Mazda CX-30 2.0

SkyActiv-X Sport Lux

Mazda CX-30, front
Mazda CX-30, front
Mazda CX-30, front
Mazda CX-30, front
Mazda CX-30, front
Mazda CX-30, rear
Mazda CX-30, 2019, front, static
Mazda CX-30, 2019, side, static
Mazda CX-30, 2019, rear, static
Mazda CX-30, 2019, interior
Mazda CX-30, 2019, boot

THE compact SUV segment is a congested one and it certainly helps contenders if they can stand out from the crowd.

Mazda's CX-30 certainly manages to do that.

It's a very good looking and stylish vehicle that has enough about it to give premium models a run for their money as well as its mainstream competitors.

People who aren't keen on SUVs criticise them for being rather staid and dull looking but the CX-30 certainly bucks this trend with a curvy profile that can make people stop in their tracks to take a look.

It won me over instantly and drew plenty of admiring glances during the week I drove it.

It sits between Mazda's CX-3 and CX-5 models and if you're wondering why it didn't get called the CX-4 it's because Mazda has a different model in China with that particular monicker.

On the inside the CX-30 is nicely done out and the cabin is surprisingly roomy.

The dash and instrumentation are particularly splendid and a world away from the Mazdas of relatively recent years I recall driving.

While there wasn't necessarily anything wrong with the instrumentation and switchgear of old everything always seemed a bit spartan and functional.

I was struck by a modern and quality character overall in the CX-30, that - like its looks definitely - errs towards the premium rather than the mainstream.

The roomy feel extends to the rear where there's plenty of room for two, though a third passenger might feel a little squeezed.

The boot offers 430 litres of space, which extends to 1,406 litres with the rear seats folded down.

There are two 2.0-litre petrol engine options with the CX-30, a 120bhp Skyactiv-G or a 178bhp Skyactiv-X.

This car had the higher-powered one and it proved a capable performer. To be honest there isn't a huge difference between them, though bizarrely the more powerful engine has lower CO2 emissions.

There's no turbo but the mild hybrid system offers an acceleration boost, particularly from a standing start, helping to give it a sprightly feel.

The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and slick but you can opt for a six-speed automatic transmission for an extra £1,500.

The 178bhp manual model will complete the 0-62mph sprint in 8.5 seconds and take you on to a top speed of 127mph.

I fond it fun to drive, the steering is precise and it feels very flat and composed through the bends, with a stiff and sporty kind of feel.

While ride quality is decent enough you can feel the lumps and bumps at times, so if comfort's a priority it might be advisable to stick to the smaller alloy wheel options.

Equipment levels are decent, there are six trim options and prices range from £22,940 to £34,065.

Rear parking sensors are standard on all models and all bar the entry-level one have front sensors and a reversing camera.

Every CX-30 also has a full colour head-up display, forward collision avoidance, LED headlamps and radar controlled cruise control.

If you're not a fan of touchscreens that control pretty much all the car's functions you'll like the CX-30 - it still offers a familiar array of dials and knobs.

Mazda say this was a conscious decision to limit driver distraction.

All models have a central 8.8in infotainment display operated by a rotary controller and shortcut buttons. It's an easy system to get to grips with.

FAST FACTS

Mazda CX-30 2.0 SkyActiv-X Sport Lux

Price: £27,075

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: 47.1

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 105g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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