The last time we meeted with the Mazda CX-30 was almost a year and a half ago. And now we have a good reason to remind you about this crossover – the launch of the new Mazda CX-30 SPORT BLACK for the 2024 model year. Well, as a novelty… Well, almost… Okay, let’s go into detail: in the format of the main questions to the car and the search for answers to these questions.

Design: if it’s a novelty, what has changed on the outside?

The Mazda CX-30 SPORT BLACK crossover is so familiar and yet so new. The light gray ceramic color is beautifully combined with numerous black and glossy decorations (this is a feature of the SPORT BLACK version), creating a fresh and unworn look. At the same time, the proportions of the low-roofed body are familiar and seem to hint at the car’s passenger nature: is it a C-SUV crossover or just a C-Class hatchback? To leave no doubt, the designers emphasized the crossover nature of the Mazda CX-30 model with massive plastic protective plates that wrap around the entire lower perimeter of the car.

The silhouette with a long, flat hood and interior dome is well known to all fans of the Mazda CX-30, as well as the overall dimensions of the car: length – 4.395 meters; width – 1.795 meters; height – 1.54 meters; wheelbase – 2.655 meters; ground clearance – declared at 175-180 mm (depending on the driver’s weight of 75 kg or measurement without it on an empty car). The SPORT BLACK version adds new accents to the familiar look: dark chrome grille trim, glossy black mirror housings and wheels, etc.

Interior: interior updates plus or minus similar to the exterior?

Generally speaking, yes. The front panel remained unchanged in shape, but received a new finish: pleasant dark suede, graphite-colored inserts instead of chrome, and orange stitching. All of this is perfectly combined with similar black and orange seats that have surprisingly well-developed side support – the Mazda CX-30 is clearly for fit and slim people. Those who love with their eyes: just look at the steering wheel with thin spokes coming out of its center like rays of sunlight. Or the laconic dashboard, which combines classic indicators and a 7-inch color display, emphasized by a rounded edging: beautiful!

By the way, the instrument panel display has not changed; but the central display of the MZD Connect multimedia system has. It has become larger (now 10.25 inches) and this increase in size has allowed for more information to be placed on the start page: for example, there is quick access to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, the rest of the menu items remain unchanged, as well as the ability to conveniently control the system through the branded round selector and button block on the center console.

It is clear that such updates cannot affect the layout and interior space of the cabin. And this is exactly what the Mazda CX-30 is not doing well, because its body type is like a crossover, and its layout resembles a conventional hatchback. First of all, we are talking about the height reserve: the ceiling hangs over your head in a typical car manner, there is no sense of air reserve, as in crossovers. Accordingly, there is no way to install the seats higher and make a higher landing with more spacious legroom – this is especially noticeable in the rear. Also, the small doors do not add to the convenience of boarding. But, thank goodness, at least they added ventilation deflectors and an armrest. Therefore, speaking in general, the Mazda CX-30 provides a margin of space only at the level of the minimum sufficient. For example, competitors from the C-SUV class of similar size offer a different layout and more space in the cabin.

The interior of the Mazda CX-30 is clearly not about space, but definitely about exquisite design and quality of materials: an attractive driver’s area with a classically round steering wheel and a laconic instrument panel, an enlarged central display, pleasant to the touch suede, seats with developed lateral support and contrasting trim. Rear passengers are offered their own bonuses to compensate for the limited space: ventilation deflectors and an armrest with cup holders. The trunk with a volume of 422-430 liters (depending on the configuration and the presence/absence of audio BOSE) offers side niches and an electric lid.

Technology: what about iron changes?

Healthy conservatism is probably the best way to describe the technical part of the Mazda CX-30. We’re talking about a gasoline atmospheric 2-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood, a classic 6-speed manual transmission, a choice of front or all-wheel drive, MacPherson front independent suspension and a torsion beam rear semi-dependent suspension. If you recall the previous review of the Mazda CX-30, you will find a description of similar equipment. The only thing that has changed is that the stop-start system, which stops/starts the engine at traffic lights, has disappeared.

But what has been added is the I-ACTIVSENSE active safety system: lane keeping assist, mirror blind spot monitoring, safe braking, safe/unsafe distance warning, road sign recognition, etc. This is the minimum set of the I-ACTIVSENSE complex and is now included in all Mazda CX-30 trim levels; the maximum versions can offer several additional safety systems.

The basis of the Mazda CX-30 is a load-bearing body, independent front suspension and semi-dependent rear suspension. The engine of the SkyActiv series has remained unchanged; as well as a 6-speed automatic or front/all-wheel drive offer – for conservative motorists, such equipment will be an additional advantage. But the offer of the I-ACTIVSENSE complex will be an advantage for those who care about safety and convenience: monitoring of traffic lanes, reading signs; adaptive cruise control with distance recognition to the car in front – all this is already included in the list of equipment for all configurations of the Mazda CX-30.

Driving sensations: has the car’s character changed?

The technology hasn’t changed – the character hasn’t either. This is a phrase that often describes such intermediate changes in cars, and the Mazda CX-30 crossover only confirms the rule.

For example, the atmospheric 2-liter engine is still somewhat sluggish at low revs – little traction, slow (albeit smooth) acceleration, and a boring hum. But be brave and press the accelerator pedal more actively: already at mid-range (3-4 thousand), a good engine growl and similarly good traction come! And then the engine is able to confidently gain high revs (5-6 thousand and above), demonstrating a linear increase in power without any dips. Moreover, it is worth noting the 6-speed automatic with SPORT mode, which is very well tuned. After all, in sport mode, it delays shifting to a higher gear and therefore always seems to keep the engine in good shape – it does not allow it to fall below 2,500-3,000. However, once you lose the heat, drive at a leisurely pace and in normal mode, the automatic will shift as smoothly and imperceptibly as possible, and quite early, which helps reduce revs and fuel consumption.

