2024 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2024 Ford Bronco Sport Comparison

The 2024 Mazda CX-30 and Ford Bronco Sport represent two very different approaches to wooing buyers in the highly competitive subcompact SUV segment.

With the Mazda CX-30, the two standout qualities are driving excitement and an upscale cabin. When you’re behind the wheel, it’s immediately apparent it’s from the same automaker that builds the fun-loving Miata roadster. Meanwhile, the quality of the interior and trim is on par with what you’d encounter in pricier luxury-branded SUVs.

The Ford Bronco Sport eschews some on-road refinement for greater capabilities on unpaved surfaces. Its more traditional, boxy shape is a not-so-subtle hint that Ford wants to give the Bronco Sport some of the truck-based Bronco sibling’s off-road attitude. As in the Mazda CX-30, all-wheel drive is standard on every Ford Bronco Sport, and there are tempting available extras that will make it more adept at traversing all sorts of terrain.

So, the Mazda thrives on tight and twisty roads. And the Ford likes to play in the mud. While it’s perhaps not quite that simple, let’s take a closer look at the 2024 Mazda CX-30 and the 2024 Ford Bronco Sport.

2024 Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 arrives for 2024 with a few changes. Notably, a new Carbon Turbo trim has been added, featuring the optional turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and black alloy wheels. Also, a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone connectivity is now fitted to higher trims.

The CX-30 is offered in eight trims and has a starting price of $24,995. The priciest, the CX-30 Turbo Premium Plus, comes in at $36,800.

Mazda CX-30 Highlights

Sharp handling, feisty engines: Razor-sharp handling makes the CX-30 a hoot to drive. Based on its steering, you’d think you’re behind the wheel of a sports sedan, not a high-riding SUV. We’re fans of the optional 227-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and slick-shifting 6-speed automatic. Yet the non-turbo 191-hp version of this engine has plenty of pep and delivers better fuel economy.

Near-luxury cabin quality: From the quality of the trim to the location of all major controls, Mazda has gone to great lengths to give the CX-30 a world-class cabin. The CX-30 coddles its occupants at higher trim levels with leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a Bose audio system.  

Standard safety features: A large number of driver aids are standard on every CX-30 trim. Notable among them are blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the CX-30 models for sale near you.

2024 Ford Bronco Sport

Blue 2023 Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Edition near green wall.

The Bronco Sport also arrives with noteworthy additions for 2024. Fans of throwback SUVs take note: The new Bronco Sport Free Wheeling trim serves up a hearty dose of nostalgia. Because the base version of the Bronco Sport has been dropped for 2024, the Big Bend is now the entry-level model.

As before, a 181-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission is the standard powertrain. Optional is a 250-hp turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Five trims are offered, the least expensive one starting at $31,230.

Ford Bronco Sport Highlights

Wayback design: If retro is what you’re after, the Bronco Sport Free Wheeling and Heritage trims pack tons of appeal. The Free Wheeling features red, orange, and yellow exterior stripes, a pattern echoed on its front seats. The alloy wheels also have red accents. With the Bronco Sport Heritage, you get white exterior accents, including white wheels, a white roof, and a white grille. Available classic exterior colors include Cactus Grey and Robin’s Egg Blue.  

Adventure gear: The Bronco Sport can be outfitted with a vast array of options for adventuring. This includes everything from a beefy roof rack (that can handle up to 600 pounds) to a front-facing camera that helps you navigate tricky off-road terrain. And be sure to bring your pooches, too! The Dog Outfitter option includes seat covers, a collapsible kennel, and a cargo mat.

Turbocharged 4-cylinder: Standard in the off-road-oriented Badlands trim is the 250-hp turbo 4-cylinder. The Badlands has two additional driving modes for its upgraded all-wheel drive system. Ford playfully refers to these as “GOAT” modes – this stands for “Goes Over Any Terrain.” 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Bronco Sport models for sale near you.


The Mazda CX-30 and Bronco Sport are remarkably similar in length, but the Ford is a good deal wider and taller. Both have standard AWD and styling that stands out. Full credit to both for having plenty of standard safety features, plus infotainment systems that don’t require an MIT degree to operate easily. Last, their basic and powertrain warranties are identical.


We highly recommend either the Mazda CX-30 or Ford Bronco Sport, though for different reasons. The CX-30 has a superb-quality interior and a much more affordable starting price. And even though its back seat is tight for adults, this Mazda is truly enjoyable to drive, with the turbocharged engine making it even more satisfying.  

As for the Ford, we enjoy how it feels purposely engineered to be a little more trucklike than other crossover SUVs. It also has a lot more cargo room than the Mazda. Even though its ride is a little on the firm side, we see this as a reminder that the Bronco Sport can venture into places other small SUVs can’t. Or shouldn’t. Topping it all off are the Free Wheeling and Heritage models, which exude nostalgic appeal.

If your idea of a relaxing weekend is a spirited drive on a twisty road, go with the CX-30. If you’re more about enjoying nature, the better pick is the Bronco Sport.   

  2024 Mazda CX-30  2024 Ford Bronco Sport
Starting Price $24,995  $31,230
Popular Powertrains  
Engine 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Turbo 1.5-liter 3-cylinder
Horsepower 191 hp @ 6,000 rpm 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 186 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm 190 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic  8-speed automatic
Fuel economy 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway/29 mpg combined 25 mpg city/29 mpg highway/26 mpg combined
Also Available Turbo 2.5-liter 4-cyl. Turbo 2.0-liter 4-cyl.
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles  5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 stars  5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5  5
Wheelbase 104.4 inches  105.1 inches
Overall Length 173.0 inches  172.7 inches
Width 70.7 inches  74.3 inches
Height 61.7 inches  70.2 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet  37.4 feet
Headroom, Front 38.1 inches  41.5 inches
Headroom, 2nd Row 38.3 inches  41.7 inches
Legroom, Front 41.7 inches  42.4 inches
Legroom, 2nd Row 36.3 inches  36.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 55.6 inches  57.3 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row 53.6 inches  55.6 inches
Cargo Volume 20.2 cubic feet   32.5 cubic feet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *