Mazda MX-30 review - Interior, design and technology

Sharp looks and unusual trim materials help the Mazda MX-30 stand out. Technology levels are high but some elements require acclimatisation.

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£28,490 to £35,140
  • Stylish and innovative
  • Fun to drive
  • 5-stars for safety
  • Limited range
  • Lack of rear passenger space
  • Average warranty

The MX-30 inherits the sporty ‘Kodo’ design themes that Mazda has been employing across its range for some time to impressively stylish effect. The colour choice on the car is limited to five options, but buyers can personalise the look by selecting different contrasting finishes for the roof and the side window frames. The lower extremities are clad in grey plastic on all models, emphasising that SUV look and providing a bit of extra protection against parking knocks and scrapes. 

The cabin is a similarly classy affair with obvious attention paid to creating an upmarket ambience for the MX-30. Mazda has gone for an interesting mix of materials with cork linings for the storage areas around the centre console that reference the company’s origins as the Toyo Kogyo cork company in 1920, before it diversified into engineering. Then there’s the fabric on the doors that uses fibres from recycled bottles but actually looks a little ‘unfinished’. More traditional soft-touch leather effect trim covers the dash and hard black plastic dominates the centre console.

There are two interior trim themes available: ‘Modern Confidence’ has white leatherette, mixed with grey fabric, orange stitching and light cork trim. Then there’s ‘Industrial Vintage’ with its brown leatherette and denim coloured fabric. The grey and white seat trim on our test car certainly looks fresh and modern - we wouldn’t be too confident that it can be kept clean. 

In general, the build quality and design raise the Mazda MX-30 above the level of the average small SUV and enable it to stand comparison against models with premium badges on the noses. It’s an attractive option for buyers seeking a car with a bit of flair.  

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

As with so much about the MX-30, the control interface is slightly unusual. You have a 7” touchscreen in the centre of the dash but it’s really only to control the heating and ventilation system. The main sat-nav and infotainment options are displayed on a larger 8.8” screen on top of the dash that’s controlled by a large rotary knob and button panel behind the drive mode shifter. The graphics are clear and the menu system is straightforward to grasp, but some will prefer the simplicity of the touchscreen where you can just press what you want.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and the process of connecting a phone is pretty seamless. On higher-spec models there’s a Bose 12-speaker surround sound upgrade for the stereo that’s thrown in.

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