Compact Japanese crossover SUV
The Japanese manufacturer is filling the gap between its successful CX-3 and CX-5 SUVs with the new Mazda CX-30.
The Mazda CX-30 gets its impressive looks from the unique Mazda KODO design. Its spirited lines run all the way from the slimline headlights to the front pillar and elusive rear line. It takes its technology from the Mazda3. The only visible differences are the shape of the black wheel arches, slightly modified rear section and elevated clearance. Along with the Mazda3, the CX-30 is the first model sporting the innovative Skyactiv-X engine under the bonnet of the top-of-the-range model. It’s the world’s first production petrol engine with compression ignition – a true technical revolution. According to the manufacturer, the extensively modified block has the combined benefits of a classic petrol engine plus the efficiency of a diesel engine. All this is made possible by the “SPCCI” combustion process developed by Mazda, where continuous operation of the spark plugs allows you to switch smoothly between conventional positive ignition and compression-ignition.
The 180 hp Skyactiv-X is very responsive when you hit the accelerator, running effortlessly across the board. The 6-speed manual transmission takes you through the gears quickly and cleanly. Having said that, it unfortunately lacks a little vitality when overtaking, having no turbo. The Skyactiv-X is the best of the bunch when it comes to the CX-30 engine range. But Mazda says that the Skyactiv-X engine is designed more for efficiency than dynamic performance. Below that, you have the familiar entry-level 122 hp and 150 hp Skyactiv-G petrol engines and the 116 hp Skyactiv-D diesel engine.
You could mistake the interior of the Mazda CX-30 for the Mazda3, with changes in the details only. The driver’s compartment is well organised and looks classy. And it’s intuitive, too. It also has the completely re-designed and improved Mazda Connect connectivity system, making it even safer and more user-friendly. The 430-litre trunk will meet most needs but could have been a bit bigger, all the same.
This Mazda is totally up with the times in terms of digital and drive assist features, including a wide range of factory-fitted safety equipment. It also has an amazing range of multimedia features as standard. And, on a final note, prices aren’t too steep, with the basic version starting at around €25,000. But it has to be said that, depending on finish and engine version, you could be looking at over €36,000.