2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 S receives a name change and new features

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Mazda has renamed the CX-30 to the CX-30 2.5 S. Along with the name change, Mazda's newest crossover is also home to an array of new standard kit and safety features. However, the 'S' moniker is just a formality since the 2021 CX-30 receives the same engine with the same power output.

Unlike the 2021 Mazda3 2.5 Turbo (with its upgraded 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine) with 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, the new CX-30 2.5 S has the same naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-banger as before. And yes, it still has 186 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The engine pairs with a 6-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. Mazda's i-Activ all-wheel-drive is optional across the board.

Editor-in-chief Vincent Nguyen got to drive the CX-30 during the festivities leasing to the 2020 World Car of the Year Awards. Apparently, both the Mazda3 and Mazda CX-30 were among the finalists, but the Kia Telluride walked away with the WCOTY crown. The CX-30 had more than enough oomph for a sporty crossover but having more horses to go with the '2.5 S' badge would have been stellar.

However, Mazda is making up for it by infusing the 2021 CX-30 with a host of new standard tech and safety features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard across all trim levels, and this includes Mazda Connected Services with a 3-year trial and in-car Wi-Fi hot spot with 6 months (or 2GB) trial.

This includes an 8.8-inch infotainment screen and a rotary dial in the gear shifter. Also standard is Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, and an electronic parking brake.

Meanwhile, Mazda's i-Activesense safety technology includes radar cruise control with stop & go functions, driver attention alert, smart brake support, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and high beam control.

The Select package (starting at $23,900) adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, turn indicators on the side mirrors, and an advanced keyless entry system. Also included in the Select package is a leather-wrapped tiller and shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, and 18-inch alloy wheels among many others.

On the other hand, the Preferred package ($26,300) adds heated and power front seats, and a power moonroof. The Premium package ($28,550) adds more goodies including a Bose 12-speaker audio system, a heads-up display, leather upholstery, and LED headlights. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 2.5 S starts at $21,900 (FWD) and $23,300 (AWD).