In-depth reviews

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.

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.

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’
opinion: charging
Opinion

‘The 2030 combustion engine ban is just around the corner – and we’re running out of time’

Andy Palmer sees electric car uptake revving-up in the UK but says targeted investment is needed to prevent a stall…
22 Jun 2021
Exclusive: Jaguar’s luxury reinvention to start from £100k
Thierry Bollore - Jaguar I-Pace
Jaguar

Exclusive: Jaguar’s luxury reinvention to start from £100k

New boss Thierry Bollore reveals that Jaguar will be reinvented as a luxury car brand to take on Bentley, with the design of a new family already sign…
22 Jun 2021
New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review
Mercedes C-Class - front
Mercedes C-Class

New Mercedes C-Class 2021 review

The new Mercedes C-Class compact exec gets S-Class-inspired tech and new suspension to challenge the BMW 3 Series
21 Jun 2021
New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech
Dacia Duster facelift - front
Dacia Duster

New Dacia Duster facelift launched with fresh styling and more tech

The budget-conscious Dacia Duster has been updated for 2021 with some subtle design tweaks and a new eight-inch infotainment screen
22 Jun 2021
New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space
Peugeot 308 SW - front
News

New 2021 Peugeot 308 SW estate arrives with more space

The Peugeot 308 SW joins the hatchback in the range and arrives with two plug-in hybrid options
22 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review
Volkswagen Caddy California MPV - front
Volkswagen Caddy

New Volkswagen Caddy California 2021 review

It’s a family hauler and weekend camper all rolled into one, but is the Volkswagen Caddy California any good?
21 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge EV on sale priced from £49,950
Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge - front
Volvo XC40

New 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge EV on sale priced from £49,950

Volvo has revised the electric XC40’s pricing and trim-level structure, with a simplified three-tier system
22 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review
Volkswagen ID.4 GTX
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review

VW ID.4 EV gets another electric motor and four-wheel drive in hot GTX form
21 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 2021 review
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 - front
Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 2021 review

The new special edition Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport 45 is one of the best cars ever to wear the GTI badge
23 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021