Mazda CX-30 long-term test review: report 2

The new Mazda CX-30 is the first coupé-styled SUV the company has ever made, but do its rakish looks compromise its family friendly practicality? We're finding out...

Mazda CX-30 long-term test review

The car Mazda CX-30 2.0 180PS 2WD GT Sport Run by Alastair Clements, special contributor

Why it’s here Slotting in between the smaller CX-3 and the family-friendly CX-5, the new CX-30 offers plenty of style, but can it be as practical as the best family SUVs?

Needs to Blend style with a rewarding driving experience and enough practicality to justify its purchase over more conventional rivals

Miles covered 5526 Price £29,140 Target Price £28,346 Price as tested £29,930 Official economy 47.9mpg Test economy 31.6mpg Options fitted  Soul Red Crystal Metallic Paint (£790)

26 September 2020 – Living the 'lifestyle'

There’s nothing the marketing folk at car companies like more than glossy imagery that depicts their SUVs in ‘lifestyle’ situations. You know the sort of thing: canoeing in the Wye Valley, mountain-biking in the Lakes, camping in the Highlands...

Well, with the world being as it is at the moment the Highlands probably isn’t going to happen any time soon, so for now I’ve had to settle for Surrey and a weekend of camping with friends (before the Rule of Six came into force).

Mazda CX-30 long-term test review

An epically bad weather forecast meant my wife Emma stayed at home with the dogs, but eldest daughter Elsa and I decided to brave the rain and soon filled every nook and cranny of the CX-30 with camping kit.

Even taking only two of us and our smaller tent we still had to drop the rear seats; that's an easy job despite the lack of release levers in the boot, though removing the seatbelts from their retaining loops is a touch fiddly.

Mazda CX-30 long-term test review

The false boot floor creates a flat load bay when the seatbacks are folded down – ideal for sliding in heavy items. Less helpful, though, is that the tail-light has a nasty edge that is revealed when the electric tailgate is raised – more than one person received a nasty bruise on the hip from inadvertently bumping into it. 

There’s little doubt that the CX-30 is a fine-looking car, but there are a few design details that don’t quite work for me. Not least that hip-jarring light, but also the awkward junction of curves at the base of the windscreen pillar. 

Mazda CX-30 long-term test review

A camping field is hardly ‘off-road’ in the traditional sense, and, with only front-wheel drive, the CX-30 doesn’t make any claims at being a proper ‘off-roader’, but the Mazda’s raised ground clearance meant that it felt more comfortable on the bumpy stuff than our co-campers’ hatchbacks and estate cars.

It also swiftly established itself as lead car when we went anywhere in convoy, with its sat-nav proving the most reliable of our group. It's just a shame that constantly driving the car fully laden is doing our average fuel consumption no favours at all.

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