IT'S the car Mazda intends to become its top seller and the CX-30 is set to slug it out in the fastest growing sector of the UK car market.
Priced from Â£22,895 the CX-30 is a medium sized SUV with a premium feel that is upmarket enough to take on the likes of BMW, Audi and Volvo - not to mention a host of others from virtually every other mainstream car brand.
On the road in January, the CX-30 sits between the CX-3 and CX-5 in the Japanese brand's SUV line up and has inherited all of the style that makes Mazda's current range so distinctive.
It's not called the CX-4 - the logical choice - as that moniker has already been snapped up by a Mazda that's sold exclusively in China.
The new model ratchets up the looks with a curvy body that's designed to use shadow and light to enhance its appearance and the effect is quite stunning.
Without a doubt it is one of the best looking cars around and the CX-30 also features Mazda's groundbreaking sparked controlled compression ignition SkyActiv-X engine in its armoury.
There is no diesel planned and the only other powerplant in the CX-30 range is the recently hybridised SkyActiv-G engine which develops 122ps.
SkyActiv-X versions - which have 180ps to go at - are priced from Â£24,375 and automatic transmissions are offered on both engines for an extra Â£1,500 at all trim levels.
All-wheel-drive powertrains are also available with the SkyActiv-X engine and can be had on all but the entry level versions priced from £29,295.
Five trim grades make up the range and the CX-30 line up tops out from £27,995 with the SkyActiv-G engine and £31,995 for the SCCI version, both in GT Sport Tech specification.
Where the CX-30 will score is with the level of equipment on offer and all versions include a full colour head up display, radar controlled cruise control and forward collision avoidance and LED headlamps.
An adaptive lighting system which ensures maximum illumination without dazzling vehicles ahead is available from mid-range Sport Lux versions onwards.
All are really useful safety aids and put the CX-30 ahead of the game in this part of the market.
We have just tried three versions of the CX-30 - the SkyActiv-G model in Sport Lux trim and the SkyActiv-X version in top grade GT Sport Tech specification in both two and four-wheel-drive set up.
All impress and perform well with the SkyActiv-G being lively enough at 10.6 seconds 0 to 60, a top end of 116mph and an official fuel return of 45.6mpg with emissions of 116g/km.
The more powerful SkyActiv-X model shaves the 0 to 60 time down to 8.5 seconds with a maximum of 127mph while on paper it is rated at 47.9mpg with a CO2 figure of 105g/km.
That was not too far off the mark and on our run we managed to average 44.7 to the gallon in the SkyActiv-X car and 40.9mpg with the SkyActiv-G engine.
The heavier all-wheel-drive model - it tips the scales at 1.615 tonnes opposed to the 1.542 tonnes of the two-wheel-drive SkyActiv-X CX-30 - is a fraction slower under acceleration at 9.0 seconds 0 to 60 although its top speed is unchanged.
The AWD system works on demand and cuts in automatically when needed and although the car felt noticeably heavier there was no real difference to its on-road manners with a good steering feel and supple suspension making for a highly comfortable ride.
Room throughout the cabin is good and the extra size of the CX-30 - its some four inches longer than the CX-3 - provides more room for rear seat passengers as well as a larger boot which ranges from 430 to 1,406 litres.
Trim levels are high and featured neatly stitched two-tone leather on the dash while the instrumentation is simple yet comprehensive.
All versions we tried came with electronic parking brakes with an auto hold function - and that's really useful in traffic.
At night, the adaptive headlamps came into their own and the illumination ahead was first class while the higher grade cars also came with surround view camera systems which help manoeuvring in tight spaces.
Conncetivity is fully smartphone compatable and the car lacks for little in terms of kit.
All in all the CX-30 is a breath of fresh air on the SUV scene - not only is it most handsome but it also performs well and pound for pound is exceptional on the equipment front.
Mazda has high hopes for the model, selling up to 10,000 of them in the coming year - and that's twice as many as its current best seller the CX-5 - and on first impressions that seems to be fully justified.