John Murdoch’s drive time: We test the Mazda CX-30 crossover/Suv
In this segment of John Murdoch’s Drive Time, John He takes a spin in the stylish Mazda CX-30 Crossover/Suv and discovers that its combination of good looks, performance and premium quality makes it hard to beat in a crowded segment.
Compact crossovers and small SUVs dominate the car market right now, and manufacturers have to offer a great product to attract buyers.
Mazda ticks all the boxes with its stylish CX-30, which is based on the award-winning Mazda3 hatchback.
It shares the same curvy, coupe-like lines with its sibling but adds height, a raised suspension and cladding on its sides and wheel arches.
The impressive CX-30 is available in a number of trim levels, and the Homura version I sampled costs £29,405 with two-wheel drive and the more powerful 186bhp petrol engine.
All versions come with decent equipment, with intelligent start/stop, a head-up display, push-button start, cruise control, a 10.5-inch infotainment screen, navigation, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, blind-spot monitoring, and keep assist. Track. Automatic emergency braking is all standard across the range.
The Homura adds dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, heated front seats, a power liftgate, privacy glass, a Bose audio system as well as front and rear parking sensors and 18-inch black alloy wheels.
Mazda has ditched diesel power for the CX-30 and instead offers two 2.0-litre petrol units powered by a 24-volt mild-hybrid system and mated to a fantastic six-speed manual gearbox which is a joy to use. A six-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive is also available.
My car features a more powerful 186 horsepower unit that powers the CX-30 from 0 to 62 mph in a smart 8.3 seconds and can reach a top speed of 127 mph.
It does this with excellent fuel economy of up to 56.5 miles per gallon. The combined figure is 49.6 mpg and I easily matched that during a week of average driving.
The CX-30 is fun to use in urban traffic where most family SUVs spend their time, and it’s also a great, very quiet car on the highway.
Hit a steep hill and you’ll have to quickly downshift to maintain speed but you soon get used to it.
As with all Mazdas, the CX-30’s dynamics are very solid, with precise, well-weighted steering and agile handling with minimal body roll in corners.
The result is an enjoyable driving experience enhanced by smooth gear changes.
There’s room for four adults to travel in comfort – five of them for short distances – and the cabin is upscale, with plush soft-touch surfaces, high-quality materials and a level of fit and finish that rivals any of its premium opposition.
It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position and visibility is good. All the instruments and dials are clear and easy to use and the heating system has its own controls.
The boot volume is 430 litres, which isn’t the largest in its class but suits the needs of most owners, and if you need more, you can drop the 60-40 split rear seats to create 1,406 litres of load space.
In short, the CX-30 is great fun to drive, refined and well priced with a high-quality cabin that’s hard to beat.
Mechanical: 186 hp, 1,998 cc, gasoline engine and mild hybrid system driving the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission.
Top speed: 127 mph
0-62 mph: 8.3 seconds.
Miles per gallon: 49.6.
Insurance group: 21.
CO2 emissions: 128 g/km.
Beck’s rating: 29 percent.
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles.
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