The 2020 Mazda CX30 on review for Changing Lanes!
The 2020 Mazda CX30 on review for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2020 Mazda CX30.

Mazda has been quietly investing in developing new SUVs in the last few years to complement their range of saloons and hatchbacks. However they were missing the coveted C-segment SUV. While the CX-3 debuted as a small SUV and the CX-5 picked up the baton as a large family SUV, there was nothing in the middle.

Enter CX30. Though just launched in Ireland at the end of 2019, new car registrations data shows that the CX30 is already Mazda’s most popular car in the range, just ahead of the all-new Mazda3.

What’s so great about the 2020 Mazda CX30?

It’s not really that surprising. The new Mazda3 – and now the CX30 – usher in a new generation of models from Mazda that can truly call themselves premium. The technical and aesthetic value of these cars is high, something that the Japanese brand invests in heavily. Up close or from afar, design is more refined and classy than your average family SUV. The curvature of the sheet metal and S shape reflection in the flank surfacing are details only true artists could execute and deem important enough for a mass market crossover.

New interiors speak the same language inside the car, with better quality and even more premium design. While under the skin there is a new platform and engine technology that bring new levels of refinement to Mazda cars.

With the range starting from €29,495, the CX30 is pitched at the higher end of the market. Visually, it’s more of a crossover than an SUV, but the raised ride height and extra plastic cladding give the car just the right character for today’s market.

The CX30 is a new generation Mazda SUV
The CX30 is a new generation Mazda SUV

Mazda CX30 interior

The interior of the Mazda CX-30 wraps around you like a glove. The cabin design is modern and elegant with plenty of soft touch materials for a plush feel. GT models get a full leather interior as standard. The new infotainment system integrates very well in the dash design with a wide 8.8″ screen. A rotary controller is included on the centre console with useful shortcut buttons, a feature we often see in premium cars. The system connects easily to smartphones via Apple Car Play or Android Auto.  A new digital instrument panel completes the look. This is a quality car, no doubts.

There are four trim levels for Ireland – GS, GS-L, GT and GT Sport. Standard features include air con, 8.8-inch infotainment screen, 7-inch digital dashboard, rear parking sensors, heads-up display, 16” alloys, LED headlights with High Beam Control, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with rear traffic alert, Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Keep Assist.

My GT test car had 18” alloy wheels, heated steering wheel, power adjustable driver’s seat, full leather interior, reversing camera, keyless entry, powered tailgate, dual zone climate control and heated front seats.

The interior of the 2020 Mazda CX30
The interior of the 2020 Mazda CX30

Mazda CX30 boot space and practicality

The interior of the Mazda CX-30 is a sophisticated and premium offering that is hard to find in this class of vehicle. Drivers will love the higher seating position than a hatchback, while there is plenty of room and adjustment to get comfortable up front. Rear seating space is less impressive. With a tall driver or passenger, rear occupants are going to find legroom tight. Door openings are large and the positioning makes it easy to get in and out. The boot is more competitive at 430 litres and larger than the Mazda3 hatchback. It’s also deep and large enough to tick the box for practicality. An electric tailgate is standard on some models.

Mazda has introduced mild hybrid technology to the engine range, while the CX30 will also feature the brand’s advanced Skyactiv X petrol engine. My test car was a Mazda CX30 Skyactiv G, which is powered by a 2.0-litre mild hybrid petrol with 122 hp. It suits the CX30 remarkably well. This naturally aspirated unit is so quiet on the move and power is adequate for a five seat family SUV. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 6.5 litres per 100 km and motor tax for this model is €200 per year. If you want to try more power, there is also the 2.0-litre petrol badged Skyactiv X with 180 hp.

For the best economy, you will still want the 1.8-litre diesel badged Skyactiv D. We drove this model on the European press launch in 2019 and we were really impressed with fuel consumption as little as 4.8 litres per 100 km.

CX30 Pricing

The CX30 Skyactiv G is available from €29,495. The Skyactiv X petrol models with more power are available from €31,915 as is the CX-30 diesel range. Manual gearboxes come as standard with automatics available from €33,745. There are no diesel CX30 AWD (all wheel drive) models available in Ireland, but petrol AWD models start from €40,615.

Boot space in the CX30
Boot space in the CX30

Driving the CX30 in Ireland

The new Mazda CX-30 is based on a new generation of Mazda’s Skyactiv Vehicle Architecture that also underpins the new Mazda3 hatchback. Front wheel drive models feature G-Vectoring Control Plus for better handling. A torsion beam at the rear provides better refinement over a variety of road surfaces. We found the CX30 to be comfortable and flexible on Irish roads and a great compact crossover to drive.

That’s because it handles more like a hatchback with natural, fluid steering and great body control through the corners. The cabin is also very well insulated to keep out road and wind noise. The premium level of refinement is a key selling point for the CX30 and puts it ahead of cheaper rivals.

Mazda CX30 or Mazda3?
The Mazda CX30 and the Mazda3

The CX-30 is now one of the most modern and advanced models in the Mazda range and features the full complement of Mazda engine technology – Skyactiv G, Skyactiv D and the new Skyactiv X. Being an SUV, it’s super desirable and the styling and design of this car fits the market very well right now.

We were less impressed with the rear seating space, and some rivals in this class offer more for the money. The Mazda’s top quality interior, premium features, refinement and fun to drive character make up for it. It’s simply one of the best compact SUVs on the market right now.

The Mazda CX30 is one of the best compact SUVs on the market right now
The Mazda CX30 is one of the best compact SUVs on the market right now

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda CX-30 2.0 Skyactiv-G GT
€33,395 (from €29,495)
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol
122 hp
Torque: 213 Nm
10.6 seconds
Top speed: 186 km/h
Fuel consumption (WLTP): 
6.2 l/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP)/NEDC2:  
Motor Tax: €200 per year