Based on the Mazda 3 hatchback, CX-30 is compact enough in its dimensions to feel easily at home around town and drawing as it does on the neat styling of the 3, it certainly catches the eye. Similar, but ultimately very different.
And the interior is no let down either. Stone leather upholstery, a soft touch black dash topped by a dark brown leather finish extending round to the doors shows what you can expect from one of the range-topping versions like the all wheel drive GT Sport Tech model sampled here.
Seats up front are both comfortable and supportive with a range of adjustment from Jimmy Krankie to Peter Crouch, and there’s a marked lack of clutter with the instrumentation. There’s a large 8.8 inch infotainment screen centrally mounted and operated by a big round knob and a set of four buttons ideally located in the centre console. Ahead of the driver are the main dials, crisp and clear and with an equally clear heads-up display on the screen showing the prevailing speed limit at the same time as your speed.
When you weigh up size and pricing it’s up against established popular family SUVs like the SEAT Ateca and Volvo XC40, both accomplished performers and well respected.
But the Mazda has a trick or two up its exhaust, one of which is the Skyactiv-X version of the 2.0 litre engine available, which has low CO2 emissions but develops 178bhp as against the same sized Skyactiv-G with its 120bhp. Diesel rivalling economy with flexible performance.
Diminishing demand for diesel in the compact SUV sector means that for UK buyers CX-30 will be exclusively petrol powered.
Both have mild hybrid technology; the CX-30’s small electric motor and 24-volt lithium ion battery work together to boost efficiency and improve response at low speeds. Both come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a six-speed automatic optional. Skyactiv-X gives you the option of four-wheel drive.
This model in particular seemed seriously surefooted, not subjecting the occupants to the wallowy ride you sometimes encounter in these fair isles on the wide variety of roads we have to put up with. Potholes, where you can’t avoid them, will upset most cars (and occupants) but the CX-30 makes a decent fist of dealing with them without too much discomfort or noise. Overall, a decent environment in which to put miles on the clock.
Available in five trim levels – SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech – there are generous standard equipment levels across the range.
GT Sport Tech spec gives you a pretty decent amount of toys to play with, notably a powered tail lift and a useful reversing camera with birds eye view as well, keyless entry, smart alloys, that windscreen projected active driving display, and a premium Bose sound system.
Prices start at £22,940.
A distinct solid, well made feel, and no need for any open wallet surgery to buy one. A car you very quickly feel at home with.
Mazda CX-30 AWD GT Sport Tech
Price: £32,240 £33,230 as tested)
Engine: 2.0 litre Skyactiv-X, four cylinder, petrol
Transmission: six speed manual
Top speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 9.0 seconds
CO2 emissions: 146g/km
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