Lifted Mazda CX30 With Subtle Mods And A/T Off-road Wheels

Stylish Mazda CX30 With Subtle Mods And A/T Off-road Wheels

It’s not your typical overland-stylized crossover bristling with tactical gear and add-ons. There are no ominous snorkels, no rooftop tents, or winches. Instead, it radiates an aura of sophistication and finesse, infused with a latent readiness to take on the untamed. Yes, we are talking about the Mazda CX30, affectionately named “Kuro” by its owner, which translates from Japanese as “black”.

A vehicle that straddles the subtle line between a sport compact and an off-road capable subcompact crossover, this CX30 is a stunner that couldn’t be overlooked, demanding to be featured on Offroadium.

Enkei RPF-1 Custom Wheels & Falken A/T Trail Off-road tires.
Enkei RPF-1 Custom Wheels & Falken A/T Trail Off-road tires.

While not explicitly off-road centered, this CX30 doesn’t shy away from making its presence felt amongst the lifted beasts featured on our site. Its Falken Wildpeak A/T tires, imposing yet not brutishly aggressive, lend it a newfound versatility and off-road prowess. These beefy tires elevate it from an urban compact utility vehicle (CUV) into a more capable adventurer, opening up new paths off the paved roads.

“Kodo is the design language used by Mazda to develop their current model line-up. It’s based on three design principles:

  • Yohaku – The beauty of empty space
  • Sori – Curves with poise and balance
  • Utsoroi – The play of light and shadow” – Mazda.Co.Nz”.


This CX30 looks exceptionally well on a set of Volk TE37 17x7.5 Rims wrapped in meaty Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail tires sized 225/65r17
This CX30 looks exceptionally well on a set of Volk TE37 17×7.5 Rims wrapped in meaty Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail tires sized 225/65r17

When taking a closer look at this vehicle, you can’t help but admire how the three principles of the Japanese KODO design have been embodied in this Mazda CX30. Reflecting the concept of “Yohaku – The beauty of empty space“, the subtle custom exterior modifications exude a sense of zen-like tranquility. The chrome and roof rail delete, coupled with the badge removal, create a refined and clean look that soothes the eyes, yet teases the imagination. The matte black coating enhances the feeling of “Utsoroi – The play of light and shadow“, creating a mesmerizing play of contrasts. And the crowning touch? “Sori” – or “Curves with poise and balance”, manifests in the amalgamation of edgy body lines and the beefy, yet not too aggressive wheel setup.

“When taking a closer look at this vehicle, you can’t help but admire how the three principles of the Japanese KODO design have been embodied in this Mazda CX30”.

Modified Mazda CX30 on Enkei RPF1 Custom wheels

A closer inspection reveals the thoughtful modifications that blend in so effortlessly with the Mazda’s inherent design. Every modification seems calculated, never overshadowing the KODO design but rather augmenting it. The XPEL Stealth Paint Protection Film (PPF) melds with the Jet Black Mica color, creating a stealthy, sleek look while protecting the paintwork.

“A closer inspection reveals the thoughtful modifications that blend in so effortlessly with the Mazda’s inherent design”.

The application of the same clear PPF on the headlights keeps them clear and scratch-free, maintaining the car’s dashing good looks (seriously, everyone fan of the off-roading should consider it). Furthermore, the lower grill mesh inserts add a touch of aggressive design, and the meticulously painted brake calipers add a dash of color, all the while keeping the aesthetics high.

Lifted Mazda CX30 Off-road Build
The transformation is complete with the installation of the Volk TE-37 rims wrapped in Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail 225/65r17 tires. The rims, known for their lightweight yet durable design, perfectly complement the beefy all-terrain tires.

These aren’t just aesthetic upgrades. The Falken Wildpeaks, known for their excellent off-road traction, make this Mazda CX30 capable of handling the rough stuff. Paired with the custom axle-back exhaust and its Dual Street Flow single-chamber mufflers, this CX30 isn’t just ready to explore new terrains; it’s ready to announce its arrival with a growl.

Questions & Answers

Why did you choose a CX30 for your project?

– FWIW, I have no ties or sponsors to any brand so there is no bias in my responses…Not entirely interesting but my background with vehicles that I have owned have been mostly compacts through the years… Plymouth Sundance, Dodge Shadow, Dodge Daytona Turbo and Dodge Neon R/T. I had a fascination with smaller cars that were faster than they appeared, even though I never really owned one, but the spirit was still there. Most recently I owned a ‘13 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara and fell in love with it’s capabilities to go reasonably anywhere. My nephew was turning 16 and also loved it so that ended up going to him and me looking for something new.

Offroading in a lifted Mazda CX30 With All Terrain Tires by Falken

With my affinity for sport compacts and wanting to hold onto some aspects of the Wrangler, the search was on. I was initially looking at the Jeep Compass and Renegade but wasn’t overly enthused about the lack of power, reviews, aesthetics or reliability record, so I scratched them off my list. I also had the Ford Bronco, Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona left on my list.

I then stumbled upon a Mazda CX-5 in a parking lot and was really mesmerized by the Soul Red Metallic paint, it was really hard to take my eyes off of it. This pushed me towards Mazda. The CX-30 was already at the top of my list, but diving more into the brand, the reliability, the styling and the design, it really stood out as an easy choice. The body style is sharp and reminiscent of a sport compact while also having a decent amount of ground clearance for a subcompact crossover. The interior was upscale from the competition and the power under the hood with the turbo was the highest in class. Done deal, almost.

