The new Mazda CX-30 is the latest member in the expanding coupe SUV genre. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new Mazda CX-30 is the latest member in the expanding coupe SUV genre. Picture: SUPPLIED

It's no secret that coupe SUVs are a big fad these days. A great number of premium brands have them and we are starting to see the shapely niche trickle down into more affordable segments.

Volkswagen has the T-Roc and now Mazda has laid down the gauntlet with the CX-30, which is a coupe cousin of the well-liked CX-3.    

The new car’s roof is designed to represent what the company calls a “captivating Kodo Soul of Motion” design. You can easily tell that it’s a by-product of the CX-3, which it is, because they share a platform, but the CX-30 is 120cm longer and 30cm wider, and Mazda classifies the new addition as an SUV instead of a crossover.

With its coupe-like roofing the CX-30 is 10cm lower than its cousin, but practicality is assured through an extra 85mm of leg space than the CX-3. Boot space is rated at 295l, which is very small by segment standards.

The car might look pretty similar to other Mazda SUV ranges but there’s more advancement in key areas such as the premium fit and finish, and ride quality. To go with the luxury outlook, the CX-30 comes in three specification levels — Active, Dynamic and Individual.

The Active and Dynamic grades feature a dark grey cloth seat trim with black and navy blue accents on the dashboard while the Dynamic grade will also be available with an optional greige cloth seat trim.

It’s a cockpit designed with new ideas of Mazda luxury with a pocketful of standard items. Picture: SUPPLIED
It’s a cockpit designed with new ideas of Mazda luxury with a pocketful of standard items. Picture: SUPPLIED

Top tier Individual models have black perforated leather covered seats with black and brown accents on the dashboard.

But every CX-30 comes standard with LED headlamps, seven airbags, head-up display, an MZD Connect infotainment system with a 22.3cm display screen, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto, among plenty items.

Active and Dynamic models get grey metallic 16-inch alloy wheels while the Individual grade is perched on 18-inch silver metallic wheels.

Potential buyers with performance in mind will be disappointed. Mazda continues to avoid turbocharging and the entire range is powered by a petrol 2.0l four-cylinder engine. It produces 121kW and 213Nm that drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.

There’s not much of a spirited urge but the mechanicals lend themselves well for cushy cruising where you will find out it has some of the best soundproofing in the business. My first drive experience showed it’s in its element when touring on highways where the noise from the wind and tyres is left firmly outside. It’s the most advanced Mazda when it comes to sound deadening.

It’s also a good city drive, its steering pleasantly light and the coupe glass house giving good views of obstacles in and around the car.

The ride quality is thoroughly polished and the lightweight but solid Skyactive chassis that adopts a new G-Vectoring Plus system endows this new Mazda vehicle with both an enthralling drive if you push it enough around twisty roads, and good economy, which the maker claims at 6.6l/100km.

Crossovers and SUVs are stealing the limelight and the CX-30 impresses. It’s comfortable, roomy, highly refined, nicely put together and well-equipped.

The price is on par with its Volkswagen T-Roc foe and the first taste provided enough evidence to not judge it as a simple riposte to a growing market, but a genuinely viable alternative to the conventional SUV genre. All Mazda CX-30 models come with a three year/unlimited kilometre warranty and service plan.

PRICING

Mazda CX-30 2.0L Active auto — R469,000

Mazda CX-30 2.0L Dynamic auto — R499,000

Mazda CX-30 2.0L Individual auto — R540,000

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