The Mazda CX-30 crossover seems to be able to live in two dimensions: either everyday commuting or firing up the engine with a sporty attitude. However, the suspension lives in only one dimension – the latter. It is quite stiff (especially the rear) and does not allow you to relax on bad roads. Instead of simply overcoming another series of pits and bumps, the driver is forced to slalom even without his own desire. Thankfully, at least the car’s steering response is lively and the body roll is small. Again: as if it were not a crossover, but a passenger hatchback.

The engine and automatic transmission can live in two dimensions: normal or sport (SPORT mode); but the suspension cannot – it is always a bit stiff, although it is a good pill against rolls and excessive body sway. Declared technical characteristics for a car with all-wheel drive: power – 150 hp at 6000 rpm; torque – 213 Nm at 4000 rpm; acceleration 0-100 km/h – 10.3 seconds; top speed – 196 km/h; fuel consumption in the city – 9.7 liters per 100 km; fuel consumption on the highway – 5.7 liters per 100 km. My observations: acceleration from 0-100 km/h is slightly faster and balances on the verge of 10 seconds; in the city you can consistently fit into 9-10 liters; while driving on the highway at a speed of about 100 km/h, the car consumes about 6 liters of fuel.

By the way, when driving on the highway at higher speeds, it becomes clear that in today’s realities you want an automatic with more upper gears – because now adding every next 10-15 km/h also adds noticeable noise in the cabin and 0.5 liters of fuel. Moreover, the Mazda CX-30 itself can go faster, it feels stable, there is enough engine power – but it is the high revs and, accordingly, noise and fuel consumption that determine the comfortable highway mode of 100-110-120 km/h.

Price: how much does the Mazda CX-30 cost and who are the competitors?

The Mazda CX-30 crossover in Ukraine is always offered with the aforementioned 2-liter 150-horsepower engine and 6-speed automatic, but you can choose the type of drive (front 2WD or all-wheel drive) and the level of equipment – in total, there are five variants of the car.

The range is opened by the Mazda CX-30 STYLE+: leather front panel and fabric seat trim, LED headlights, separate climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, electric trunk lid, projection display on the windshield, adaptive cruise control, rear view camera, keyless entry and engine start, I-ACTIVSENSE safety system, seven airbags, 18-inch alloy wheels, MZD Connect multimedia system with 10.25-inch display, standard navigation, etc. The cost of Mazda CX-30 2.0 150 SkyActiv 6AT STYLE+ 2WD – from 1.18 million UAH or $29.5 thousand.

The next version of the Mazda CX-30 EXECUTIVE+ additionally offers: leather seat trim, electric driver’s seat adjustment, rear cross-traffic monitoring and automatic braking when an obstacle is detected, and wireless charging. The cost of Mazda CX-30 2.0 150 SkyActiv 6AT EXECUTIVE+ 2WD – from 1.25 million UAH or $31 thousand.; cost MazdaCX-30 2.0 150 SkyActiv 6AT EXECUTIVE+ 4WD – from 1.32 million UAH or $33 thousand.

Mazda CX-30 SPORT BLACK and Mazda CX-30 PREMIUM have the status of the maximum versions. The Mazda CX-30 SPORT BLACK has the following features: black mirrors and wheels, dark color of the grille trim, ALH adaptive lighting, suede and eco-leather interior trim, BOSE audio system, etc. The Mazda CX-30 PREMIUM has a similar level of equipment, but a full leather interior, more traditional chrome grille trim and silver wheels. The cost of Mazda CX-30 2.0 150 SkyActiv 6AT SPORT BLACK 4WD – from 1.36 million UAH or $34 thousand.; cost Mazda CX-30 2.0 150 SkyActiv 6AT PREMIUM 4WD – from 1.43 million UAH or $35.8 thousand.also announced promotional cars Mazda CX-30PREMIUM 2023 with a price of 1.36 million UAH or $34 thousand.

Even the starting version of the Mazda CX-30 offers a level of equipment that some competitors will envy, and the maximum configurations of the Mazda CX-30 can additionally offer adaptive headlights, 360-degree all-round visibility, original interior with leather/suede trim, BOSE audio and much more.

In conclusion, I’ll say a few words about the competition. First, the crossover Volkswagen T-ROC: attractive design, nice interior, nice ride, but no all-wheel drive. Secondly, I’d like to mention the Peugeot 408: a lot of space in the cabin and even more futuristic, a powerful engine, but also only front-wheel drive. Thirdly, I’d like to mention the Nissan Qashqai: a wide range of versions, a more spacious interior, a very economical hybrid and all-wheel drive. The fourth would be the Suzuki S-Cross: simpler in design and interior, but cheaper in terms of the initial price and also offering all-wheel drive. The fifth is called CUPRA Formentor: the range includes turbo diesel or more powerful gasoline versions, all-wheel drive, and good handling.

We can also mention the updated Peugeot 2008: more compact, but also cheaper and with an economical diesel engine. About the expensive crossover Toyota C-HR, which relies on design and hybrids. About more restrained, but also more practical cars Opel Grandland and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. We also talked about the updated SKODA Karoq crossover, the new generation of Hyundai Kona, a pair of crossovers Honda ZR-V and Honda HR-V. Finally, I’d like to mention the older model Mazda CX-5: it has a similar price to the initial 2-liter versions, is slightly inferior in equipment (if you compare cars for similar money), but definitely wins in terms of interior space and suspension performance. And so…

Test drive Mazda CX-30 SPORT BLACK 2024: main questions and answers

The car is provided by AUTO International