What's the used Mazda CX-30 hatchback like?
If Goldilocks assessed Mazda's SUV range, she might call the Mazda CX-3o "just right". You see, this family SUV slots in between the compact Mazda CX-3 and the larger Mazda CX-5, so it could fill the perfect niche to suit you.
Engines & Performance: Under the bonnet, you have a choice of two 2.0-litre petrol engines, both of which use mild-hybrid technology. The CX-30's small electric motor and battery work together to improve efficiency and responses at low speeds.
Both engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and there's also an optional-from-new six-speed automatic. The most powerful engine is available with four-wheel drive, but the original owner had to choose (and pay extra) to have it.
On the road, the Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre engine has reasonable punch, while the more powerful Skyactiv-X version feels a bit quicker, although you have to get the revs up to feel the difference. Neither engine can match the low-range shove and effortless progress of turbocharged rivals, unfortunately.
Ride & Handling: Scarred urban roads can cause the CX-30 to fidget, with potholes sometimes sending thuds through your seat. Even at motorway speeds, you’ll still feel road imperfections as they filter up to your posterior.
The CX-30 is happy in corners, though, and there's minimal body lean. However, push harder and you’ll find that it runs out of front-wheel grip earlier than one or two of its rivals.
Interior & Practicality: Where the CX-30 really scores is in interior quality: no other direct rival comes close to its classy solidity. The dashboard is slathered in squishy, expensive-looking material and there are lashings of leatherette trim. There's some classy chrome trim in the mix, too.
Play with the switches, stalks and knobs and you’ll find they all click, turn and move with an expensive feel. All versions come with a centrally mounted 8.8in infotainment display operated by an intuitive rotary controller, the latter being mounted between the front seats along with shortcut buttons. It also gives you good old-fashioned buttons and knobs for the heating and stereo, allowing you to find all the controls by feel alone once you’ve familiarised yourself with them.
Inside, there's plenty of space up front and a good driving position. However, rear-seat passengers have to contend with a small door opening and rather cramped accommodation. By family SUV standards, the boot is a little small, too.
Trims & Equipment: There are five trim levels to choose from – SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech – and all are well-equipped. All models get 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.
What used Mazda CX-30 hatchback will I get for my budget?
You can pick up a used Mazda CX-30 from 2020 or 2021 for around £13,000 – these tend to be in SE-L or SE-L Lux trim. Expect to spend around £16,000 on a 2022 car, depending on trim. Nearly new examples start at around £20,000.
Check the value of a used CX-30 with What Car? Valuations
How much does it cost to run a Mazda CX-30 hatchback?
MPG: The 122bhp 2.0 Skyactiv-G averages 47.9mpg, according to the latest WLTP tests, whereas the 178bhp 2.0 Skyactiv-X averages an impressive 50.4mpg.
Road tax: All CX-30s will have been registered after April 2017 so will pay road tax at the flat rate. This is currently £180 per year.
Insurance and servicing: Insurance groups range from a reasonable 12 to 18, depending on engine choice and trim level.
Mazda offers servicing plans which give you scheduled servicing up to three years or up to 37,500 miles (whichever you reach first). The CX-3 should be about average for the class in terms of servicing costs.
Which used Mazda CX-30 hatchback should I buy?
Engine: The entry-level Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre engine is our pick for the Mazda CX-30. There’s a more powerful Skyactiv-X version that makes 178bhp despite having lower CO2 emissions, but it’s more expensive and, while it feels a bit quicker, you really have to work it to feel the difference.
Trims: 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 and keyless entry. The top two trim levels have leather upholstery, and the top three can be specified with Mazda's i-Activ all-wheel drive system, but they're too pricey to recommend and their bigger wheels harm ride smoothness.
Our favourite used Mazda CX-30: 2.0 Skyactiv-G SE-L Lux
What alternatives should I consider to a used Mazda CX-30 hatchback?
The Seat Ateca is one of our favourite used SUVs in this class – it's a previous overall What Car? Used Car of the Year winner. The more pleasurable driving experience it offers over all of its rivals, as well as its great value, makes it a winner in our eyes.
If you want an interior that is stylish and almost as plush-feeling as the CX-30's, you should also look at the Peugeot 3008. Its swish dashboard, with high-quality plastics and lots of neat styling touches, makes it a far nicer place to spend journeys.