Motoring

THE EFTM GARAGE: Mazda CX-30 Review

Make: Mazda
Model: CX-30
Variant: G20 Pure
Engine / Transmission: 2.0 litre petrol  – 6 Speed automatic
Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Economy: 6.5L/100km combined 
Price: From $33,784 plus on roads

First Impressions:

On paper, Mazda’s CX-30 sits between the accomplished CX-3 and the hugely popular CX-5 in size and price. While the back seat is significantly tighter for tall passengers than the CX-5, in my opinion, the CX-30 is definitely where you should put your money. It’s been a long time since the EFTM Garage has played host to a set of wheels with such an accomplished blend of technology, equipment, style and value. 

Tech Inside: 

The CX-30’s magic isn’t it’s funky mini SUV style, but Mazda’s careful curation of inclusions. The people at Hiroshima have really thought hard about what tech to include for the money. It’s a bloody spectacular list and powerfully shames a lot of much more expensive makes and models. Let’s look at the highlights…

Even the base model includes a clear 8.8 inch infotainment display with a classy rotary dial controller, Mazda’s version of radar cruise, adaptive LED headlights and tail lights, multiple USB charging ports, G-Vectoring differential (for snappier handling), blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front and rear autonomous braking (including pedestrian and cycle detection on the front) and traffic sign recognition (including the ability to differentiate between school zone limits).

All of these active safety features combine with pre-crash systems to form what Mazda term “i-ACTIVSENSE”. By selecting the i-ACTIVSENSE dashboard display you can see warnings for danger as well as a gloriously sparse screen. All of your essential information is displayed in the head up display, so why not strip back the dashboard to the bare minimum. It is in keeping with the classy, stripped back interior. 

For just $1500 extra, Mazda will throw in “Vision Technology”, featuring driver monitoring (where an internal camera monitors drivers for drowsiness and inattention), 360 degree camera (providing a handy bird’s eye view while parking), front cross traffic alert (providing reassurance while pulling out of cross streets when your vision is blocked by other vehicles), “Cruising and Traffic Support”, which is Mazda speak for their semi-autonomous driving system, combining radar cruise and lane keep assist to reduce fatigue and make driving just a little easier and front parking sensors.

So, yeah, well worth the $1500 extra. In fact, I’d go so far as to say you’ve got rocks in your head if you don’t tick the box. Better still, if you go up a grade or two in the CX-30 range some of this kit is thrown in. If you go with the top-spec ‘G25 Astina’ it is all included, along with a bigger engine. 

Most Impressive:

Without question, the most impressive aspect of this little hatch is it’s blend of value, style and technology. Importantly, all of this tech works seamlessly – not always the case in more affordable models.

Furthermore, Mazda has really looked closely at the small details too. The windscreen washer jets, for example, are super sexy. Tiny jets push washer fluid out along the wiper blades as they complete their sweep. The piano finish trim (never my favourite treatment on touch points) has a very subtle pattern woven through it that shines in certain light.

The two tone interior trim is impressive with the navy blue and black on the test car really looking like it is from something much more expensive. Choose the ‘Snowflake Pearl Mica’ (at no extra charge – thank you Mazda!) and the CX-30 is a great looking piece of kit that looks far, far more expensive than $30k odd. 

Not So Impressive:

Some elements of the CX-30 aren’t perfect. The steering wheel, for example, really should be leather trimmed. The plastic rim fitted to the G20 Pure grates with the awesome two tone trim.

You have to jump up to the G20 Touring ($38,974) before you get keyless entry and keyless start without keyless entry is just stupid. The rear seat is tight – like really tight. The boot too, won’t fit a full-size cricket kit either, but I guess you kind of know this when you sign up for what is effectively a small hatchback. 

WHEN ON A TEST DRIVE: 

Make sure you have a close look at Mazda’s 3. Without doubt, the 3 is the biggest threat to the CX-30. The mini SUV ‘look’ costs you about $3k. For me, this is money better spent on a spec upgrade on the 3.

A 3 G25 Evolve, for example, is about the same coin as the base model CX-30, but gifts you a bit more equipment and the bigger 2.5 litre engine. You get the same great technology, the same great value, the same great build quality, the same great style, and just a little bit more zoom, zoom. 

THE EFTM GARAGE: Mazda CX-30 Review
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