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Mazda CX-30 2024 review: G25 GT SP long-term | Part 1

A sunroof, sporty alloys and 'Soul Red Crystal Metallic' paint make the CX-30 look proper premium.

Much like the world’s most talked-about pop star, my long-term Mazda CX-30 has been through some eras - two of them, so far, in its first month with me.

I picked up this CX-30 GT SP Vision in mid-December 2023, and within 18 hours was on a plane to spend the holiday break in my home state of Queensland.

By the time I was back in Melbourne, the CX-30 had remained still for almost two weeks. But since then, it’s been quite the opposite.

I can’t say for sure there’s been a day it hasn’t moved. It's even been on two road trips.

In fact, a day trip to the beach and a weekend at a music festival, plus some other day-to-day driving has resulted in a touch under 900km travelled in about a fortnight.

The gentle but long trips were good for the CX-30, since the small SUV had only just been run-in by the time it came into my custody. And while this specific example is still very new, the GT SP variant is quite new, too.

Sitting near the top of the CX-30 range, a notch below the top-spec Azami, the GT SP was added to the range for 2024 and comes with goodies like a wireless phone charger. Sitting near the top of the CX-30 range, a notch below the top-spec Azami, the GT SP was added to the range for 2024 and comes with goodies like a wireless phone charger.

Sitting near the top of the CX-30 range, a notch below the top-spec Azami, the GT SP was added to the range for 2024 and comes with goodies like heated 'Burgundy' leather seats and steering wheel, a sunroof, wireless phone charger and sporty black exterior trim.

It being near the top of the range also means it scores Mazda’s 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen. Specific to the car I have, which includes the 'Vision Pack', is a surround-view parking monitor, driver monitoring and front cross-traffic alert.

Aren't I a lucky boy!

The Mazda CX-30 being near the top of the range also means it scores Mazda’s 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen. The Mazda CX-30 being near the top of the range also means it scores Mazda’s 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen.

Furthermore, the GT SP is available in front- or all-wheel drive, though both use the same 139kW/252Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. My CX-30 is the AWD.

All of that means this isn’t at the cheapest end of the small SUV market, with the test car coming in at $45,490, before on-road costs. Without the Vision Pack, it’s $44,190.

Oh, one more thing, and it’s certainly not least important about this car, is the colour. Mazda’s 'Soul Red Crystal Metallic' is my favourite (relatively accessible) colour available on a new car - and one that swipes an extra $595 from one’s pocket when ticking the box. 

  • 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Practicality 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Practicality
  • 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Practicality 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Practicality
  • 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Practicality 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Practicality

The other (same) additional cost paint colours are shades of metallic grey or a semi-military ‘Zircon Sand Metallic’, but Soul Crystal is by far the most vibrant colour you can have a CX-30 in, plus it goes well with the red leather interior and black trim, including the black 18-inch alloy wheels.

What I’m saying is the CX-30 GT SP strikes me, so far, as a car you buy when you don’t need something ostentatious, but you have the luxury of being able to splash a bit of extra cash for comfort.

After all, the CX-30 range kicks off at $32,990 for the Pure, which still looks sleek even without all the extra kit, or you could have a hybrid Hyundai Kona for $40,000, or a Corolla Cross hybrid for $230 more.

  • Black 18-inch alloy wheels. Black 18-inch alloy wheels.
  • This isn’t at the cheapest end of the small SUV market, with the test car coming in at $45,490, before on-road costs. This isn’t at the cheapest end of the small SUV market, with the test car coming in at $45,490, before on-road costs.
  • Mazda’s 'Soul Red Crystal Metallic' is my favourite (relatively accessible) colour available on a new car - and one that swipes an extra $595 from one’s pocket when ticking the box.  Mazda’s 'Soul Red Crystal Metallic' is my favourite (relatively accessible) colour available on a new car - and one that swipes an extra $595 from one’s pocket when ticking the box. 
  • The only small SUV that outsold the CX-30 was the MG ZS. The only small SUV that outsold the CX-30 was the MG ZS.

Even the style-focused Mazda MX-30, which effectively comes across as a funkier but less convenient CX-30, starts from $36,610, and that has a 48V 'M-Hybrid' system in its drivetrain.

But the sales figures speak for themselves. The CX-30 sold in numbers of 13,115 last year, the MX-30 only 580. The only small SUV that outsold the CX-30 was the MG ZS, which can chalk up a significant portion of its 29,258 sales last year to its position as the cheapest car in the segment, starting at $23,990.

While I still have two months ahead to work out if it’s worth spending almost twice that on a high-end CX-30 for the design and the features, I can confidently say the CX-30 has made a strong first impression.

Passengers on a hot-day trip to a music festival held not far from the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road were impressed by the CX-30’s looks, as well as how much space was available inside for humans and luggage alike. Passengers on a hot-day trip to a music festival held not far from the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road were impressed by the CX-30’s looks, as well as how much space was available inside for humans and luggage alike.

Passengers on a hot-day beach trip in early January, as well as a (similarly hot day) trip to a music festival held not far from the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road were impressed by the CX-30’s looks, as well as how much space was available inside for humans and luggage alike.

While its 317 litres isn’t the most space in a boot for even a small SUV - the Toyota Corolla Cross boasts 414L for example - it’s enough space to lug three humans and their camping gear for a weekend festival - or even a vintage Peugeot road bike if you have a quick-release wheel. A Peugeot in a Mazda!

  • 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot
  • 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot
  • 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot
  • 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot
  • 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot 2024 Mazda CX-30 G25 GT SP I Boot

Not annoying, yet at least given the weather, is the leather in an Australian summer - I can’t foresee the heated seats and steering wheel getting much use.

What might get a little more use than some would like, however, is petrol. The 2.5-litre engine, while benefiting from being plenty gutsy enough for day-to-day use, also drinks a touch more than the 2.0-litre, and a little more as an AWD than FWD.

A front-drive 2.0-litre sips 6.3L/100km according to Mazda, while a FWD 2.5-litre uses 6.6L, and my all-wheel drive should drink 6.8L/100km.

The CX-30 GT SP strikes me, so far, as a car you buy when you don’t need something ostentatious, but you have the luxury of being able to splash a bit of extra cash for comfort. The CX-30 GT SP strikes me, so far, as a car you buy when you don’t need something ostentatious, but you have the luxury of being able to splash a bit of extra cash for comfort.

With at least two passengers for each of the two long trips already taken in the GT SP, and a significant amount of luggage for one of them, it’s understandable then that my long-term testing has so far returned a figure of 8.2L/100km, especially given the size of the naturally aspirated four.

That’s an average of two filled tanks, with figures measured at the pump, one at 8.36L and one at 8.07L. Of course, I’ll be keeping an eye out and seeing how low the Mazda’s consumption can get over the next couple of months of more inevitable trips with friends.

 

Acquired: December, 2023

Distance travelled this month: 895km

Odometer: 1971km

Average fuel consumption this month: 8.20L/100km (measured at the pump)

No Verdict / score until final instalment

$44,340

Based on new car retail price

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