The locally assembled Mazda CX-30 was launched in March this year, and is offered in four variants with front-wheel-drive and the 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine which produces 162hp and 213Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Our test drive unit was the most pricey CX-30 High Plus Premium variant, which is tagged at around RM161,409 and comes with exclusive extras like a frameless rearview mirror, 360-degree surround-view camera system, Adaptive LED headlamps (increases visibility at night), Front Cross Traffic Alert (checks both sides of the vehicle at intersections) as well as Cruising and Traffic Support or CTS (automatically operates the acceleration and braking system to maintain a proper trailing distance to the vehicle in front, and assists with steering to keep the car in the correct lane).
As for physical size, the CX-30 is essentially a taller version of the Mazda3 liftback and slots between the smaller CX-3 and bigger CX-5 SUVs.
We had the car for four days, and drove on a mix of highways and town roads, in both smooth-flowing and congested traffic conditions.
The CX-30 which has a 51-litre fuel tank, delivered quite decent fuel consumption data based on the 386km of motoring fun we enjoyed.
It should be noted that we are heavy-footed drivers and used the car’s Sport mode occasionally for better acceleration and a more spirited motoring experience.
When we returned the CX-30, the fuel consumption indicator showed 10.4km per litre, and a remaining travel range of 110km.
Also standard on the CX-30 is G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) which offers more confidence-inspiring controllability during cornering, high-speed lane changes and wet road conditions.
The CX-30 runs on Toyo Proxes R56 tyres sized 215/55 R18, and the well-tuned suspension strikes a nice balance between comfort and sportiness.
Road ruts and bumps, irregularities on badly maintained surfaces on Old Klang Road were well soaked up.
Mazda says its CX-30 developers aimed for “high-quality quietness” and we think they delivered, as road and wind noise is quite muted in the cabin.
The NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) levels are quite good, and the CX-30 delivers a refined drive.
At the same time, the 2.0-litre powertrain delivers a peppy and fun-to-drive response when you step harder on the accelerator pedal.
The SUV feels nimble and athletic, and the electric power steering is effortless and accurate.
While there is an 8.8-inch display screen with voice recognition, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, some users may gripe about the lack of touchscreen functionality.
The infotainment interface relies on a Commander Control knob and buttons in the centre console.
As for storing luggage, there are 430 litres of space in the rear, as well as cup holders, door bins and a deep storage box, which doubles as an armrest, between the front seats.
A powered tailgate (only the base CX-30 variant doesn’t have this) as well as an auto hold function and an electric parking brake are other nice features.
The eight-speaker audio system delivers crisp and high-quality sound, while the 360-degree surround view camera set-up makes parking a lot easier in tighter spaces.
The interior has a premium ambience with leather upholstery, soft-touch materials and smooth, polished surfaces.
We found ample rear legroom, and also more than adequate rear headroom for 1.7-metre people.
In summary, the CX-30 High Plus Premium variant is a compact SUV which makes long-distance driving enjoyable and delivers an inspiring brew of sporty handling, an upscale interior and a generous array of advanced safety features.
Mazda CX-30 2.0G High Plus Premium
Engine: 1,998cc, SkyActiv-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve, 4-cylinders with VVT (variable valve timing), direct injection
Maximum power: 162hp at 6,000rpm
Maximum torque: 213Nm at 4,000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic with manual shift mode
Suspension: MacPherson struts (front); torsion beam (rear)
Features: All-round disc brakes, LED headlights with Signature Illumination and automatic on/off function and levelling, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, powered sunroof with sliding and tilt glass, front and rear parking sensors, electronic parking brake (EPB), heads-up display, paddle shifters, dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, rear air vents, powered driver’s seat with memory function, leather seats, 8.8-inch display screen with voice recognition, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, 8 audio speakers, 2 USB ports, 360-degree surround-view camera system, Stop/Start Idling technology, G-Vectoring Control Plus
Safety features: 7 airbags, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), traction control, Hill Launch Assist, Auto Hold function, Walk Away Lock
Advanced safety features: Adaptive LED headlamps, Blind Spot Monitoring, Front and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert, Smart Brake Support (front and rear), Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Cruising and Traffic Support (CTS)
Price: RM161,409 with Premium colours (on the road without insurance)
Warranty: 5 years manufacturer’s warranty or 100,000km (whichever is first), 5 years free maintenance including labour, parts and lubricants or 100,000km (whichever is first)