Mazda’s Sport Activity Vehicle, the CX-30

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The world has gone SUV and crossover mad. As an example, Mercedes-Benz has eight options alone! Not all the manufactures are that varied. As part of the craze, there are now various style iterations, which include coupe-like silhouettes. The newest introduction to the Mazda SUV family is the CX-30, a compact SUV that slots in between the smaller CX-3 and the larger, more family-oriented CX-5. It’s similar looking to the CX-5, albeit it slightly smaller, lower and with a sleek coupe profile.

Following the launch of the all-new Mazda3, the Mazda CX-30 is the second model in Mazda’s next-generation lineup. These two vehicles share a platform, albeit the CX-30 rides 35mm higher off the road. Note, this is not a tall vehicle, and the ride height is only slightly higher than a standard sedan or hatch. The upside is that the CX-30 keeps the dynamic driving prowess of the sporty Mazda3.

Aimed at young urban peoplewho, as a group, are approaching significant life transitions, the Mazda CX-30 was engineered to make those who drive it feel like it was made just for them. Unfortunately, this feeling doesn’t come cheap! In fact, the CX-30 is priced around R500 000, which means it overlaps in this department with its larger sibling – the CX-5. This can cause buyers to overlook the CX-30 as a result.

Locally, the CX-30 model lineup consists of three derivatives, offered in front-wheel drive (FWD) and automatic transmission: Active, Dynamic and Individual. The Mazda CX-30 range is powered by a 2.0L SKYACTIV-G engine, which puts out 121kW of power (at 6,000rpm) and 213Nm of torque (at 4,000rpm), and features Mazda’s characteristic generous standard equipment across the entire range. It is a punchy free-revving motor that is mated to a decent 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Every car across the range comes standard with high-grade features such as LED headlamps with auto levelling; driver, passenger, knee (sriver), side and curtain airbags; Head-Up Display (HUD); MZD Connect infotainment system with an 8.8-Inch Display Screen; Apple Carplay™ and Android Auto™, to name a few. The Mazda CX-30 offers a choice of nine exterior colours. Active and Dynamic grades feature 16-inch grey metallic alloy wheels, while the Individual grade features 18-inch silver metallic alloy wheels.

I am a fan of Mazda’s exterior design, which is beautifully matched with a comfortable, premium-feeling interior. There is minimalistic elegance about the interior   components like the driver-centric cockpit, centre console and door panelling are beautifully crafted, and the CX-30 delivers on the ‘Jinba Ittai’ car and driver as one ethos you would expect from Mazda. The Active and Dynamic grades feature a dark grey cloth seat trim with black and navy-blue accents on the dashboard. The Dynamic grade is also available with an optional greige cloth seat trim. The Individual is equipped with black perforated leather seats featuring black and brown accents on the dashboard.

Since its launch in 2019, the Mazda CX-30 has received many accolades, including: winner of the Car of the Year 2020 in Thailand, winner of the 2020 Red Dot Design Award, earned five stars and the highest safety rating in the Euro NCAP, won the 2020 Design Trophy in the SUV category in Germany, and being a finalist for the 2020 World Car of the Year Award. The question begs: is it better than its competitors? Aesthetically, the CX-30 gets brownie points – and dynamically too. From a performance and equipment level perspective thing become more on par with the competition. Finally, the sordid topic of coin – the CX-30 being pricey, gives it a below average mark in that department.

With that said, I’d consider the CX-30 and take it for a test drive in and amongst those competitors I have listed below.


The competition

Honda HR-V, Hyundai Creta, KIA Seltos, Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 2008, Toyota C-HR and VE T-Roc



CX-30 Active                     R 469 000

CX-30 Dynamic                 R 499 000

CX-30 Individual               R 540 000


Service and warranty  

The Mazda CX-30 comes standard with a 3-year unlimited kilometre service plan. To supply complete peace of mind motoring, a 3-year factory warranty, a 3-year roadside help and a 5-year Corrosion Warranty are also included.

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