Mazda's new CX-30 SUV is designed to fit in the range of the established CX-3 and CX-5. Although compact, in slightly more than 4m, some interior dimensions are similar to those of the larger CX-5.
This is the second of the new Mazda cars, which was recently launched by Luke 3. The CX-30 is recognizable based on the 3. There were times when we had to look twice to tell them apart. The suspension is raised a bit but not as much as you expect. It certainly avoids the slab-sided look adopted by some other SUVs: it's really quite a look.
There are no body creases to be seen. Instead, the designers favored complex curves that reflected light, and lending the car a certain dynamism.
We tested it on roads around Frankfurt and a mix of urban and major roads; The CX-30 is nice to drive.
It feels more like a hatchback than an SUV when on the move. Even when the roads were two-sided, there was a linearity about the response. The cabin is well-built with the instruments clustered around the driver for visibility. An 8.8 inch screen takes care of navigation and other systems, controlled by a knob centrally mounted between the seats.
The navigation is excellent. Instead of being told to turn 300m, the spoken instruction was to turn at the traffic lights. It was much more natural and easier to follow.
Other interior highlights include an intriguing finish for the gear lever surround: smoked, translucent plastic covering, an engraved metal pattern, which offers some subtle light reflections. There is also a wing-shaped hood on top of the dashboard that gives the interior its own look.
Our test engine was equipped with the 2.0-liter ski-drive petrol engine. The engine is equipped with a mild hybrid system, powered by a 24-volt battery between the front wheels and the engine's cylinder deactivation.
It is tuned for economy and produces only 122 PS. At times it is struggling on the hills and we have to change to keep up. Hopefully this 1.8-liter diesel fuel will be better in this respect.
We also tried a new engine in a Mazda 3, the intriguingly creative X, which is dedicated to the best characteristics of both diesel and petrol engines.
Fueled with petrol, it has a much higher compression ratio and fuel injection pressure – much like a diesel fuel.
The result is officially described as igniting plug-controlled compression ignition. The fuel is partly ignited by a spark and by the heat caused by compression.
At 180 PPS is considerably more powerful than the standard two-liter petrol. But I'm not sure how economical it is in the real world. Mild drive produced a 4.5 L / 100 km figure, excellent performance, but when we hit the hills, it rose to around 7.5 L / 100 km, not much better than I would expect from a petrol.
We will not know for sure until a more comprehensive test on more familiar roads. And this was a pre-production launch so there were refinements to come.
Expect to see the new CX-30 at the end of November with pricing 2000 € higher than the equivalent Mazda 3 (from € 26,495).
It will be a 4WD option; Trim levels will be the same as 3. Skyactiv-X engine will follow; It will be on a variety of Mazda models.