Published on January 18th, 2020 | by Daniel0
Mazda CX-30 Crossover Compact SUV test drive review
This segment of the automotive market is hugely competitive and vibrant in Malaysia and we now have a class-leading contender that slots perfectly into the space between the Honda HR-V and the Toyota CH-R.
Like the all-new Mazda3, this is a vehicle that demonstrates the new standards of style, quality and technology found in our next-generation models.
It’s also great that the ground-breaking Skyactiv-X engine is available from launch, as its low CO2, excellent fuel economy and performance, delivers a superb combination of benefits to Malaysian buyers looking for an alternative to the current lineup.
Revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and available to order now, the CX-30 enters a new market segment for Mazda, slotting into the firm’s award-winning SUV range between the CX-3 and CX-5.
Following the launch of the all-new Mazda3, the Mazda CX-30 is the second model in the company’s next generation line-up and the second to feature the ground-breaking Skyactiv-X spark-controlled compression ignition engine. Combining the bold stance of an SUV with the sleek profile of a coupe, its styling is a sophisticated evolution of Mazda’s KODO design philosophy, while it’s spacious and versatile cabin ensures it has the practicality and comfort demanded by customers in this popular sector.
On the same morning of the official Malaysian launch, we were given the keys to this CX-30 for a drive to Janda Baik using some highway and some state roads to get a quick feel of this new crossover which is imported from Japan.
Together with 2 seasoned motoring hacks in our RM141,700 version of the CX-30 we took turns at the steering wheel on this test drive. We got behind the wheel first and it was mostly highway driving as we left Putrajaya heading to the Gombak toll plaza.
Our immediate impression was of quality. Yes, there was an air of luxury inside this CX-30 just like with the new Mazda3 and the Mazda CX-9 SUV.
In our opinion, this is a Mazda3 hatchback that has been tweaked with SUV fenders. It has a sleek greenhouse (side window profile is slim) and stout physique to give that much needed Crossover stance. Our only suggestion is to offer varying alloy wheel designs for each variant of the Cx-30 on offer. When it is black on black, it looks just like a Mazda3 and when you have contrasting colors you realize its Crossover styling.
Inside the CX-30
Mazda cabin quality has improved with every new model since the CX-9 and we have been lucky enough to spend enough time getting to know their touch points in the cabin. Knobs and buttons are fluid and panels are soft to the touch. Then there is the added simplicity in the cabin presentation that is more European in its delivery. A decent sized infotainment screen on the top center of the two tier dashboard and a very large three dial instrument cluster with digital drive information within the large middle dial.
The three spoke multi-function steering wheel is nice to the touch and the buttons on its left and right spokes are ‘click’ friendly. This steering wheel could be smaller in our opinion.
The gear-shifter has a nice feel and below are the infotainment functions which have a nice fluid feel with a precision click of each supplied button.
For all the delivery of quality materials, generous standard equipment, refinement and driver comfort, Mazda’s engineers did not forget how important practicality is to SUV buyers. This focus on space and comfort resulted in a notably well packaged and versatile interior. Slotting into the range between the CX-3 and CX-5, the CX-30 enters a new market segment for Mazda. With the design goal for overall length set at 4,400mm or less, it fulfils all the requirements of customers who wish to combine the compact, urban-friendly dimensions of the former with the space and practicality of the latter.
A generous distance of 740mm between the front seats is 50mm greater than in the Mazda CX-3, and on par with that of the Mazda CX-5. The spacing of the front seats allows for a wide floor console with a refined layout and a large centre armrest. Equally spacious rear seat separation facilitates big rear centre armrest and door armrests, allowing rear seat occupants to enjoy a comfortable, relaxed seating posture.
The front seats are large and well bolstered and there is quite some space between the front two passengers which proves the vehicles width. Rear room is good for three and despite the sporty roofline and slim greenhouse that is similar to the Jaguar I-Pace, tall rear passengers will not be struggling to get in and out.
CX-30 Boot Space
Luggage capacity is a generous 430 litres, enough to simultaneously accommodate a large baby buggy and a couple of flight carry-on trolley bags. The boot opening width is 1,030mm, while the height of the loading lip is just 731mm, for easy loading and unloading of heavy or bulky cargo.
Driving The CX-30
Just like with the all-new Mazda3, this CX-30 uses the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine working with front-wheel drive steering. Producing 122ps at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 213Nm at 4,000rpm it features optimised intake port and piston shapes, split fuel injection, a coolant control valve and cylinder deactivation, to deliver higher levels of dynamic performance, fuel economy and environmental friendliness.
In our words, this CX-30 accelerated smoothly, with very good noise suppression, negligible tyre noise at high speeds (130km/h and a bit), tight precise steering feel along the tight turns in Janda Baik and it provided good brake feel.
On our drive back along the Gombak highway we felt that this new Mazda crossover was reminding us of the Mazda3 sedan feel which it shares its engineering with. The Mazda3 sedan is lower, stout and very predictable and this CX-30 felt almost the same even though it sits a little higher off the ground.
Final Word after 45 minutes
At a selling price from RM141,900, this version of the CX-30 is almost neck to neck with the higher priced Mazda3 sedan (RM148,900). We believe that the RM7,000 price difference and the fact that it is a crossover will move more buyers to sign up for the CX-30.
All new Mazda vehicles sold in Malaysia come fitted with high quality Japanese tint film from Konica Minolta which provides great cabin cooling and perfect outward vision in day and night. You also get a FIVE-year warranty and an industry leading FIVE-year maintenance plan that includes labour, parts and lubricant. Worry free 5-year motoring!
Mazda CX-30 2.0L SKYACTIV-G Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder VVT DOHC 16V SKYACTIV-G
Gearbox: 6-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE Semi-Auto
Horsepower: 162bhp @ 6000
Torque: 213Nm @ 4000
Top speed: 216km/h
Fuel Efficiency: 6.4L /100km