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Mazda's brand new CX-30 is a stylishly designed and well-appointed crossover that delivers plenty of quality and refinement.

12 Feb 2020


How many SUVs does a brand need in its lineup? Clearly, the answer is not enough.

As brands continue to expand their SUV offerings to meet seemingly unceasing demand, Mazda is similarly doing the same. How many Mazda CX models can you name? There's the CX-3, the CX-4, the CX-5, the CX-8, and the CX-9. Well, now you can add one more to the list - the brand new CX-30. 

30? Where’s that from? 

The CX-30 is an attractive and stylish compact crossover
Admittedly, the nomenclature is a little confusing. The CX-30 slots in between the CX-3 and the CX-5 size-wise, but Mazda can't call it the CX-4 because that's already a model being sold exclusively in China. So, the CX-30 it is, then. The name ties the car to the Mazda3, of which it shares the same foundational platform and overall ethos.

Visually, the CX-30 is immediately striking (as all modern Mazdas are). The 'KODO' Soul of Motion design language is in full effect - the car's flowing lines and athletic demeanour is further accentuated in the signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint work.

The cabin is also expectedly high quality. There's generous use of soft-touch materials, equipment level is high, and all in all it's a pretty premium place to be in. In this Luxury trim, you get additional amenities like a Bose sound system and power adjustment driver seat.

The cabin's sleek, minimalistic design exudes quality and class
However, it's not quite at the level of the Mazda3 - the headliner material doesn't quite match up to the rest of the cabin, and we found the infotainment screen to be somewhat far away and a little too recessed.

As far as utility goes, the CX-30 is competent enough. It's not particularly big, especially in the rear cabin, so its best suited for younger families. The 430-litre boot, accessible via a power tailgate, is also sizeable enough for daily use. 

Where's the power coming from? 

Where the CX-30 chiefly departs from the Mazda3 is in the drivetrain department. The CX-30 gets a more 'traditional' naturally aspirated 2.0-litre engine rather than the 1.5-litre M-Hybrid powertrain found in the Mazda3.

The 2.0-litre engine puts out a smooth 162bhp and 213Nm of torque
It's better for it, too. Our one gripe with the Mazda3 is its lack of pace, and the CX-30 thankfully packs more punch. With 162bhp and 213Nm of torque, it's not what you’d call exciting or thrilling, but its sufficient for all your sensible driving needs. At light loads, the 2.0-litre engine doles out power in a smooth manner. Hoof it and the engine is happy to rev hard, though the good acceleration is accompanied by a not-so-good noise.

Importantly, the CX-30 is easy and comfortable to drive. Yes, you do feel the car's higher ride profile and raised centre of gravity, but it'll give most drivers no complains at all. The suspension is well sorted and soaks up bumps well. Throw it into a couple of corners and it also acquits itself much better than comparable crossovers in its segment.

If you drift out of your lane, the Lane-keep Assist System steers the car back into the lane 
Issues? The brakes lack some bite, so you need to be a little firmer in your brake application. Also, efficiency isn't great - we managed 10.1km/L, far off from the claimed 15.2km/L.

The Luxury trim does come with a whole load of safety and assistance systems. These include a 360-degree View Monitor, Radar Cruise Control, Lane-keep Assist System, Smart Brake Support, and Driver Attention Alert, just to name a few. 

Is it worth the price?

Mazda excels is producing desirable packages, especially in the styling department. This CX-30 is no different. Underneath the pretty skin is a competent mechanical skeleton that ticks all the necessary boxes.

The Mazda CX-30 delivers a desirable combination of style, quality and driving refinement
Slotting in between the CX-3 and the CX-5, the CX-30 makes a fair bit of sense. It's roomier and more practical than the CX-3 (which is really rather small), but not quite as bulky as the CX-5.

This particular top-spec Luxury variant costs $122,888 (as of 11 February 2020). That's not necessarily cheap, but the CX-30 delivers refinement and quality that we reckon actually exceeds its price tag.

Yes, it's easy to be cynical about brands just consistently adding new SUVs into its lineup that fit into incrementally small gaps in the market. Thankfully, this CX-30 doesn't feel cynical at all. In fact, it is quite desirable, not something we'd easily say about most crossovers.
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Car Information

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Mazda CX-30 2.0 Luxury (A)
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Price

: $119,888

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC SKYACTIV-G

Engine Cap

:

1998cc

Horsepower

:

121kW (162 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

213 Nm / 4000 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

9.7sec

Top Speed

:

196km/h

Fuel consumption

:

15.2 km/L

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mazda  mazda suv  suv  cx-30  mazda3  mazda cx-30