Mazda CX-30 Review (Updated 2020)

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Good looks aside, the Mazda CX-30 blurs the lines between mainstream and luxury thanks to its capabilities and price point.
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Introduction

Mazda has a knack for producing aesthetically pleasing cars with all the right curves in all the right places. The Mazda CX-30 is no exception. In fact, it is the kind of ride that modern professionals are infatuated with at the moment. We’re talking about toned, athletic lines and a trimmed exterior. Good looks aside, the Mazda CX-30 also blurs the lines between mainstream and luxury thanks to its capabilities and price point.

Mazda CX-30 Exterior

While it is an SUV on paper, the Mazda CX-30 isn’t as tall and upright as most. It is sleeker and much like a coupe-SUV at 4,395mm in length, 1,795mm in width and 1,540mm in height. Part of the rationale behind this is Mazda aiming for a smaller ride that makes manoeuvring and parking easier.

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Rugged exterior

To cater to urban dwellers with a fetish for a rugged exterior, plastic trimmings are fitted along the wheel arches and lower panels.

Mazda CX-30 Interior

To make up for the tighter legroom, the seats of the Mazda CX-30 are thoughtfully built to maintain an optimal driving position that accommodates the human spine. Boot space is at a premium of 430-litres, much larger than most hatchbacks, and comes fitted with an electric tailgate. It’s worth noting that the Luxury variant is smaller at 422-litres but that’s to make space for the good stuff; an immersive 12-speaker Bose premium sound system.

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Boot space that is larger than most hatchbacks

Infotainment is presented on a generous 8.8-inch widescreen that is operated through a rotary controller (free of touchscreen frustration) and compatible with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto enabled devices. Everything about the interior of the Mazda CX-30 is impressive. From the angled dashboard, soft materials and responsiveness of buttons and controls, it has all the refinements of an expensive luxury car.

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All the refinements of an expensive luxury car

Mazda CX-30 Performance

With all the talk about luxury, it is of course inevitable to look at the car’s engine. Case in point, the Mazda CX-30 has a bigger engine than its class norm. A 2.0-litre inline four that delivers 165hp to the front wheels and an acceleration comparable to that of luxury SUVs.

Since it is a non-turbo engine, it has a buttery smoothness to its power delivery and the absence of a CVT gearbox removes any tinge of unresponsiveness. The car’s excellent handling facilitates its willingness to play in corners. Hence, it has an apt ability to tuck into twists and turns at speeds that would cause some crossovers to understeer.

Mazda CX-30 Safety

The Mazda CX-30 is the safest car ever tested by Euro NCAP. Yup, you read that right. Safest. Ever. Car. It is the first car to achieve an almost-perfect score of 99 percent for adult occupant protection in a car crash test that includes offset frontal crash (hitting a deformable barrier at 64km/h), full width frontal crash (hitting a solid wall at 50km/h), side impact (simulating another car crashing into the subject at 50km/h) and side impact pole (simulating the subject skidding and hitting a tree at 32km/h). The Mazda CX-30 attains a perfect score for the latter three and that’s not all.

Euro NCAP also assesses child occupant protection, vulnerable road user protection (pedestrians and cyclists) and safety assist (active safety technology), of which the Mazda CX-30 scored 86 percent, 80 percent and 77 percent respectively.

Mazda CX-30 Classic/Elegance/Luxury

The difference between the Elegance and Luxury variant comes down to the Bose sound system, powered driver’s seat and active safety systems that are only present in the latter. While the Elegance retains a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert, it skips out on:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Autonomous braking
  • Lane departure warning and lane keeping
  • Driver monitoring/attention alert
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • 360-degree parking camera

On the other hand, the Classic variant only retains the sunroof although it does offer the Mazda Classic Acoustics sound system which is still pretty decent and 16-inch wheels for a comfortable ride.

Summary

Whichever variant you may opt for, know that the Mazda CX-30 elevates the status quo when it comes to SUVs. It is a competent ride that comes with recognition few have achieved and levels the playing field of luxury SUVs featuring the likes of BMW and Lexus.

Verdict

What we like
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What we do not like
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Editor’s recommendation

Mazda CX-30 Specifications

Engine

1,998cc inline 4

Power

165hp at 6000rpm

Torque

213Nm at 4000rpm

Gearbox

6-speed automatic

0-100km/h

9.7seconds

Top speed

196km/h

Fuel efficiency

6.6L/100km

VES band

B/150g/km

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