In a highly competitive segment, the CX-30 is one slick-looking small SUV. In fact, depending on your opinion, it could be the most attractive of all.
Up front, the CX-30 is unmistakably a Mazda, with the lower edge of its large grille trimmed in chrome, which also props up the slim LED headlights that the G20 Touring FWD unfortunately pairs with halogen daytime running lights.
Around the side the G20 Touring FWD rolls on a nice set of 18-inch alloy wheels, which are wrapped in 215/55 tyres. The fastback style of the CX-30 is also most apparent here, with its roofline quickly tailing off.
At the rear, the G20 Touring FWD’s signature LED tail-lights are prominent, positioned up high on the chunky tailgate, while a rear spoiler adds some sportiness, as do its dual exhaust tailpipes.
Of course, we’re yet to acknowledge the elephant in the room: the CX-30’s love for black plastic cladding. It lays it on thick all the way around to make it obvious that it’s a crossover. Call us crazy, but I think it works in this instance, even if I'm in the minority.
Inside, the CX-30’s two-tone look could be just as divisive, depending on your feelings toward brown, which contrasts with the black (or optional white) leather-accented upholstery and soft-touch and hard plastics in the G20 Touring FWD.
If you ask me, the brown isn’t as jarring as the blue in the CX-30’s entry-level Pure and Evolve grades, but it’s the overall high quality of its interior that should be getting all of the attention.
The switchgear feels superb, and the steering wheel’s stalks are beautifully damped. Better yet, the steering wheel and armrests across both rows are generously padded. We could go on and on about how luxurious all of the little things feel.
Anyway, a 7.0-inch multifunction display is also a welcome inclusion, with it positioned between a traditional tachometer and speedometer, although its functionality is rather limited when to compared to most digital instrument clusters.
Yep, Mazda has doubled down on the rotary controller (with shortcut buttons) that it previously exclusively championed. While somewhat controversial, it’s the right move from a safety perspective, so too is the persistence with a row of physical climate controls.
What I'm not so sure about, though, is the widescreen format of the central panel it operates, with it looking particularly skinny when using the G20 Touring FWD’s in-built satellite navigation or smartphone mirroring (wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).
Similarly, the G20 Touring FWD’s windshield-projected head-up display is too small to be completely legible, which is frustrating because it is otherwise well positioned.