There once was a time Mazda only sold the pint-sized CX-3 and mid-sized CX-5, with no in-between for those who wanted something a bit bigger than the former and slightly smaller than the latter.
So the Japanese brand decided to introduce the CX-30, essentially a high-riding version of the latest Mazda 3 hatchback proportioned smack bang in the middle of the two top-selling crossover nameplates.
Having launched Down Under in February 2020, the Mazda CX-30 has the tough task of competing in the fastest-growing segment in Australia’s new car market, against the likes of the popular Mitsubishi ASX, Toyota C-HR, Hyundai Kona and Kia Seltos.
Can it kick it with the segment leaders?
How much does the Mazda CX-30 G20 Evolve cost?
The CX-30 range kicks off at $29,990 plus on-road costs, but the G20 Evolve specification we have here on test is one up from base and priced from $31,490 before on-roads – representing a $3200 premium over the equivalent Mazda 3.
You can spend up to $43,490 before on-roads for a decked-out G25 Astina grade, with eight variants in total sitting in that $30,000 to $44,000 price bracket.
Our test car was optioned with Soul Red Crystal metallic paint ($495), bringing the as-tested sticker to $31,985 before on-roads.
What do you get?
Despite being towards the bottom of the CX-30 hierarchy, the G20 Evolve comes with a healthy level of standard kit.
The Evolve grade picks up 18-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, an auto-dimming rear mirror, leather-wrapped gear knob and steering wheel, paddle shifters, and overhead sunglass storage compared to the base G20 Pure.
Features carried over from the entry-level model include an 8.8-inch widescreen navigation system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7.0-inch digital instrument display, a colour head-up display, push-button start, a reversing camera with rear parking sensors, auto folding side mirrors, and cloth trim.
All versions of the CX-30 get a suite of active safety and driver assistance features as standard, including low- and high-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning with lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control with stop/go.
For an additional $1500 (not fitted to our test car), you can also get the optional Vision Pack which adds driver attention monitoring, a 360-degree camera system with front parking sensors, front cross-traffic alert, and a semi-autonomous ‘Cruising & Traffic Support’ system which combines the adaptive cruise and lane-keep system to assist with accelerating, braking and steering on the highway.
Given the accessibility to the company’s ‘Vision Technologies’ across the line-up (standard on Astina grades) we’d certainly recommend spending the extra money to deck your CX-30 out with these high-end assistance features.
Is the Mazda CX-30 G20 Evolve safe?
Yes, in fact the CX-30 is one of the safest vehicles you can buy at any price point. The CX-30 wears a 2019-stamped ANCAP safety rating, based on tests conducted by Euro NCAP.
Applicable to all versions on sale in Australia and New Zealand, the CX-30’s five-star score incorporates an impressive 99 per cent for adult occupant protection, 88 per cent for child occupant protection, 80 per cent for vulnerable road users and 76 per cent for safety assist.
Standard safety and assistance equipment includes the aforementioned low- and high-speed AEB (4-80km/h) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, traffic sign recognition as well as adaptive cruise control with stop/go.
There’s also seven airbag (incl. driver’s knee) and ISOFIX anchorage points on the outboard rear seats.
Despite the impressive scores, some of the key feedback included marginal neck protection for the 10-year old dummy in the 64km/h frontal offset test, along with weak/poor performance of the AEB system at night in a range of scenarios.
What is the Mazda CX-30 G20 Evolve like on the inside?
Compared to the vast majority of vehicles in this segment, plush. The interior of the CX-30 is essentially lifted out of the related Mazda 3 small car, and that’s no bad thing.
From the driver’s seat your view is dominated by curved surfaces finished in soft-touch leatherette materials capped by the 8.8-inch display sitting proudly sitting atop the dashboard.
In the Pure and Evolve trims, where fabric seat trim is standard, you get blue leather-look cabin accents with white stitching, which can look a little out of place if you have the Soul Red Crystal exterior paint like we do here.
That said, the front row of the CX-30 is a really nice place to be. The seats are comfortable and supportive, all the touch points are soft and squidgy, the design is attractive and looks expensive, and the ergonomics are very good.