Luxurious and stylish interior makes Mazda CX-30 stand out in the UK
What is it?
This new Mazda CX-30 could just be the best-looking compact SUV/crossover on sale today – depending on who you talk to, of course.
Mazda set up for CX-30 with compact appearance, leading the way in style. The car has a starting price of £ 22,895 when it comes to the UK. The 118bhp SkyActiv-G represents the range entry-point, while the more powerful 178bhp SkyActiv-X sits above it. Both feature Mazda’s 24-volt mild-hybrid architecture.
But while the 120bhp version is the cheaper of the two, it’s the slightly pricier (roughly £1500 model-to-model) Skyactiv-X that’s expected to take the lion’s share of UK sales – some 70%, to be precise.
What’s it like?
Having driven both engines back to back, it’s easy to see why the SkyActiv-X is angling to be the favourite here in Britain. The 118bhp engine is by all means a sweet little unit – being both responsive and refined – but it also feels a bit gutless.
There is very little torque down low. Any episodes of meaningful acceleration are always preceded by a need to frantically row your way down through the ratios on the standard-fit manual ‘box.
SkyActiv-X feels a lot more muscular with torque available more readily in the midrange range. In addition, the speed with which it achieves speed will be much more assured at the open road speed. However, but as with its less-powerful counterpart it’s still not too keen on being revved all the way out.
Still, in typical Mazda fashion the CX-30 marks itself out as one of the sweeter-to-drive cars in its class. The weight of the CX-30’s steering wheel is impressive. It is rated as accurate and does a very good job. However, its front end changes direction with a dash more spriteliness than is normal in this sector. In addition, body control is also strictly controlled.
Cabin is barely wide enough. Front seats are quite comfortable. However, tall people will find it uncomfortable with the rear seats. Bootspace only comes in at 422 litres, which isn’t bad but not necessarily outstanding either. A Volkswagen T-Roc, by comparison, has 455 litres.
The design and materials used for the cabin are impressive and relatively aesthetic. A clean, well-designed car is one of the things that helps mark Mazda as one of the most premium cars in its segment – even compared to the BMW X2 or Audi Q2.
Should I buy one?
The CX-30 may not be perfect, but compared to competitors like the Nissan Qashqai it’s much better.
It’s easily one of the most entertaining cars to drive in its class. Even when driven at a moderate pace it has a sense of integrity about its controls and the way it moves that helps elevate it above the current crop of largely mundane, tedious family crossovers. And for that alone, it deserves a nod of approval.
- Price £28,875 On sale Now
- Engine 4 cyls inline, 1998cc, petrol
- Power 178bhp at 6000rpm
- Torque 165lb ft at 3000rpm
- Gearbox 6-spd manual
- Kerb weight 1542kg
- Top speed 127mph 0-62mph 8.5sec
- Fuel economy 47.9mpg
- CO2 105g/km