In-depth reviews

Mazda MX-30 review - Interior, design and technology

Sharp looks and unusual trim materials help the Mazda MX-30 stand out, while technology is impressive

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.0 out of 5

£31,250 to £36,000
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The MX-30 inherits the sporty ‘Kodo’ design themes that Mazda has been employing across its range for some time to impressively stylish effect. There’s a choice of nine different exterior colours - although your main colour pick predetermines the colour of the roof and the side window frames. All models' lower extremities are clad in grey plastic, emphasising the SUV look and providing 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, especially the 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. Although this isn’t as successful and actually looks a little ‘unfinished’. More traditional soft-touch leather effect trim covers the upper dash, while hard black plastic dominates lower down.

The light grey cloth upholstery looks good, but might prove difficult to keep clean, particularly if you're ferrying young children to and fro. Luckily, Mazda also offers a dark grey option with brown or black leatherette trim.

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 in comparison against models with premium badges. It’s an attractive option for buyers seeking a car with flair. 

The driving position is comfortable, although a taller driver will need their seat quite far back to the point that there’s little legroom behind for anyone in the rear. In town, the shape of the MX-30 with that relatively long bonnet, small rear side windows and thick C-pillars mean it’s not as easy to manoeuvre and park as some other small cars, but standard parking sensors and a reversing camera offer some useful assistance.

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 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 controlled by a large rotary knob and button panel behind the gear lever. The graphics are clear, and the menu system is straightforward to grasp. Some will prefer a touchscreen where you can just press what you want, but we think a physical interface is less distracting to use on the move.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and connecting a phone is pretty seamless. On high-spec Makato models, there’s a Bose 12-speaker surround sound upgrade for the stereo that’s thrown in. We should point out that this compromises practicality, but we’ll discuss that in more detail later.

Online Reviews Editor

Max looks after the reviews on the Auto Express website. He’s been a motoring journalist since 2017 and has written for Autocar, What Car?, Piston Heads, Driving Electric, Car Buyer, Electrifying, and Good Motoring Magazine.

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