Albany Extra


CX-30 has host of options

- Ewan Kennedy

The Mazda CX-30 is an SUV that sits neatly between the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 in size and price.

These days many so-called SUVs are only driven by two wheels — the CX-30 is offered with a choice between two and all-wheel-drive.

At the media launch of the CX-30, we spent two days and almost 500km driving in Melbourne traffic, as well as on country roads and motorways on a roundabout trip to Cape Schenk.

Now we’ve completed another 450km during our week with the Mazda in our home area on the Gold Coast.

Our test car was a Touring with the 2.5-litre powerplant.

The shape of the CX-30 is similar to the Mazda3 hatch and, interestin­gly, is no taller. However, we feel the CX-30 has a sportier look than the CX-3, with a silhouette that’s almost coupe-like.

Eight exterior colours are offered: Polymetal Grey Metallic, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Machine Grey Metallic, Sonic Silver Metallic, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Titanium Flash Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica and Jet Black Mica.

High-spec interiors are offered in the Touring and Astina models; a Rich Brown colour scheme, paired with either black leather or Pure White leather trim. Pure and Evolve have a navy blue and black cloth combinatio­n.

Power is provided by either a 2.0litre petrol, with 114kW and 200Nm, or a 2.5-litre petrol (139kW/252Nm). The smaller engine drives the front wheels, the larger either the front or all four wheels. Transmissi­on is by a sixspeed automatic.

Mazda’s impressive Skyactiv X engine won’t be offered in the CX-30 until the second half of the year in Australia. We are really looking forward to testing it as it takes a whole new direction in petrol engine design, being a sort-of diesel at times.

Low fuel consumptio­n will be its biggest engineerin­g feature.

The horizontal 8.8-inch screen gives access to the Mazda Connect infotainme­nt system which integrates satellite navigation as standard, and phone-mirroring technologi­es Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

We find the slim infotainme­nt screen too skinny as it doesn't show far enough ahead to plan ahead in your navigation accurately. There’s a big emphasis by Mazda on keeping drivers out of trouble if they’re paying more attention to their phones than their driving.

The clever Driver Monitoring system watches the driver’s face and tells them to wake up to themselves.

The CX-30 has front cross-traffic alert, blindspot monitoring, smart brake support, traffic sign recognitio­n and radar cruise control with Stop & Go.

There’s good space for four adults in legroom and head space.

The smallish centre-rear seat is not unusual in this size class in that it’s hampered for foot-room by the central tunnel.

The boot is a reasonable size but the semi-coupe roofline means it may not be able to carry items such as large boxes that can fit into convention­al SUVs. Then again, the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 are on offer should you need to haul more gear.

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