Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

2020 Mazda CX-30 rear view

Parkers verdict symbol for the BMW 3 Series Touring (2019-on)Should you buy a Mazda CX-30?

After an attractive, good-to-drive and well-built small crossover? If you are, then we can highly recommend the CX-30 over and above direct rivals like the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen T-Roc.

In a world of vaguely identical, affordable medium-sized family SUVs, the CX-30 stands out for being genuinely enjoyable to drive with its engaging handling and pleasingly-weighted controls

It's rivalling the likes of the BMW X2, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q2 for its more compact looks, upmarket interior feel and the way it handles – in some cases it betters the offerings from the premium German marques.

What we like

Inside, it's less flashy than the Germans - which has its pros and cons depending on your disposition, but we like its simplicity and quality feel across the range. There's more rear seat space for passengers over the 3 hatchback and the relatively compact proportions over it's SUV rivals means it's nicer to drive.

What we don't like

Those proportions mean the CX-30 is far from being the most cavernous small SUV, though, and its engine range isn't exactly brimming with exciting options. The latter doesn't really matter for a sensible family crossover, and it remains competitive with the Qashqai and T-Roc for space inside, while beating the Toyota C-HR with ease.

Which version is best for you?

We're tempted to suggest that unless you're a keen driver and really need the extra oomph, your money is better spent on trim levels rather than the more expensive e-Skyactiv X engine.

Although it's the more powerful and technically advanced option, thanks to clever compression ignition tech, it's slightly underwhelming in the CX-30. It's admirably clean and economical, but never feels as punchy as the power figures would suggest, so it's not quite a win-win situation. Unfortunately for both, they need working hard to generate any real momentum and we don't think having to wring out an engine to 6,000rpm is really in keeping with the family-friendly appeal of the CX-30.

In fact, on a cross-country driving route, you'd perhaps expect more performance from the e-SkyActiv X over its slower counterpart. The mild-hybrid system is more noticeable in the slower car, and the little nudge of acceleration it gives when you put your foot down helps it to feel a little more responsive.

Try the e-SkyActiv G before commiting to an X. You'll be more than satisfied with the two-wheel drive configuration with the manual gearbox, too, aiming for a Sport Lux or GT Sport trim for plenty of equipment, technology and driver conveniences.

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