Blacked out wheels on Mazda CX30
“My plan was to spend a substantial amount on protecting the paint and upgrading the wheels, tires and an audio system. I took a look at what I could get if I didn’t go that route and the only vehicle I was interested in was the Mercedes Benz AMG GLA 45. The 2 biggest downsides to the GLA would be the minimal ground clearance and it wouldn’t leave much left in the budget for modifications. As an enthusiast, that wouldn’t be much fun. So the decision was made, the CX-30 Turbo”.

What difficulties have you faced while choosing parts for it?

– The CX-30 platform is fairly new but shares many of the same components to the Gen 4 Mazda3. However, the platform as a whole doesn’t have the amount of support from the aftermarket community compared to other brands where there are several options. Corksport is the go to brand for performance upgrades for Mazdas and they offer some good options for the CX-30.

Since I live in Wisconsin and we experience all 4 seasons, I’ve got a current obsession with different setups of wheels and tires for winter, summer, and spring/fall. A difficult aspect in upgrading the wheels is the lack of wheel well depth which limits options.

Mazda CX30 Enkei Custom Wheels and Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail 225/65r17 tires
“The maximum wheel width without some poke is 8.5”, which is rather narrow depending on your preferences. For an all-terrain setup, it’s fine in my opinion. Going a little wider with an A/T setup can give it a slightly aggressive look, which is acceptable as well. However, for a street setup, that limited width is a bummer as I prefer keeping the fitment as close to flush as possible. It’s worth noting that the CX-30 on the OEM suspension can accommodate up to a 28.6” tire without rubbing. Others have gone as large as 29.3” with a slight rub on the wheel well plastic”.

What do you love the most about your CUV?

– It’s hard to narrow down what I love of the most about the CX-30 as it checks all of the boxes that I personally wanted in a subcompact crossover. The exterior Kodo design is sharp, the quiet upscale interior, the 8.6” of ground clearance (with plus size tires), the 250 HP and 310 lb-ft of torque and driving it is simply fun, it handles really well. Most people find the bold cladding to be an eyesore and at first, I did too. My plan out of the gate was to add the XPEL Stealth paint protection film on top of the jet black mica paint. This really helped blend that matte cladding with the rest of the body and protect the thinner paint that car makers are using these days.

Have you tried it on unpaved roads (maybe light off-roading)? How was it and what would you change/add?

– I haven’t taken any long trips on dedicated soft roads unless you count trekking through 8-12” of snow during the Wisconsin winters or venturing into some untraveled and uneven fields where it performed confidently, without issue.

Matte Back Mazda CX30 Custom build with black grille
“There are some reviews online of others softroading with their CX-30s though and with the turbo and Mazdas AWD system they seem rather capable. The obvious limitation here is the rear torsion beam axle. If there was more access to soft roading in Wisconsin, I would be more inclined to pursue a lift, which I’ve seen others do, but for now, the factory suspension is enough ground clearance for me”.

What are your future plans for this project?

– My future plans include a front big brake kit from Corksport and I’m hoping they release the BBK for the rear as well. More wheel and tire setups are on the way. I also have plans to replace the rear subwoofer with something that would free up weight and space. Other than that, the build is close to complete. This style may not appeal to most as the aesthetic I envisioned is a little unique. It falls somewhere between a soft roader and a sport compact car, a small lifted sports car if you will, and that’s exactly what I wanted.

See Also
VW Atlas Cross Sport on 31" Nitto Nomad Grappler All Terrain Offroad tires

Matte Black Mazda CX30 with Roof Rack delete and black tires

Specs & Mods:
2022 Mazda CX30


  • 2.5T


  • Jet Black Mica covered in XPEL Stealth PPF


  • AWD


  • Volk TE-37 17×7.5 Rims
  • Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail 225/65r17 (Slightly oversized wheels provide a small lift and improve the ground clearance)


  • Custom Axle-Back Exhaust with Dual Street Flow single-chamber mufflers with 2.5″ inlet and outlet (SF424111); 4.5″ double wall slash cut satin powdered coated tips


  • XPEL Stealth PPF
  • XPEL clear PPF on headlights
  • Lower grill mesh inserts
  • Roof rail delete
  • Badge delete: Turbo, Skyactive, AWD
  • Chrome delete: Rear flying M and CX-30 badges, window accents, front grille accents
  • MAZDA badge added in rear in place of Skyactive badge
  • Painted brake calipers
  • Elkhart Lake’s Road America personalized special plates

Mazda CX30 with black tnted headlights XPEL clear PPF on headlights


  • M11 Plus LTD – Digital Audio Player (DAP)
  • Fischer Conductor – one-touch remote control
  • Fischer Helix V Eight DSP MK2 – amplifier/dsp
  • Fischer M One X (x 2) – amplifiers
  • Signature Multix TSM 25 S45 – 1″ tweeter
  • Signature Multix MS3 – 3″ wideband midrange
  • Signature Multix WS6 – 6.5″ woofer
  • Illusion Audio C12 – 12″ front subwoofer
  • JL Audio HO108R-W7AE – 8″ rear subwoofer

Blacked out and modified Mazda CX30

Watch the progress and find out more about this Mazda CX30 project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @kurocx30!

Stay tuned for more project reviews on – Follow us on social media, and share this write-up if you enjoyed reading it!

View Comments (2)
    • Good point, thank you! There’s actually a little bit of both. The owner decided to remove the small badges (little “AWD” badge under the “CX-30” on the driver side, and “Turbo” under the “Skyactive” on the passenger side) and painted remaining badges black.

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