Tested: 2021 Mazda CX-30

Do you remember that kid in school who happily played by themselves? Maybe later you met a friend or colleague who confidently danced to their own tune? Well, in my humble opinion, that’s what Mazda is doing.

The automotive world has become incredibly reactionary – trying to predict the next trend as quickly as possible. Be it electrification, self-driving, intelligent infotainment – or, heaven forbid – all of the above, every car manufacturer appears to be clambering for a spot on the gravy train of EV’s and adaptive everything.

Mazda? They seem to be sitting in a Zen garden to find the next perfect proportion for their beautiful automobiles. And while other car makers are trying to out-do each other with the number of gears in their twin-clutch transmissions, Mazda simply grabbed an old torque convertor auto-box and focused on interior design.

This new CX30 really looks stunning, inside and out. Be it the multi-level light clusters or sharp nose, excellent cabin materials or modern dash layout… there is a lot of beauty to be found in this new Japanese. Variable scroll turbochargers? Ehh, not so much. Again, Mazda chose the trusted tech of a naturally-breathing engine.

Is that a copout or timeous error? I’ll reserve my judgement on that because, as mentioned in previous Mazda reviews, I find the combination of striking design, modern gadgets but old (bulletproof) drive-trains a very wholesome one. It may not appeal to speed freaks, although I hasten to add that this car will rev very nicely when asked to.

Yes, even at Khomas altitudes.

Thanks to a displacement of around two litres, there’s also a fair amount of torque (213Nm) for the six-speed automatic gearbox to work with. There may not be as much mid-range punch as with turbo-fed rivals, but the power delivery of its 121kW is smoother and more linear. Fuel consumption? Pretty much the same as a smaller turbo mill.

Of course that depends on your driving style, but Mazda claims average consumption of 6.6L/100km from the 51L tank. Our best (of two) 0-100km/h acceleration runs took 11.09 seconds while 400m passed in 17.83 seconds at 129.97km/h.

The brakes are equally impressive with a sole emergency stopping test absolved in 3.29 seconds and 44.15m. Next in line to receive my approval were the comfortable cloth seats in a welcoming beige pattern, as well as the fairly pliant but responsive suspension. Sporty handling meets a comfortable ride in the new CX-30.

As with most modern vehicles, the infotainment system is crammed full of communication, audio and info goodies which require a bit of practise to find; or operate. Most controls were easy to figure out and I took great delight in this Mazda’s half-digital gauge cluster with a very comprehensive trip computer.

More praise can be heaped onto the quality of the sound system, the wonderfully fine chrome details of some switchgear, the driver’s seat and steering wheel adjustments, as well as general noise insulation. For those seeking the luxury of leather furniture (or additional toys) there are two more posh models above this 2.0 Active test car.

Speaking of which, prices start at around 470,000 and include a three-year warranty and service plan; without any mileage limitations. If that’s not enticing enough, I guarantee that the new CX-30’s looks, quality and ride will impress you. There’s only one way to find out though… at your nearest Mazda dealer.

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