February 08, 2020 By C! Magazine Staff Photos and Words by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2020 Mazda CX-30 Sport

Niche Master

I am a huge fan of Mazda. The very first car I photographed professionally was the MX-5 Roadster back in 2017 in one of Mazda’s new signature colors, ‘Machine Gray Metallic.’ I’ve been in love with the brand’s unique designs on the exterior and interior alike combined with the unique driving experience since. The all-new 2020 CX-30 crossover is technically positioned between the CX-3 and the CX-5. In many territories, the CX-30 actually replaces the smaller CX-3 already, like in our domestic market. In the North American market, the CX-3 carry’s on for now. To further differentiate the CX-30 from the CX-3 in the US, Mazda applied the revised 186 bhp 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine to the marginally larger crossover. For many other markets, like ours, the noble 153 bhp 2.0-liter, is used instead with the emphasis on fuel economy.

The CX-30 model name was used, confusingly, because the CX-4 moniker is applied uniquely for a China-only model. There are three variants offered in our market. Our mid-range Snowflake White Pearl test unit is the pure front-wheel-drive Sport model that costs P200,000.00 less than the top-range AWD Sport.

The less-expensive model essentially loses the HUD, the 12-speaker Bose® audio system (mercifully, the standard 8-speaker Mazda Harmonic Acoustics audio system is brilliant!), the AWD-system, the comprehensive active safety suite that includes the Adaptive Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support, Front-Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Blind-Spot Monitoring, Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Monitoring System, and the 360°-View parking Camera (the standard Sport does have the usual full guided rear camera).

The design philosophy of the Mazda CX-30 is called “charge and release” which essentially translates to a crossover body that has emotional elements of a coupé. It is an inch wider, almost an inch taller, and almost 5-inches longer than the CX-3 while using a significantly more rigid chassis that is 3.3-inches longer with a 300-liter larger trunk as well. In fact, the CX-30 uses a shortened version (by 2.3-inches) of the all-new Mazda 3’s chassis. So, I would like to say that the all-new crossover is a Mazda 3 on stilts but that would be oversimplifying the effort. The Mazda 3 sedan for example is actually a whopping 10.5-inches longer than the CX-30.

However, Mazda cleverly engineered the 4.8-inches taller CX-30 to feel as spacious while having a larger trunk by 198-liters compared to the 3 sedan. The rear suspension is still a torsion-beam like the Mazda3 but the calibration is even more supple despite the thin 215/55R18 95H Toyo ProxesR56 tires.

When I did a quick inspection of the car upon receiving it there were a handful of things that prominently stood out on both the exterior and interior. Firstly, I noticed the glossy geometrically detailed grille which gave the car a menacing attitude alongside the brand’s signature headlights which had ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ detail on the sides of the headlights resembling a light blue glowing reactor, producing a video game-like or futuristic element to the car. The day time lights are another attractive safety feature the car is equipped with.

The second element of the car that stood out was the plastic panes on the bottom of all four doors and rear bumper. Given that the CX-30 is a crossover that you could use in and out of the city, it would make sense that there is a protective outer layer that would protect the pristine paint from damage from debris, rocks or anything that could scratch the paint when driving on unpaved roads.

On the interior, the things that caught my eyes were the detail of the stitching on the dashboard and seats with an attractive combination of a midnight blue and black leather. I like the back-lit aeronautical-like display that reads who has their safety belts on or not. The charming Mazda interior matched with the easily accessible infotainment peripherals by the shifter along the center console along with all these fantastic features give a luxurious ambiance to the attractive crossover!

Performance-wise, I feel the CX-30’s power is more than sufficient especially given our road and traffic conditions. The Sport mode livens up the throttle a touch but does not increase power, the steering slightly tightens, while the engine holds gears a bit longer which is not unusual for many cars, so it can easily be forgotten. However, from the perspective of passengers, the engine gets noticeably more prominent, singing a low grumble as you play with the throttle to match whatever songs you’re listening to on the excellent sound system. I did not miss the extra weight and functionality of the AWD drivetrain.

The Mazda CX-30 is an effortless crossover that you quickly enjoy with your friends who will appreciate the rear aircon vents, the classy interior, and the supportive seats. It is intimidating at first because of its price and fitment. But other than that, it is without a doubt an attractive and diligent car.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4, 1998 cc, dohc 16V, Direct Injection, Atkinson-cycle, VVT, 6-speed AT
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 153 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 148 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

Performance

Top Speed 205 km/h (128 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 8.6 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 6.4 L/100km Overall

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 1,790,000.00
What's Great Good looking, quiet cabin, much more spacious, definitely much better than the CX-3 in every way.
What's Not So Missing some key equipment found in other territories, pricey.
C! Editors Rating 8.5/10
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