Mazda CX-30 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 rear cornering
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior dashboard
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior rear seats
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior front seats
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior infotainment
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 front left tracking
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 rear right tracking
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 front left static
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 rear right static
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 alloy wheel detail
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 headlight detail
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 rear lights detail
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior front seats
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior detail
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 boot open
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 rear cornering
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior dashboard
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior rear seats
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior front seats
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior infotainment
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 front left tracking
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 rear right tracking
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 front cornering
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 front left static
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 rear right static
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 alloy wheel detail
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 headlight detail
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 rear lights detail
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior front seats
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 interior detail
  • Mazda CX-30 2022 boot open
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What Car? says...

The Mazda CX-30 name is more than a little confusing. There isn't another SUV in Mazda's current portfolio that has a higher number in its name, yet the CX-30 isn't Mazda's biggest SUV.

No, that gong goes to the Mazda CX-5, while the smaller CX-30 slots neatly into our family SUV category. Still with us at the back? Hopefully. Anyway, you may not have twigged from looking at it, but the CX-30 is based on the Mazda 3 family hatchback, so it’s actually compact enough to feel at home in the city.

Its size and price put it up against some tough rivals, including the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq, while the pricier upper trim levels step on the coat-tails of the Volvo XC40.

Under the bonnet, Mazda gives you a choice of two 2.0-litre petrol engines, both of which use mild hybrid technology. A small electric motor and 24-volt lithium-ion battery work together with the petrol engine to improve its efficiency and responses at low speeds.

Both engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but there's an optional six-speed automatic. The most powerful engine also gives you the choice of four-wheel drive on higher-spec trims, in case you want or need a bit more traction in slippery conditions.

In this review, we'll tell you what the Mazda CX-30 is like on the road and exactly how posh and spacious its interior is. We'll also make quality and performance comparisons with the Ateca, Karoq and XC40 to help you decide which of the family SUVs out there is right for you.

Don't forget, if you do decide to buy a CX-30 – or any other new vehicle that catches your eye – you could bag a bargain and save yourself thousands of pounds without having to do any painful haggling. Simply use our free What Car? New Car Buying service, which has some excellent new family SUV deals.


If you’re after an SUV with a high-end interior, lots of kit and an economical petrol engine, the Mazda CX-30 should definitely be on your shortlist. But it comes with quite a few shortfalls to be a real contender, such as its lack of low-end performance, tight rear passenger space and relatively small boot. The Skoda Karoq is a much more rounded proposition.

  • Fantastic interior quality
  • Strong resale values and economical engines
  • Well equipped
  • Rear seats have limited flexibility
  • Boot is small with no clever features
  • Engines need working hard

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

To be honest, neither engine in the Mazda CX-30 is the best in the class. We much prefer the turbocharged petrol engines in the Seat Ateca, Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008. They have more guts at low to medium revs, which makes them more relaxing to drive.

The entry-level 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv G is the pick of the range, mainly because it keeps the price low. With 120bhp, it'll accelerate from 0-62mph in around 10.6sec, which is hardly any quicker than the 1.0 TSI 110 engine in the Karoq. Despite having twice the engine capacity, the CX-30 only feels quicker when you push it past 4000rpm.

On paper, the 184bhp 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv X engine will hit 0-62mph in 8.3sec. It does feel more lively, but not by enough to warrant spending the extra cash, and you still have to rev it out to feel any of its pace advantage. The 1.5 TSI 150 engine in the Ateca and the 1.6 T-GDI in the Kia Sportage are much stronger and require fewer changes down a gear to get going.

Suspension and ride comfort

The CX-30 has a slightly firm ride that remains settled most of the time but begins to thump over sharper potholes. 

Versions of the car with bigger wheels and all-wheel-drive are slightly worse, so stick to the front-wheel-drive entry-level models with smaller 16in alloy wheels if you can. Or better still, go for a Nissan Qashqai or a Karoq instead – they're both much calmer to cruise around in.

The upside of the CX-30’s firmness is that there’s little of the float and wallow you get in some cars on fast, undulating roads that can induce nausea.

Mazda CX-30 2022 rear cornering


The CX-30's steering doesn't feel particularly quick, but it is precise and has a more reassuring, progressive weight build-up than the Qashqai's. Its taut suspension means there's minimal body lean when you scythe through twists and turns. 

The harder you push, though, the less impressive it becomes. The CX-30 runs out of front-end grip earlier than the Karoq, while our handling benchmark in the family SUV class, the Ateca, is much more agile and satisfying to drive spiritedly.

