12th October 2020
The compact crossover class is fit to bursting with very able, cost-effective and practical contenders for your cash. So what makes Mazda think the CX-30 that pitched up this morning should stand out in a crowded class? Well, it’s a handsome devil, to start with, but this one also comes with a 2.0-litre petrol engine that’s more than a little unusual in a sector becoming dominated by small capacity three-cylinder motors. An interesting week beckons.
This particular CX-30 is a GT Sport complete with 180hp 2.0-litre petrol motor and six-speed manual gearbox. It’s two-wheel drive and gets from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds, so it’s no slouch. It feels lively on a mix of local country and A-roads today as I head into Stirling. A trip this afternoon to Perth also shows it’s nippy at motorway speeds and is returning a very decent 46mpg at a constant 70mph cruise on the A9 with its plethora of average speed cameras.
Football training this evening for my son and CX-30’s 422-litre standard boot is more than a match for the usual clutter of bags, boots and balls. Like most crossovers, the load sill is a bit higher than ideal for hefting in weightier items, but the upside is a cargo bay with no intrusions and an ideal rectangular shape. Drop the 60-40 split rear seats and there’s a flat floor and loads of room.
Another afternoon of carting the kids from A to B via X. Both break their usual vow of silence on anything vaguely useful for a road test report and comment on rear seat belts being the perfect height for them to be comfortable. I’m impressed at their scientific rigour, but the moment passes and the usual chat about football/ballet/Fortnite/Shopkins resumes.
For all the high tech-ery going on under the bonnet with the Skyactiv-X petrol engine to deliver strong economy and fine performance, the CX-30’s dash is a paragon of simplicity. I like the clear dials and lack of multi-configurable screens other than the central display that lets you flick through vital stats. This type of information display also makes it so much easier to read at a glance when you don’t have to search for the relevant section.
After dropping my son off for rugby training this morning, I spotted this careworn Morris Minor. After a quick look, I ended up chatting to the owner for a minute and discovered it’s in regular use as an everyday car. It’s very pleasing to my mind to find a car being enjoyed and used in exactly the way its maker intended 60 years on from when this car first hit the roads.
A quiet section of country road and a chance to enjoy the 2.0-litre motor in the CX-30. As we expect of a Mazda, the engine loves to rev and pulls in a very linear fashion. It’s not the most potent at low revs, which means dropping a gear on slower inclines where a diesel would lug along happily. Otherwise, the CX-30 GT Sport is very appealing and, for company users, has lower CO2 emissions of 133g/km compared to the 122hp 2.0-litre petrol model.