Mazda CX-30 2.0

186ps AWD Takumi

Mazda CX-30, front
Mazda CX-30, profile
Mazda CX-30, rear
Mazda CX-30, interior
Mazda CX-30, interior, rear
Mazda CX-30, boot

MAZDA has a modest UK range but every model comes with a lot of heart and soul, like the revised CX-30.

Originally derived from the hatchback Mazda3 but smaller than the CX-5 SUV, the CX-30 came to the UK for 2020, but of course we all know what happened then as the pandemic swept through the country.

Britain and Mazda persevered and now their feature-packed compact SUV has been given a comprehensive make-over, notably inside.

The 2024 range has been revised and facelifted for each of the 18 models in Prime-Line, Centre-Line, Homura, Exclusive-Line grades, and the Takumi, which we drove here.

You can refine what you need with the choice of front wheel drive or all-wheel-drive, 122ps or 186ps petrol engines manual or automatics and the prices range from £25,350 to £37,250.

Our more powerful top of the range model only lacked the optional automatic transmission but its six-speed manual box was a delight anyway.

The mild-hybrid 2.0-litre engine used an electric motor for low speed work, to supplement the petrol engine as required and help stretch the economy in mixed driving conditions.

The petrol engine also features cylinder deactivation to cut fuel consumption when cruising on a main road and the Skyactiv cylinder head features spark plugs with are activated by compression as in a conventional diesel, but mean the mixture is very lean and responses are still what you'd expect from a petrol engine. Very clever.

The 2.0-litre engine with its electric motor assistance and intelligent cylinder control was very smooth and quiet but not as quick off the mark as you might expect from traffic lights, but still very respectable up to motorway limits down a slip-road.

Matched to the flick of wrist six-speed gearchange, the powertrain was a delight with a short travel clutch, excellent strong progressive brakes and a very sporting feel to the steering.

The CX-30 felt more car-like than many SUVs and apart from a tendency to run wide on tighter turns at speed until easing off the throttle, the handling was safe and surefooted.

Ride quality was generally very good, slightly firm, but not uncomfortably so and body roll, pitch and dip were minimal.

From the outset four years ago, the Mazda CX-30 picked up many safety awards and it is still one of the best family cars for protection in this size of SUVs.

Now Mazda has gone a step further and given the interior a significant makeover while building on its family-friendly oddments room and reasonable but not huge luggage capacity.

There's a softer feel to the interior upper surfaces, bigger instruments and infotainment panel now widened to 10.3-inches. It's touchscreen when stationary but needs to be selected through a rotary switch on the move.

Heating and ventilation was simple, effective and had a good temperature range with powered windows to back it up.

Access was very good into the front seats, a bit of a dip and tuck into the back bench and some may find the legroom and headroom tight behind the two front seats.

The bootspace was easy to open with the one-touch powered button on the Takumi and it was of a useful size even before the 60-40 spit of the backrests was used, but they did not lie completely flat.

Our car had intelligent LED main beams with good range and spread which automatically dipped facing oncoming traffic and I liked the overhead 360-deg cameras view when manoeuvring, which is also in the Takumi trim. It was just as well because the small rear side windows and postbox slit for the back window meant there were blindspots hiding posts and low walls, let alone children, which would be unseen in the driver's eyes.

The Mazda CX-30 is one of those cars which was packed with features normally found on more expensive, even a class up rivals, but which had an agile feel and exuded sophistication and refinement at under £36,000.

FAST FACTS

Mazda CX-30 2.0 186ps AWD Takumi

Price: £35,750

Mechanical:186ps, 4cyl 2.0 litre petrol-electric enginve driving all wheels via 6sp manual gearbox

Max Speed:127mph

0-62mph:8.8 secs

Combined MPG:42

Insurance Group:21

C02 emissions:137gkm

Bik rating:32%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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