Noise and vibration

The CX-30’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines are generally smoother and quieter than the smallest 1.0 TSI three-cylinder engines offered in the Ateca and Karoq. There’s a small amount of gearbox whine during low-speed acceleration, but the engine remains muted and the stop-start system operates smoothly.

Occupants are fairly well insulated from wind and road noise, although the Qashqai is more hushed at motorway speeds. There's also the odd thump and thud from the CX-30's rear suspension over bumps.

The brake pedal is easy to meter and the manual gearbox's gear lever has a really pleasant action. The clutch bite point is less agreeable because it's not as clearly defined as we'd like, but it's a better set-up than you get in the Peugeot 3008.


The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

The Mazda CX-30 gives you a wide range of adjustments for the supportive seat and steering wheel, so almost everyone should be able to get comfortable. There's even a tilt adjustment for the front seat bases, although only the top two trims have adjustable lumbar support. It’ll disappoint anyone who wants an SUV-style raised driving position – it’s barely any loftier than the Mazda 3 hatchback. You’ll be much higher up in a Nissan Qashqai or Skoda Karoq.

Still, in an age of ever more complicated touch-sensitive buttons for basic controls, the CX-30 is a breath of fresh air. It gives you good old-fashioned switches and knobs for the heating and stereo, allowing you to find all the controls by feel once you’ve familiarised yourself with where they are. That reduces the need to take your eyes off the road.

Part-digital dials are standard on all versions. They can’t show the breadth of information of the fully digital dashboards available from Peugeot, Seat and Skoda, but they are crisp and easy to read. Handier still (and rare among family SUVs) is the inclusion of a head-up display on every trim. It puts speed, sat-nav and speed limit information in your line of sight.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

The front pillars could be a little thinner to give you a clearer view when pulling out of junctions, but the CX-30’s rear pillars are by no means the thickest in its class. The small rear windows and relatively small rear screen limit your view rearwards and over your shoulder, though. Seeing out in all directions is easier in the Karoq.

All models get rear parking sensors, with front sensors and a rear-view camera standard on all but the entry-level trim. There’s also an optional bird's eye view camera to give you an overview of your surroundings when manoeuvring, which works very well but is available only on the top-spec GT Sport model.

Every version has LED headlights, while the Sport Lux trim augments these with adaptive LED headlights. You can leave them on main beams and they won't dazzle other road users. 

Mazda CX-30 2022 interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

The CX-30’s infotainment system doesn't have the touchscreen interface that most of its rivals employ. That's a design decision made on the grounds that touchscreens can be distracting to use while driving. We agree, so it's good to see that all versions come with an intuitive rotary controller and shortcut button between the front seats for operating the high-mounted 8.8in infotainment screen. The screen is wide enough, but we'd prefer it to be taller and squarer because the letterbox shape is less useful for looking at sat-nav maps.

Compared with the dashboard-dominating touchscreens of the Seat Ateca, the Karoq and the VW Tiguan, the CX-30's rotary controller is much easier to use while driving and the Mazda software is responsive and easy to navigate. It's beaten by the iDrive software in the BMW X2 though. 

The infotainment system comes with an impressive array of features. All models get DAB radio, Bluetooth, sat-nav, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. The standard eight-speaker sound system is impressive enough, but a more powerful 12-speaker Bose setup is standard with the highest GT Sport trim. It's a shame you don't get wireless phone-charging, a few more USB ports up front and at least one (ideally two) for rear-seat passengers.


We’re not going to beat around the bush: at the entry-level price of the CX-30, no other SUV comes close to its classy solidity. Indeed, you have to jump up to the BMW X1 or Volvo XC40 to get a similar level of plushness.

The dashboard is slathered in squishy, expensive-looking materials, including lashings of leatherette in two colours. Add some classy chrome trim into the mix and it’s a fine place to be. Yes, there are hard plastics lower down, but the standards are still very high when you consider it next to most of the competition.

If you play with the switches, stalks and knobs, you’ll find they all click, turn and move with an expensive feel, too.

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

Even those tall enough to be known as Lurch to their friends will fit into the front of the Mazda CX-30 with room to spare. The seats go back a long way, head room is good and there’s plenty of elbow room.

Interior storage is decent, with two generous cupholders in front of the gearlever, a rubberised cubby in front of that with space for you to empty your pockets into, and decent door pockets with bottle holders. Add in the large cubby under the central front armrest and there’s no shortage of places for all the things you'll need on a journey.

Rear space

Things don’t start well for the CX-30 in this regard because its small rear doors make it trickier to get in and out of the back than is ideal. We’ve yet to try fitting a bulky child seat in the back, but we can’t imagine it's particularly easy.

