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Mazda CX-30 2020 review: G20 Pure

The Mazda CX-30 looks modern and fresh compared to the older designs in the Mazda line-up.

Mazda has introduced a new SUV to its line-up, that sits in between the ubiquitous CX-5 and the smaller CX-3. It’s called the CX-30 and is for those who want a bit more room than the CX-3 (which to be honest I’ve never really considered big enough for a family), but don’t want to up-size completely to a CX-5. 

It’s in competition with the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Seltos and Honda HR-V. I drove the base model, the Mazda CX-30 G20 Pure which costs from $29,990, before on road costs. I drove it with my family over a week to see how it performed. 

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✅ How does it look?

I think Mazda's upped the ante with this model, it definitely looks fresher than the CX-5 and the CX-3. It has that whole tapered, sporty back thing going on that really updates their old shape.

It’s more in the Toyota C-HR territory looks-wise, but not too crazy, because it’s still Mazda and it still looks respectable enough for my mother to drive it. 

The CX-30 looks fresher than the CX-5 and the CX-3. The CX-30 looks fresher than the CX-5 and the CX-3.

Inside looks good, and I wouldn’t have guessed this was a base model on first glance. There are cloth seats which are comfortable and don’t feel budget at all.

But there is a fair bit of man-made material on the dash, doors and steering wheel which can bring things down a notch. Still, at this price I’d be more inclined to pick up this model for the modern styling than, say, a Mazda3 sedan

Inside, I wouldn’t have guessed this was a base model on first glance. Inside, I wouldn’t have guessed this was a base model on first glance.

The centre console is designed nicely and clearly set out, and even with the large controller for the multimedia the design is functional. It felt good to sit in on the road.

✅ How does it drive?

Reliably. Not stunningly, but well enough that an everyday drive around suburbia feels good. It’s relatively smooth, the steering is evenly weighted and though it doesn’t exactly zoom up hills, it’s not super slow either. 

There is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine which is good if you’re using the car to drive from school to work and home again. It’s not amazingly powerful but there are others in the range with bigger engines if that’s what you’re after.

The 2.0-litre four cylinder engine produces 114kW/200Nm. The 2.0-litre four cylinder engine produces 114kW/200Nm.

Being the base model, it’s a basic drive that does the job perfectly fine. This one is a 2WD model but again, if you're after AWD you can go up in the range. 

Parking is good in the CX-30 as the size hasn’t ventured up to CX-5 and definitely not CX-9 levels. The reverse parking camera is a decent resolution and my test car also had a 360-degree surround view camera to help you see all around the car (as part of the $1500 Vision Technology pack). 

✅ How spacious is it?

It’s great in the front, you can definitely feel that it’s more spacious than a CX-3. Long legs will have room to stretch and there is enough head space for taller folks, too. And you don’t feel cramped in the front like you can in smaller cars. 

The back was good for my two children, aged six and eight, so if you’ve got a young family of four you’ll be fine in this car. If you have giant teenagers or you want to fit adults in the back, it’s not as spacious as you’d hope.

If you have giant teenagers or you want to fit adults in the back, it’s not as spacious as you’d hope. If you have giant teenagers or you want to fit adults in the back, it’s not as spacious as you’d hope.

I can fit in there at 161cm (5'3") but there’s not a huge amount of space between my knees and the seat in front so I think taller people, though fine for short journeys, might not want to sit in the back row for hours. 

The boot is not huge. At 317 litres it’s definitely bigger than the Mazda CX-3, and bigger than the Mazda3 hatchback, but not as big as some of the competitors like the Nissan Qashqai and the Honda HR-V. 

It does fit the bulky CarsGuide pram easily though, unlike the CX-3, which makes a huge difference if you’re a family with a baby. There was also room to spare for school bags and grocery bags. 

  • With the rear seats in place, boot space is rated at 317-litres. With the rear seats in place, boot space is rated at 317-litres.
  • The boot can fit the bulky CarsGuide pram. The boot can fit the bulky CarsGuide pram.

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

It’s quite a practical car with all the basics covered but no extra bells and whistles to make things more convenient for every day use. The fronts seats are manually adjustable and there is no button to electronically open/close the boot. 

The CX-30 is definitely more spacious than a CX-3. The CX-30 is definitely more spacious than a CX-3.

There are two cupholders in the front, a small spot for keys and a phone, a centre storage bin and bottle holders in each door.

Rear passengers miss out on air vents and this model doesn’t have cupholders in the back either, but you'll find both of those on models higher in the range.

✅ What’s the tech like?

The good news: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the range. Plug in and you’re instantly connected to your phone’s main apps.

However, like other Mazdas, the 8.8-inch multimedia screen is not a touchscreen, it’s controlled by the large rotary controller on the centre console.

The 8.8-inch multimedia screen is controlled by the large rotary knob on the centre console. The 8.8-inch multimedia screen is controlled by the large rotary knob on the centre console.

The controller works really well so it isn’t much of a problem, but it is weird when you know other cars are mostly all touchscreens, especially with the screen looking like your smartphone but missing touchscreen integration. Still, it’s not a deal breaker. Everything works well and I didn’t have any issues with it this week. 

✅ How safe is it?

The CX-30 has a full suite of safety including auto emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, active cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and driver drowsiness warning.

Our test car was fitted with a 'Vision Technology' safety pack, for $1500, which has 360-degree surround view camera, front parking sensors, 'Cruising and Traffic Support' (with a degree of semi-autonomous driving at lower speeds), a driver monitoring camera and front cross traffic alert.

You’ll also get two ISOFIX points and three top tether points to fix kids car seats in, plus six airbags for safety. The CX-30 was assessed by ANCAP in 2019, and scored a full, five-star rating.

✅ How much does it cost to own?

The Mazda CX-30 G20 Pure costs $29,990, before on road costs, and extras. Fuel consumption is a claimed 6.5L/100km and for me on this week of testing it did 6.8L/100km which is still good. I drove it through suburbia and also had a few long highway drives. 

It's covered by Mazda's five year/unlimited km warranty  and servicing is required every 12 months/10,000km - which is a bit shorter than the usual 12 months/15,000km.


The Wrap

The Mazda CX-30 G20 Pure is a good family car if you use it to drive to nearby places and don't need a hugely powerful engine. It safely gets you from A to B with more interior and boot space than the CX-3, while still not being as big as the CX-5. 

It has good technology and looks stylish. I gave it a family rating of 7.6 out of 10 and my children gave it a 7.0. It's just the right size for them. 

Likes

Exterior design
Advanced safety
Good value

Dislikes

Engine not hugely powerful
No AWD on this model
Modest rear room

Scores

Nedahl:

3.8

The Kids:

3.5

$29,990

Based on new car retail price

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