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Mazda CX-30: Which spec level do you recommend?

I am looking for a safe and practical car for my two teenage boys to share while they finish school/uni. From some past experiences I have always been pretty keen on an AWD driveline and have always put the family in something so fitted out. For the boys I am looking at the Mazda CX-30. Am I just wasting money spending the extra on the AWD G25 over the Evolve G20? We liked the Mazda over the Subaru XV.

Designed to fill the gap between the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5, the CX-30 is closer to the smaller CX-3 in terms of interior space. So make sure it’s big enough for a pair of growing kids before committing.

The big problem as far as your preferences and the Evolve model go is that it’s not available in all-wheel-drive. I agree with you that AWD is definitely preferable in a car that will be used by younger drivers. So while the G25 Touring (the cheapest AWD model with the bigger engine) costs a cool $7000 more than the FWD Evolve, you are getting that bigger engine as well as a fair bit of equipment, not to mention the AWD platform.

The other option I’d be looking at for young drivers is Mazda’s Vision Technology package which (for an extra $1300 on the AWD Touring model) adds semi-autonomous cruise-control, front cross-traffic warning, 360-degree monitoring and driver-fatigue monitoring.