Subaru Crosstrek vs. Mazda CX-30: Which Is Better?

The Subaru Crosstrek and Mazda CX-30 are evenly matched. Jerry can help you decide which one is right for you.
Written by Cassandra Hamilton
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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There’s no clear winner between the Subaru Crosstrek and the Mazda CX-30. Both are great crossovers with strengths and weaknesses—it all comes down to your priorities when choosing a vehicle.
The Subaru Crosstrek and the Mazda CX-30 are similar subcompact crossovers. They’re each practical, spacious vehicles with room for growing families or loads of gear. Both offer impressive handling and safety features, too.
In short, either is a great choice if you’re looking for this style of vehicle.
How can you choose between them, though? Is one really better than another? Check out this guide from
Jerry
, the car
insurance
comparison
insurance broker app
.
We’ve got an in-depth look on what makes the Crosstrek similar to the CX-30, and what sets it apart. 

Subaru Crosstrek vs. Mazda CX-30: which is more expensive?

Let’s begin with the biggest sticking point for most people: the cost. The starting MSRP for a 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is $24,320, a slim $545 more than the CX-30’s starting price of $23,775.
Even though the CX-30 starts out cheaper, the price rises quickly as you ascend trim levels—all the way up to +$35k, which is often the starting price for a luxury vehicle. Let’s take a look at the pricing for the two vehicles and see how they compare:
Model
Starting MSRP
Model
Starting MSRP
Crosstrek Base
$24,320
CX-30 Base
$23,775
$24,720
$26,175
$27,920
$29,225
$29,420
CX-30 Carbon Edition
$29,865
Crosstrek Hybrid
$36,770
CX-30 Turbo
$31,775
$32,075
CX-30 Turbo Premium
$34,375
CX-30 Turbo Premium Plus
$35,975
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Ownership costs

The starting MSRP isn’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to pricing, though. The long-term ownership costs matter just as much, if not more than, the base price. 
Car expert Edmunds estimates that the five-year ownership cost for a 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is $35,916. That’s an additional $10,000+ on top of the starting MSRP. Edmunds assesses the five-year ownership cost of the CX-30 at $37,488.
It appears that despite the lower initial price, it costs more to own a CX-30 over the long term than a Crosstrek. Let’s take a look at the factors influencing this. 
Higher insurance costs and more depreciation are the culprits behind the CX-30’s steeper ownership costs. Don’t forget that these estimates are made for the base trim—these numbers could stack up very differently as you move through the trim levels. A more expensive trim might seriously impact the true cost of ownership.
MORE: Vehicle trim level, options, and packages explained

Insurance costs

High insurance costs don’t appeal to anyone, so let’s take a look at the average insurance cost for each vehicle. 
Speaking of cheap insurance, let’s compare the average insurance costs for both vehicles. 
The average
Subaru Crosstrek insurance costs
are a little cheaper than the
Mazda CX-30 insurance costs
. You’ll pay about $2,634 per year for the Crosstrek ($219/month) and $2,754 per year for the CX-30 ($230/month). 
A higher insurance cost often means the safety ratings of a vehicle are a little lower than the one you’re comparing it to, but that’s not the case with the Subaru Crosstrek vs. Mazda CX-30. In fact, the Mazda CX-30 is rated higher than the Crosstrek for safety. It costs more to insure a CX-30 because of the price of repair parts, which are more expensive than a Subaru’s parts.

Winner: Subaru Crosstrek

When it comes to affordability, the Subaru Crosstrek is the winner in this category. Despite a slightly higher starting price, its overall ownership and insurance costs are lower across the board. 
But if upfront price matters most to you, you won’t want to dismiss the Mazda CX-30. You’ll save hundreds on the base trim and your insurance costs will only be about $10 more per month—an expense your household can easily absorb. 
MORE: The best used Subaru to buy
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Subaru Crosstrek vs. Mazda CX-30: In-Depth Comparison

We’ve determined the Crosstrek is less expensive than the CX-30, but does that mean it’s a better vehicle? Let’s look at all the specs the dealership might gloss over to decide which crossover is the best fit for you. 

Body style and size

There is scarcely a difference in size between the Crosstrek and the CX-30—after all, they’re both subcompact crossover SUVs. The difference between them is sometimes half an inch or less. That being said, the Crosstrek is larger than the CX-30 by a hair.
You don’t really notice the difference on the exterior, but the interiors do have unique feels. The Crosstrek is roomier, with an additional 6+ feet of passenger volume and multiple inches more headroom and legroom than the CX-30.
If you frequently carry passengers, it seems like the Crosstrek is a better fit—especially when it comes to cargo space. The Crosstrek has an additional 10 cubic feet of cargo space over the CX-30.
Dimensions
2022 Subaru Crosstrek
2022 Mazda CX-30
Wheelbase
104.9 inches
104.4 inches
Passenger volume
100.9 cubic feet
93.8 cubic feet
Headroom (front/rear)
39.8/38 inches
37.8/38.3 inches
Legroom (front/rear)
43.1/365 inches
41.7/36.3 inches
Cargo volume w/seats up
20.8 cubic feet
20.2 cubic feet
Cargo volume w/seats down
55.3 cubic feet
45.2 cubic feet
Ground clearance
8.7 inches
8.0 inches
Base curb weight
3188 lbs
3388 lbs

