Handsome newcomer

plugs Mazda gap

 Mazda CX-30 SkyActiv-X, 2019, front, action
Mazda CX-30 SkyActiv-X, 2019, side, static
Mazda CX-30 SkyActiv-X, 2019, interior
 Mazda CX-30 SkyActiv-X, 2019, rear, action
 Mazda CX-30 SkyActiv-X, 2019, side, static
 Mazda CX-30 SkyActiv-X, 2019, engine
 Mazda CX-30 SkyActiv-X, 2019, boot
 Mazda CX-30 SkyActiv-X, 2019, rear seats
 Mazda CX-30 Skyactiv-X, 2019, badge

SMART, stylish and with a premium interior Mazda has just launched a new SUV that is set to become the company's biggest seller in the UK and Europe.

The CX-30 is on sale now with the first customers collecting their new cars in January and it sits neatly between the CX-3 and the flagship CX-5.

It could not be called the CX-4 because that tag is already in use on a Mazda that is only sold in China.

Based on the platform of the award-winning Mazda3, the newcomer costsfrom £22,895 to £33,495.

It is available in trim levels SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Lux.

There are no diesel versions but a choice of the 2.0-litre 122ps SkyActiv-G engine that features cylinder deactivation and the new 2.0-litre 180ps SkyActiv-X petrol engine that has Spark Controlled Compression Ignition.

This ground-breaking powertrain is offered on all CX-30 grades and, from Sport Lux upwards, has the option of Mazda's all-wheel drive system.

All cars in the range feature 24-volt mild hybrid technology and when you factor in the choice between manual or automatic gearboxes, plus front or all-wheel drive, the model line-up totals 26 so there should be a car to meet all tastes.

The CX-30 is a great looking car thanks to its handsome sharp Kodo lines, gloss black grille, LED headlights with signature LED daytime running lights, a gloss black roof spoiler, privacy glass, power-folding door mirrors and a choice of alloy wheels in different sizes.

The interior is the best Mazda has ever produced and offers premium quality, fine leather, soft-touch finishes, clear instruments and dials as well as all the latest technology. It is more than a match for any opposition and that includes more expensive models carrying prestige badges.

All cars come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and there is the choice of a high quality eight-speaker sound system on lower trims or a 12-speaker Bose system on the higher grade cars.

Equipment levels across the range are high and features depending on the model include a head up display, Mazda Connect with a clear 8.3-inch screen, powered and heated seats, a heated steering wheel and sliding sun roofs.

There is room for four adults to travel in comfort and five for shorter journeys, while the boot, which is accessed via a powered tailgate, has a capacity of 430 litres increasing to 1,406 litres.

Cars powered by the SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre engines produce 122ps and matched with a six-speed manual gearbox are good for 116mph and a sprint figure of 10.6 seconds to 62mph with emissions of 116g/km. They offer a claimed 45.6mpg.

I spent a weekend in Devon sampling the CX-30 with the 180ps SkyActiv-X engine under the bonnet. It was in top GT Sport trim and also featured a manual six-speed gearbox and four-wheel-drive.

It is slightly slower in the sprint to 62mph than the lighter two-wheel-drive model, taking 9.0 seconds but it has the same top speed of 127mph.

As you would expect from a Mazda it was great to drive and very grippy thanks in part to the AWD system.

The wet Devon roads presented a mixture of narrow country lanes, crammed town centres, twisty open roads and even some short motorway stretches so there was plenty of opportunity to appreciate the Mazda's sharp handling and agility.

The slick six-speed box was a delight to use and that was just as well as traffic, many hills and slow bends meant you were rarely in one gear for very long.

Even in these conditions I averaged just over 40mpg and the new unit is really impressive although you have to make full use of the gearbox to get the best out of it.

The CX-30 is certainly going to be popular with family motorists so they will be comforted by the fact that the car is crammed with all the latest safety equipment and has just been awarded five stars in the Euro NCAP ratings. It achieved the highest ever score of 99 per cent for adult passenger safety.

With prices starting from £22,895 rising to £33,495 this premium Mazda represents great value for money right across the range.

It is probably the best looking compact SUV on the market, it has stacks of kit and is also very practical so no wonder Mazda are confident that it will do well.

Mazda's UK managing director Jeremy Thomson told me: "We are very excited about this stunning compact SUV joining our range.

"This sector of the market is hugely competitive and vibrant in the UK and we now have a class-leading contender that slots perfectly into the gap between the CX-3 and the CX-5.

"Like the all-new Mazda3 this is a car that demonstrates the new standards of style, quality and technology found in our next-generation models. Our new SkyActiv-X engine also delivers excellent fuel economy and performance with low emissions that provide real benefits to our customers."

LATEST Mazda NEWS

MAZDA'SSkyActiv approach to building cars centres on efficiency and light...

Read more View article

IT'S a while since I've driven the Mazda CX-5 but with further tweakings coming...

Read more View article

THE list of possibilities for anyone considering purchasing an SUV seems to be...

Read more View article

LATEST NEWS

Google+