In-depth reviews

Mazda CX-30 review - Interior, design and technology

Inside and out the Mazda CX-30 gives the established premium alternatives a run for their money

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.3 out of 5

£22,670 to £33,470
  • Stylish looks
  • Industry-leading safety rating
  • Great to drive
  • Rear space less than rivals
  • Small engine range
  • Limited luggage capacity

While the CX-30 is based on the same platform as the Mazda 3, its bodywork is all-new. Other differences include a more practical rear third and cladding along the sills and wheel arches. Overall the result is a sleek exterior that stands out in a particularly packed market segment. 

There are eight standard paint colours to choose from, including Mazda’s rather fetching metallic red, “Soul Red Crystal”. There are also two different alloy wheel designs to choose from, although only higher-spec models can be equipped with the larger 18-inch rims and lower-spec models with the smaller ones. 

As for upholstery, there are three choices – one cloth and two leather. The former is only available in dark grey, while the latter can be specified in either black with brown accents or stone, which is a creamy-white colour. 

The dashboard layout will be familiar to anyone who has seen the current Mazda 3, and remains well-finished and brilliantly designed. Overall, the dash is a great mix of style and function. For example, there is the right number of buttons to cope with the daily grind of driving, but it all still manages to look modern and uncluttered. 

The cabin in general is a great place to be. All the parts a driver will touch the most, such as the gear knob and steering wheel, are well-sized and feel great to use. These details might seem small, but added together they create something that puts most rivals to shame.

Equipment levels are also rather good. SE-L trim starts the range and comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, leather steering wheel, electronic parking brake and air-conditioning. SE-L Lux builds on this with extras such as front parking sensors, keyless entry, CD player and a reversing camera.

Sport Lux goes even further with bigger 18-inch alloy wheels, various black gloss trims, adaptive LED lights, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and tinted rear windows. GT Sport brings a 12-speaker Bose sound system (the normal non-Bose system has 8 speakers), heated steering wheel and electric driver’s seat. GT Sport Tech adds a few more technological delights, such as front cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree camera.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

All models come with an 8.8-inch infotainment system that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. It also comes with Bluetooth, DAB radio and USB input. The system itself looks sharp and is relatively straightforward to use.

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