Engine and performance

Both vehicles have two engines available at different trim levels. 
The Crosstrek’s base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. It’s not the most powerful engine, especially compared to the base CX-30 engine—a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 186 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. Whether or not you upgrade your Crosstrek’s engine, your towing capacity is capped at 1,500 pounds
The Mazda’s upgraded engine provides a lot more pep and a much more impressive 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds (compared to 8.1 seconds with the base engine). It’s a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that ups the horsepower to 250. The towing capacity with this engine moves up to 2,000 pounds.
Of course, you’ll have to upgrade to the Turbo trim to get these perks—an additional $8,000 on top of the base price.
All-wheel drive comes standard on both vehicles, and each comes with an automatic transmission. You can switch the automatic transmission for a manual option on the Crosstrek’s Base and Premium trims if you prefer. The CX-30 does not have a manual option.
One thing the Crosstrek offers that the CX-30 doesn’t is a hybrid powertrain. You’ll have to spend an extra $7,000 to get it, but the plug-in hybrid setup provides 148 horsepower and is great for the environment.
In the end, the CX-30 is the clear choice if you value drive quality and engine power above all else, but the crunchy earth-lovers might want to opt for the hybrid Crosstrek instead.

Fuel economy

There’s a big difference in the fuel economies of the Crosstrek and the CX-30, and the Crosstrek is the clear winner even if you don’t consider the hybrid powertrain which gets up to 90 MPGe in hybrid mode. 
The Crosstrek gets 33 mpg on the highway compared to 31 mpg for the CX-30. For city and combined, the Crosstrek has 28 and 30 mpg respectively, while the CX-30 gets 24 and 26 mpg. While the difference might not seem too big, it can start to add up at the pump.
MORE: How to save money on gas

Safety

You’re safe in both the Crosstrek and the CX-30, but the CX-30 comes out on top in safety testing.
The Crosstrek comes with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver assist technologies like forward-collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist. More features are available at higher trim levels, too. Compare that to the CX-30’s standard adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and automated emergency braking.
Optional additions include a heads-up display and blind spot monitoring. 
When it comes to testing, neither vehicle fails any tests, but the CX-30 is the clear winner. The overall safety rating for both is five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but when you break down the individual safety ratings, the CX-30 gets five stars 10 out of 11 times, while the Crosstrek gets five stars seven out of 11 times. When rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2022 Mazda CX-30 is a Top Safety Pick Plus, while the Crosstrek is only a Top Safety Pick.

Tech

When it comes to technology, the Crosstrek fares slightly better even though its delivery is crude and rudimentary. While the CX-30’s 8.8-inch infotainment screen is larger than the Crosstrek’s 8.0-inch touchscreen, read it again.
The CX-30 lacks the touchscreen capability that comes standard in rival vehicles. As a result, navigating the infotainment system is clunky and difficult. 
Both vehicles come standard with smartphone integrations, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Interior and comfort

The Crosstrek is like all other Subarus in that it prioritizes function over sleek finishes, so if you’re looking for an upscale experience, the CX-30 might be the better choice for you. Still, the Crosstrek’s interior is comfortable enough for an off-the-beaten-path type of experience—but it’s not winning any awards from us thanks to its use of hard, brittle plastics. 
The CX-30, on the other hand, is a delight to be in. The seats are more comfortable than the Crosstrek’s and the design rivals that of more expensive European luxury cars. But, there’s a price to pay for these luxury details, and the price is the lack of interior space.
There’s no denying the Crosstrek is a more comfortable ride for passengers, even if they’re doing it in a pedestrian manner. 
The bottom line is you’ll have to decide: more space or more luxury? 

Winner: it’s a toss-up

There’s no clear winner when comparing the Subaru Crosstrek and the Mazda CX-30. Both beat the other in very different categories, so it all comes down to what you value most in a vehicle.
If a fun drive, higher safety ratings, and a nicer interior matter more to you, go with the CX-30. But if you place a premium on overall price and fuel economy, the Crosstrek is for you.  

How to save on insurance costs

It might be cheaper in the beginning to purchase a CX-30, but you’ll make up for the steeper Crosstrek price over what you’ll pay in
car insurance
for it. 
If you have your heart set on a CX-30 and are looking to lower the insurance price, or opted for a Crosstrek and are trying to save the max, the
Jerry
app is for you. Jerry users save an average of $800 per year on their car insurance by browsing quotes in the app.
Jerry is a
licensed insurance broker
with over 55 insurance companies in its network. This means your team of insurance experts has access to the biggest pool in the industry—which results in greater savings for you!
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