A long-legged passenger will have adequate room if they’re sitting behind a tall driver, with not much space to stretch out in, while the small windows bring a claustrophobic feel. Head room is ample for two adults sitting bolt upright, but the curve of the roof means it drops off dramatically to the sides. There’s also a floor hump for the middle passenger to contend with.

Overall, the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq are roomier and feel much airier.

Mazda CX-30 2022 interior rear seats

Seat folding and flexibility

Given the increasing choice of family SUVs with sliding and reclining rear benches, the CX-30 disappoints here.

It only gives you a 60/40 split for the folding rear bench, rather than the more practical 40/20/40 split that you get with the Karoq (in SE-L trim and above). You can’t alter the rear backrest angle or slide the bench back or forth, either.

Nor can you fold the bench from the boot, as you can in several rivals, and there’s no fold-flat passenger seat, either as standard or as an option, which would increase practicality. 

Boot space

Although the CX-30 has more boot space than you’ll find in the VW Golf – or most hatchbacks of a similar length – by family SUV standards, it's below average, with 430 litres of space.

That's less boot volume than the Nissan Qashqai offers, and much less than in the Seat Ateca and the Karoq. As a practical comparison, we squeezed six carry-on suitcases into the CX-30's boot, compared with a whopping nine in the Karoq.

Better news is that a variable-height boot floor that can act as a load separator is standard on SE-L Lux trim and above, while a powered tailgate is standard from Sport Lux.

Accessibility & Motability

Usability for people with disability or their carers

Motability - Access

Okay, you don’t buy a rakishly styled SUV such as the Mazda CX-30 expecting the last word in practicality, but nevertheless it needs to be usable. 

Well, the CX-30 gets off to a good start with doors that open to an angle of 66 degrees, but the resultant aperture is a bit small. For example, a Seat Arona (a car that actually belongs to the Small SUV class) has 50mm more between the top of the seat cushion and the top edge of the door frame, so it’s much easier to get into and out of; you’ll definitely have to bend your neck to access the Mazda, and that’s not ideal if mobility is an issue.

The height-adjustable driver’s seat sits a minimum of 606mm and a maximum of 660mm from the ground, so you’ll not have to lower yourself far to take a seat at the beginning of a journey, nor will you have to lift yourself out at journey’s end. However, bear in mind that when the seat is fully raised, headroom will be tight if you’re more than six feet tall. 

Door sills that are 420mm from the ground are perhaps a little higher than might be ideal, and present a bigger step to negotiate than you’ll encounter in a regular hatchback. The footwells are quite deep too, at a full 123mm from the top of the sill, forming another obstacle when exiting the vehicle. 

Anyone with limited mobility will struggle to access the rear seat because the door openings are small and there isn’t a huge amount of head or legroom back there anyway. A Skoda Karoq is much better in this regard. 

Mazda CX-30 2022 interior front seats

Motability - Storage

By family SUV standards the boot is smaller than average, with a total of 430 litres of capacity on offer when the rear seats are occupied, and 1406 litres when they’re folded down (a Karoq, for reference, offers 479 and 1810 litres respectively). 

The boot aperture is a reasonable 740mm tall, which is helpful when you’re loading or unloading bulky items, but if that equipment happens to be a wheelchair, you’ll have to fold it up regardless of whether the rear seats are in use or folded down. That’s is especially disappointing when you consider that even some Small SUVs, such as the Nissan Juke, can accommodate an unfolded wheelchair without you having to lower the rear seats. 

The boot floor sits 90mm lower than the boot lip, which forms a substantial obstacle when it comes to unloading heavy loads. Fortunately, an adjustable false boot floor is provided on some models, and in its raised position eliminates that obstacle. That allows you to simply slide bulky items in and out without having to heave them over a lip.

That false floor also eliminates the floor step that forms when the rear seats are folded down. Meanwhile, actually folding the seats requires just a tug of a lever.

Motability - Ease of use and options

There’s good news here in that the best engine is also the cheapest. 

There really is no need to choose anything other than the 120bhp 2.0-litre engine, which offers reasonable performance and economy. Better still, if you pay a bit extra you can have it with a six-speed automatic gearbox, which changes up and down swiftly and does a reasonable job of second-guessing which gear you want to be in at any given moment.

All CX-30s come with plenty of equipment that will make life easier if your movement is restricted. For example, rear parking sensors are standard on all models, with sensors at the front added if you opt for SE-L Lux trim and up, along with keyless entry and dual-zone climate control.

