What's in a name? Mazda's CX-30 designation for its new compact crossover is perplexing. For one thing، given its placement between the smaller CX-3 and the larger CX-5 in Mazda's lineup، it logically should be called the CX-4. But also because its four-character alphanumeric badge is out of sync with all of the company's other three-digit nameplates in the U.S. market. We learned from Mazda that، using its internal reasoning، it had little option but to create an all-new moniker for the vehicle، logical or not. CD pulled Mazda's U.S. representatives aside at the Geneva auto show for an explanation. It simply came down to the fact that Mazda already sells a distinct model in China badged as CX-4، and the company could not justify selling two separate vehicles under the same name in different markets. Compared with the potential confusion that some buyers may have in differentiating the CX-30 from the current CX-3، not to mention the additional marketing complexity that the two similar badges create، the corporate frustration that two CX-4 models might cause seems، to us، like a small price to pay. But we're not automotive executives، only humble scribes.
So، where did the CX-30 name come from? Thank the company's BT-50 mid-size pickup truck، which is sold in Australia and other foreign markets. With its four-character alphanumeric precedent already in place، it was a short stretch-albeit a somewhat clumsy one-for Mazda to essentially adapt a CX prefix and tack on a couple of numbers.
While that doesn't resolve the similarity between the CX-30 and CX-3 designations، the new nameplate's unique back story does soften our initial speculation that the CX-30 might foreshadow the future addition of other four-digit Mazda CX models. That's not to say such a development may not happen down the road. But at least Mazda didn't embark on the wholesale restructuring of its model designations just for the CX-30's sake، which surely would result in even greater confusion. Just ask Infiniti.