The Mazda CX-30 is a family SUV that slots in neatly between the CX-3 and CX-5 in the Japanese manufacturer’s line-up. It looks muscular and elegant from any approach, is packed with technology and maintains Mazda’s very high standards when it comes to performance.

The good

Styling, technology, handling and all-round appeal

The bad

Some rivals have better boot capacities

Tech Specs

Price from
Combined Fuel up to
0-62 from
8.5 seconds
max speed up to
co2 from

Test Drive

Mazda CX-30 – first drive (2019)

Mazda has just launched a stunning new SUV that slots in perfectly between the CX-3 and CX-5 models in the company’s line-up and it’s yet another top quality alternative for buyers who simply can’t get enough of these practical family cars.

In fact, the SUV sector recently overtook the hatchback segment in the popularity stakes, so little wonder we are seeing new models introduced on a regular basis.

Although logic might suggest that the new Mazda would be called the CX-4 to fit in perfectly with the existing range, that’s not the case as that particular title has already been snapped up by another Mazda car that is sold exclusively in China. So, instead we have the all-new CX-30 and it is quite the all-round family vehicle.

The CX-30 is priced from £22,895 to £33,495 and available in well-equipped trim levels called SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Lux. There are no diesel versions, but the car is powered by two petrol units – a 2.0-litre 122PS Skyactiv-G engine that features cylinder deactivation and a 2.0-litre 180PS Skyactiv-X petrol engine that features Spark Controlled Compression Ignition. This ground-breaking powertrain is offered on all CX-30 grades and, from Sport Lux upwards, customers can add Mazda’s all-wheel drive system to the mix.

All cars feature 24-volt mild hybrid technology and when you factor in the choice between manual or automatic transmissions, plus front or all-wheel drive, the model line-up totals 26.

There’s no denying the fact that the CX-30 is a fabulously good looking car thanks to its sleek styling, LED headlights with signature LED daytime running lights, a gloss black roof spoiler, privacy glass, gloss black grille, power-folding door mirrors, plus a choice of 16 or 18-inch wheels.

Move inside and the interior is absolute class with the finest leather upholstery and lots of soft-touch surfaces. It is minimalist in its design and layout but packed with first class technology. For example, all models get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and there is the choice of a high quality 8-speaker sound system on lower trims or a 12-speaker Bose system on the higher grade cars.

Other creature comforts, dependant on model, include a head-up display, Mazda Connect with 8.3-inch screen, a heated steering wheel, powered and heated seats, plus plenty more besides.

The car is driver-focused with all dials, controls and readouts perfectly positioned or angled for ease of use and comfort levels are high with space for a couple of adults in the back or three at a squeeze.

The boot, which is accessed via a powered tailgate, has a capacity of 430 litres increasing to 1,406 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. However, the high-end Bose sound system fitted on certain cars does impact slightly on boot space and sees limits reduced to 422 litres and 1,398 litres with the seats lowered.

We tested a couple of CX-30 models on an extensive road route through the Devon countryside that incorporated motorways, narrow lanes, sweeping country roads and busier town centres.

First up was the CX-30 GT Sport powered by the Skyactiv-G 2.0 122PS, 213Nm engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox in 2WD. This car was priced at £27,095 and could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 10.6 seconds and topped out at 116mph. According to official figures, it delivers 45.6mpg with carbon emissions of 116g/km. Although those performance stats may not sound that thrilling, the way the CX-30 handles is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Mazda is renowned for developing cars that score highly when it comes to performance, handling and driving dynamics and the CX-30 lives up to that reputation.

The acceleration is sharp with ample power on tap for overtaking and the road holding, with the assistance of the clever G-Vectoring Control system, is ultra grippy. It effortlessly eats up motorway miles and is agile weaving through the more congested town centres.

The second car was also in GT Sport grade, but this time powered by the Skyactiv-X engine delivering 180PS and 224Nm of torque. It was a six-speed manual with 2WD and cost £28,875. This car could sprint from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and maxed out at 127mph while delivering 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 105g/km.

This test car also ticked all the right boxes. The higher power output was certainly noticeable on longer inclines or when short bursts of pace were required and once again the CX-30 was beautifully composed out on the open road without the slightest hint of body sway or loss of grip.

One area where SUVs always need to excel is safety – after all the vehicle is likely to feature regularly on the dreaded school run with pedestrians, cars, bikes, pushchairs and children appearing from all angles. The Mazda not only boasts great safety specifications, it excels in some areas.

It secured a maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP rating and achieved the highest ever score of 99 per cent for adult passenger safety.

So, the CX-30 seems to have it all. It looks gorgeous, drives beautifully, is packed with all the latest kit and covers the practicality and safety bases too. Little wonder then that Mazda is confident the CX-30 will rapidly become its best-selling model across the UK and Europe.

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