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2023 Mazda CX-30 updated with more power, efficiency and safety - but will it come to Australia?

The Mazda CX-30 range is well-specified in Australia, but extra airbags seem like a no-brainer.

The 2023 Mazda CX-30 has been updated in the US market with the headline changes being improved power, efficiency, and safety.

While the US and Australian specifications and range options are different - for example all US Mazda CX-30s are all-wheel drive, and turbo models are an option there - Australia’s prominence in the global market for Mazda means it’s not unreasonable to expect improvements to make it here too.

CarsGuide contacted Mazda Australia to determine whether the improved drivetrain or additional safety features would be applied to the local market.

In the US, for example, the CX-30 is only available with one engine size, regardless of induction, the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine. For 2023, the naturally aspirated version will be more powerful and use a little less fuel.

With power up from 139kW to a total 142kW and 252Nm, the jump in output isn’t phenomenal, but it’s coupled with a decrease in fuel consumption to gain an extra two miles per gallon, or an improvement of about 6.9 per cent in efficiency.

For Australia, this would mean 2.5-litre-engined CX-30s could potentially drop their fuel use from 6.6 litres per 100km to 6.1L/100km on the combined cycle, though Australian testing differs from that used in the US.

In the US, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS; similar to ANCAP) has new criteria which has prompted Mazda to add several safety features across the CX-30 range in an effort to keep its high safety rating including rear side airbags, rear seat belt pre-tensioners, B and C-pillar strengthening, and a shin pad to front and rear door trims.

While Australian CX-30s already have rear seat belt pre-tensioners as standard, elements like rear side airbags and structural integrity improvements would be welcome.

The last time the Mazda CX-30 was updated in Australia, the focus was on adding the mild hybrid G20e 2.0-litre naturally aspirated drivetrain to the lineup, as well as the addition of a sportier-looking variant wearing Mazda’s storied SP badge.

Mazda Australia is known for yearly changes to its range however, if updates are made available elsewhere in the world, so it stands to reason that there is likely a refresh of the CX-30 on the horizon.

In Australia, the CX-30 competes in the mainstream small SUV segment, and is the second most-popular model behind the ageing Mitsubishi ASX.

Mazda has sold 11,978 examples of the CX-30 to the end of September this year, slightly off the pace of the ASX (14,066), but well and truly ahead of the Hyundai Kona (9453), Kia Seltos (7039), Subaru XV (6640) and Toyota C-HR (6101).

However, Mazda will face new competition from the just-launched Toyota Corolla Cross, which is expected to be a popular model in the small SUV segment due to the availability of a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.

Chris Thompson
Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in Chris’ life, but loading up his 1990 VW Golf GTI Mk2 and moving from hometown Brisbane to work in automotive publishing in Melbourne ensured cars would be a constant. With a few years as MOTOR Magazine’s first digital journalist under his belt, followed by a stint as a staff journalist for Wheels Magazine, Chris’ career already speaks to a passion for anything with four wheels, especially the 1989 Mazda MX-5 he currently owns. From spending entire weeks dissecting the dynamic abilities of sports cars to weighing up the practical options for car buyers from all walks of life, Chris’ love for writing and talking about cars means if you’ve got a motoring question, he can give you an answer.
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