What's the used Mazda CX-30 hatchback like?
Don't be confused, as some are, by the fact that the handsome Mazda CX-30 sits between the firm's small SUV known as the CX-3 and its large SUV called the CX-5 yet isn't known by the already bagged CX-4 moniker: what's in a name, after all? You see its purpose is very clear, even if its naming isn't – to offer all the good qualities of those two cars in a more modern family SUV-sized package.
By and large, it succeeds admirably. There are interesting engines, for one. Under the bonnet, Mazda gives you 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 six-speed automatic. The most powerful engine also gives you the option of four-wheel drive.
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 work it to feel the difference. Neither engine can match the flexibility of the turbocharged engines of its rivals.
Scarred urban roads also cause the Mazda CX-30 to fidget, with every pothole sending a thud through your seat. Even at speed on a motorway, you’ll still feel road imperfections as they filter up to your posterior. The car is happy in corners, however, with 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.
Where the CX-30 really scores is in interior quality: no other SUV comes close to its classy solidity. The dashboard is slathered in squishy, expensive-looking material and there are lashings of leatherette trim. Add some classy chrome trim into the mix and it’s a fine place to be. Play with the switches, stalks and knobs and you’ll find they all click, turn and move with an expensive feel, too.
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.
In Euro NCAP safety tests, the Mazda CX-30 was found to provide outstanding protection to the driver and front-seat passenger, and achieved an excellent 99% score for adult occupant protection. That helped it towards receiving five stars – the organisation's top rating.