CX30 was a fun but practical daily driver that splits the difference between our Subaru Outback and aging but beloved VR6 GTI. If only it had a turbo.

But wait ... it DOES! :) ;):p:cool:
 

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here in Canada there is a massive price difference between the XC-40 and CX-30, so in my case it would never even be considered as I had a price limit.
Also the Volvo has poor reliability and the dealers and far away from where I live. I have owned two Volvo's over the years, one I bought new and the other used and they were great vehicles, but now they are way out of my price range.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies. The CX-30 Turbo hasn't arrived in my area yet, but I am looking forward to a test drive. Hopefully the ride quality will be similar to the 3 versus the unsettled side of the CX-30 we already drove. I also wished the Mazda leased better relative to the XC40. It may make mores sense to purchase one versus lease.
 

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@MAACT
I'm in the same boat as dragfree. Narrowed down to Macan, XC-40 and CX-30. Nothing against Volvo. Great cars, comfy, safe. XC-40 just not interesting, stylewise or (#1) fun to drive on twisty SMOOTH roads (I do way too much joy riding). Also, more reliable according to Consumer Reports (5K on my '30) and not even a rattle). The value proposition regarding standard and optional equipment favors the Mazda. I bought in July at 0% financing, so a no brainer and I have ZERO regrets. That said, if you're going to be driving lots on crummy roads, the Volvo likely will be more composed. I avoid certain ridged, potholed roads here because the '30 can be a little jarring. But the car seems to be settling in these days and the transients are less objectionable. Would buy again for driving ON MY ROADS. Also dealer is more convenient. Anyway, at the price, I won't mind trading in for something electrical in 3-4 years. Good luck with your decision. You can't lose either way.
 

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G25 Touring - 2020 - Soul Red Crystal Metallic
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Volvo is Chinese company owned.

I don't mind the infotainment system on the Mazda. But I never used a touch car interface. Entering addressees can be annoying as your phone is not functional while in Android Auto mode. I have to use voice recognition, or unplug the phone, enter the address and plug it back in.

The car shakes oddly over some bumps. Which I never felt before in other cars, including other Mazdas.

Lots of people say that the Mazda cabin is like a luxury car cabin. Compared to a KIA it is. But it does not compete with luxury cars I'm sorry. It's really nice and one of the reasons I chose it over a KIA, but its not luxury car level.

I have no doubt the more expensive Volvo will feel better all round to a Mazda. But I rather do business with a Japanese company in this day and age.
 

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I find that Mazda cars, from the 3 to MX5 to CX30 have a similar driving character. You can tell they are related.
 

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Interesting, i was looking at similar vehicles before purchasing my cx30

So the subaru is less powerful than the other 2 but has more interior space for cargo and more leg room in the back. I have read people are having issues with their transmissions around 100k, so i would lease it. Personally dont love new subarus either, at the price point id go mazda.

The volvo requires premium gas, is a little slower than the cx30, but is 500 lbs heavier, so it probably holds up the best in a crash.

Personally owning a cx30 (2020 preferred awd) i would say it is the best option, no CVT, a little lower than the crosstrek but higher than the 3, and the fuel economy i get is about 32mpg combined. A turbo will probably shorten the lifespan of the car (more pressure on internals) but mazdas turbo is designed for low end torque, and being a daily driver you probably wont be beating on it. The plastic trim will save you from rust, and the handling is excellent in the snow. I was out in New England blizzard conditions, 4 inches of snow on the road and didnt have a moment where i questioned the performance of my vehicle.

Any vehicle that starts and runs when you need it to is a good one though, best of luck on your purchase!
 

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BOOT SPACE and the family garage.
For many people space is a got to have premium, too much space is not enough.
Let me put it this way and relate the issue to the family car garage where every thing goes except the car, just like in my garage where the car got evicted and sits out side.
Plan "A" have a Garage sale and go to Plan "B" and start over with all kind of new stuff like lawn mower; garden tools; cement mixer ;compressor; generators ;step ladders; even got home stuff above the ceiling all to the point of over flow, to solve that probem build a bigger Garage, mt friend Tom said eventually people will fill up that space also to the point of over flow
The question is how big a car do you need or should people go out and buy an 18 wheeler ?
 
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