Sporty-looking SUVs are becoming increasingly popular and have carved out an important niche in the market, not only in the premium segments. Two 'popular' examples are the Toyota C-HR and the Mazda CX-30. The former has just had its first generation, while the latter has recently received several updates. 

Similar but different, united by their Japanese heritage, both compact SUVs now go head-to-head in this technical data comparison. Which one are you more interested in buying

Exterior 

In its second generation, the C-HR continues that transgressive line, reinforced by more angular lines. At 4.36 metres long, it features flush-fitting door handles and distinctive light clusters. The headlamps are C-shaped, while the horizontal lights are integrated into the spoiler. 

The CX-30 also offers sporty styling, but with different visual cues. For example, with a steeply raked rear window and the use of smooth lines typical of Mazda's KODO design. The plastic protection, which covers the entire lower perimeter of the body, is quite wide. 

Mazda CX-30 (2023)

Mazda CX-30 2023

Model Length Width Height Wheelbase
Toyota C-HR 4.36 m 1.83 m 1.55 m 2.64 m
Mazda CX-30 4.39 m 1.79 m 1.54 m 2.65 m

Interior

Of course, neither is a benchmark for space in the rear, but neither is a luxury car and they can carry average-sized adults quite comfortably. 

The C-HR offers a minimum boot capacity of 388 litres, which is reduced to 310 litres if you opt for the plug-in version. The digital instrumentation measures 12.3 inches and is flanked by a touchscreen for the multimedia system (compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, also wireless) with the same diagonal, which, however, drops to 8 inches on entry-level versions.

The physical buttons for the climate control remain, while the centre console has a number of storage compartments, including a smartphone induction charging dock.

Toyota C-HR 2023

Toyota C-HR interior

The 3 centimetres extra length and a roof that doesn't drop steeply give the Mazda CX-30 a larger load capacity of 430 litres. Roominess is good and rear passengers have air vents (absent in the C-HR), but no USB socket.

Unlike its rival, the instrumentation has only a digital centre section (with basic information), while the sides remain classic analogue gauges. The central monitor is 10.25" and is located at the top of the dashboard.

This screen is operated via a small wheel on the centre console, where there are further buttons for infotainment (Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay), storage and wireless charging compartment. 

Mazda CX-30 2023

Mazda CX-30 interior

Model Digital instrumentation Central monitor Boot capacity (litres)
Toyota C-HR 12.3" 8"
12.3"
Min 388 l / Max n.a.
Mazda CX-30 - 10.25" Min 430 l / Max 1.406 l

Engines

The big difference between the two SUVs lies in the engines. The C-HR offers two hybrid versions with 138 bhp and 194 bhp, plus a plug-in hybrid with 220 bhp. Only the e-CVT automatic transmission, which simulates the operation of a continuously variable gearbox, is available.

The CX-30 is also available only in electrified versions, but with 120, 148 or 183 bhp light hybrid petrol engines. Depending on the powertrain, a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission is available. Both vehicles are available in four-wheel drive versions.

Model Light Hybrid Hybrid Plug-in hybrid
Toyota C-HR - 1.8 138 bhp
2.0 194 bhp
2.0 220 bhp
Mazda CX-30 2.0 SKYACTIV G 120 bhp
2.0 SKYACTIV G 148 bhp
2.0 SKYACTIV X 183 bhp
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Toyota C-HR 2023
Mazda CX-30 2023

Prices

Prices for the Toyota C-HR start at £31,290 for the 138 bhp hybrid in Active trim and go up to £47,720 for the Premiere Edition powered by the 194 bhp plug-in powertrain. UK pricing has not been announced yet for the C-HR Plug-In Hybrid but it comes with the 2.0-litre engine with 220 bhp. 

The CX-30, meanwhile, starts at £25,350 for the 120 bhp SKYACTIV-G in Prime-Line trim and rises to £37,250 for the 183 bhp SKYACTIV X in Takumi trim and automatic transmission.

Gallery: Toyota C-HR vs Mazda CX-30