By Mike Torpey on 2020-11-07 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Mazda CX-30 2.0
LAUNCHING a new SUV model without the option of diesel power would have been unheard of just a few short years ago.
Yet this very strategy is one of the reasons why Japanese brand Mazda believes the new CX-30 will scale the heights to become its top seller.
And key to the CX-30's success is a technology called Skyactiv-X, which may sound like the latest space programme from NASA but is actually a ground-breaking new petrol engine.
It works through a unique combustion method in which spark plug ignition is used to control compression ignition, the upshot being diesel-rivalling economy with low CO2 emissions.
Mazda's confidence in this unit, along with a sharp decline in demand for diesel powered cars, has resulted in the 26-strong CX-30 model line-up being exclusively petrol.
That said, the Japanese manufacturer insists that it still remains committed to the development of next generation clean diesel engines for appropriate vehicle sectors.
As a medium size SUV the CX-30 occupies the fastest growing area of the UK new car scene, sits between the CX-3 and CX-5 in the Mazda range and is up for grabs with a choice of front or all-wheel drive.
Even though it's categorised as an SUV or crossover model, its coupe-like profile - an evolution of the company's KODO design philosophy already responsible for several eye-catching models - gives a sleek, sophisticated appeal.
In fact the car's lines are designed to use shadow and light to enhance its appearance, to quite stunning effect. Few if any of its rivals can match those catwalk looks.
Prices are from £22,940 even if our Sport Lux version, from the middle of the five trim grades, cost a fair bit more at £27,075.
The level of standard kit though is extensive, the likes of a colour head-up display, radar cruise control, forward collision avoidance and LED headlights present on every model.
Inside, the cabin is spacious and versatile with smart two-tone leather on the dash and central container while there's ample room for rear seat passengers plus a boot that ranges from 430 litres to 1,406 litres with the back seats folded.
All the instruments are easily accessed and you also get an electronic parking brake - not everyone's cup of tea - along with an auto hold function.
Out on the road the CX-30 is a treat to drive, the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-X engine developing a hefty 180ps of punch while still returning an average 45 miles per gallon compared to the official figure of 48mpg.
Performance is also strong, stability excellent and a highlight of this model proved to be the adaptive lighting set-up which automatically engages a full beam degree of vision without dazzling the drivers of oncoming vehicles.
It works a treat at night and is included in the top three of the five trim grades.
Those wanting another powerplant can opt for the other petrol engine in the CX-30 range, the 122ps Skyactiv-G unit used in the Mazda3 model which features cyclinder deactivation, those this engine is only available with front-wheel drive.
Mazda CX-30 2.0 Sport Lux
Mechanical: 180ps, 1,998cc 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 48
Insurance Group: 19
C02 emissions: 105g/km
Bik rating: 26%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
Choose from one or more of the options to find the car for you.
Based on your search find the dealership
nearest to you.