All cars also get blindspot monitoring, a head-up display, an electronic handbrake with hill hold function, and various systems to keep you in your lane on the road or warn you if you wander out of it. Both front seats also have height-adjustment and the central infotainment system (with standard-fit Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone) can be controlled via the touchscreen itself or with a rotary control dial between the front seats. This is conveniently placed to be worked by the driver’s left hand and is more intuitive than the touchscreen.

Sport Lux models feature a powered tailgate, and GT Sport trim gives you a powered driver’s seat with memory function.

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Lower Mazda CX-30 trim levels broadly match those of the Skoda Karoq on price, but climbing the trim hierarchy brings prices closer to the Volvo XC40. Try our free What Car? New Car Deals buying service to see the discounts available on any of these family SUVs.

If you look beyond its purchase price, the CX-30 is more attractive. PCP rates are competitive without you having to put down a massive deposit, and leasing rates won’t scare a fleet manager away. Neither will the residuals – they're up there with the class-best XC40 and are better than the equivalent Seat Ateca or Skoda Karoq.

Official emissions figures are pretty good, with all CX-30 engines undercutting the Karoq and XC40 for like-for-like average economy. The e-Skyactiv X has lower emissions than the e-Skyactiv G, and is also better for fuel economy (the combined WLTP figures are 49.6mpg and 47.9mpg). There's no plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or electric car option, though. If you want low company car tax you should have a look at the PHEV or electric options in the Kia Sportage and XC40 range.

Equipment, options and extras

Mazda CX-30 2022 interior infotainment

There are five trim levels to choose from for the CX-30 and all are well-equipped. The minimum standard is 16in alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, adaptive cruise control that keeps a constant gap between you and the car in front, air conditioning and a head-up driver’s display. 

Our recommendation is to step up one trim from entry-level SE-L to SE-L Lux. Doing so adds heated front seats, climate control, keyless entry and more parking aids. The top two trim levels have leather upholstery but they're too pricey to recommend, plus the bigger wheels they come with harms the ride.


Mazda came eighth out of 30 manufacturers in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey. That's a good result, and places the brand just below Hyundai and Toyota but ahead of the makers of most rival family SUVs.  

Every Mazda sold in the UK comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty. That's a match for the warranty offered by Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen, but Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Toyota all offer five years or more.

Safety and security

In Euro NCAP safety tests, the CX-30 was found to provide outstanding protection to the driver and front-seat passenger and achieved an excellent score for adult occupant protection. That helped it towards receiving five stars – the organisation's top overall rating – but there were still some issues noted concerning whiplash injuries to children. 

The CX-30 comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assistance, a rear cross-traffic alert system (to warn of traffic in your path when reversing into a road) and a driver attention alert system as standard. That’s more standard safety equipment than many competitors can muster.

If you pick a top-of-the-range trim level, you'll also get a front cross-traffic alert system, which uses side radar cameras to help you spot other cars approaching from the blind-spots to the front left and right of the car. 

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  • The signs are encouraging. While the CX-30 was too new to be included in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, Mazda finished eighth out of 30 brands, with an average score of 95.9%. The CX-30’s warranty is a fairly typical three years and 60,000 miles of cover. Read more here

  • You can’t have the CX-30 as a full electric car, or as a hybrid capable of running on electric power for short distances. However, both available engines have mild-hybrid tech, with an electric motor that can provide assistance to reduce the strain on the engine and improve efficiency. Read more here

  • Neither CX-30 engine is particularly strong, so we’d save money by choosing the cheapest – the 120bhp e-Skyactiv G petrol. We’d recommend the SE-L Lux trim because it adds heated front seats, climate control, front parking sensors and a rear-view camera to the generous standard spec. Read more here

  • No. The Mazda CX-30 is smaller than the CX-5, but bigger than the CX-3. The CX-30 has enough space for a six-foot passenger to fit behind a driver of a similar size, but its small rear windows might leave people in the back feeling claustrophobic. Read more here

  • According to the independent safety experts at Euro NCAP, the Mazda CX-30 provides outstanding adult occupant protection. Its child occupant protection score wasn’t quite so impressive due to some whiplash concerns, but the CX-30 still did enough to earn Euro NCAP’s maximum five-star rating. Read more here

  • The CX-30’s boot has a capacity of 430 litres, so it’s far from tiny, but it’s still smaller than those of many rival family SUVs. For example, the Nissan Qashqai (504 litres) and the Skoda Karoq (521 litres) give you more boot space. Read more here

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £1,662
Target Price from £24,223
Save up to £1,662
or from £246pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £20,299
Leasing deals
From £262pm
RRP price range £25,350 - £37,250
Number of trims (see all)5
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol
MPG range across all versions 42.8 - 50.4
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,502 / £2,438
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £3,005 / £4,876
Available colours