Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Update 1: Welcome

It looks like I’ve inflated the Mazda 3! My previous Soul Red-coloured hatchback has made way for something a little more...hench.

Living with a Mazda CX-30

This won’t be the first CX-badge Mazda I’ve run before either - I briefly looked after the smaller long-term CX-3 back in 2016 and quickly became a big fan of that. This CX-30 isn’t quite as good-looking in my opinion, especially at the rear and with all the body-cladding hiding the paintwork down the side, but it does look very modern, well-proportioned and a little like the Lexus UX in shape.

When I first compared the CX-30 to the 3 hatchback, the two were so similar I wasn’t really enamoured by this SUV. This might sound like a bad thing, but I can see the flipside being great for those who don’t want to feel alienated if they’re moving away from their existing car with a lower seating position. If your current hatchback serves you well and you simply need an easier entry point, the CX-30 won’t mess up the formula too much.

Which Mazda CX-30 do we have?

We have ourselves the top-of-the-range GT Sport Tech model – the one badged with all the fancy buzzwords, basically – coupled with the identical Skyactiv-X engine and six-speed manual gearbox fitted to my previous 3 long-termer.

Mazda CX-30 GT Spor Tech rear

This means the 180hp 2.0-litre petrol engine with long gearing and fuel efficiency-boosting SPCCI tech. It might be the most powerful engine on offer, but it’s also very sensible.

This time, though, we have all-wheel drive, so it’ll be good to see how fuel economy and performance comparee to our lighter, two-wheel drive predecessor.

What options do we have?

Our GT Sport Tech is jam-packed with a comprehensive level of kit. As a result, the Polymetal Grey metallic paint, which curiously looks a little blue, is the only option we’ve gone for. We’d already argue that the next grade down, named GT Sport, is as high as you’d ever need to treat yourself to, as our Tech model adds a handful of extra safety equipment, including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and front and rear cross traffic alert – things we can easily live without.

Mazda CX-30 GT Spor Tech side

As with the 3 hatchback, every model is so well equipped it’s not so easy to differentiate between the entry-level SE L from the top-spec one we have here. The smaller 16-inch wheels fitted to the former are the main giveaway, but I quite like the navy blue coloured highlights dotted around the cabin on models fitted with cloth seats. Our leather interior substitutes these with brown highlights instead.

First impressions

The interior is already brighter and less monotone than my previous 3 hatchback, thanks to the lighter-coloured roof lining, sunroof and aforementioned brown accents. So I’m a fan already.

Mazda CX-30 GT Sport Tech interior

I’d be tempted by the lighter stone interior but there’s very little to complain about in here.

The higher seating position also helps you feel less claustrophobic, plus, the refinement is noticeably better than the 3, with less vibration and kickback from the steering wheel and a smoother engine.

As two-car garages go, Mazda may have you covered pretty well with this practical family car for the week and the sporty MX-5 for weekends...

Mazda CX-30 meets MX-5 R-Sport 2020

More soon..

Long-term test: Mazda CX-30
Mileage
2,492
Real-world economy
tbc
Official economy / MPP 43.5mpg / 9.3
Joined Parkers
September 2020