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Mazda has added a third SUV to its range the CX-30 and this compact model marks entry into a new market sector for the Japanese company. With the CX-3 and the soon to arrive updated CX-5 this gives Mazda a very strong presence in the SUV sector, which continues to grow.

Recently, I spent a week with the newcomer and my test vehicle was in GT Sport Tech trim featuring two wheel drive and a six speed manual transmission. The CX-30 is the second model in the company’s next generation line-up and the second to feature the ground-breaking Skyactiv-X spark-controlled compression ignition engine. The design is clever as you have the combination of an SUV with the sleeker profile of a coupe and several people did comment on the looks of the newcomer, so clearly it is ringing the right bells.

The styling is a sophisticated evolution of Mazda’s KODO design philosophy, while it’s spacious and versatile cabin ensures it has the practicality and comfort demanded by customers in this sector of the market. In order to maximise customer choice, there are a number of trim levels, the model I tested was the flagship of the range. Very much in keeping with other models in the Mazda line-up, equipment levels are high. With a petrol engine, featuring the 24v Mazda M Hybrid mild-hybrid system, I discovered very acceptable levels of performance. I had 180PS at the control of my right foot, but there is also a 122PS two litre Skyactive-G engine, as featured in the new Mazda3. A 116PS diesel engine is offered in the Irish market; alas this is not on offer to customers in the North. The unique combustion method in which spark plug ignition is used to control compression ignition results in efficiencies meaning the 180PS petrol SPCCI engine delivers diesel rivalling economy combined with low CO2 emissions and flexible performance. With emissions as low as 105g/km and excellent economy, the Skyactiv-X engine is the perfect solution for private and business users. This is the type of petrol engine that is bound to find favour with a person who for many years has been satisfied with diesel power. This engine will be for many the ideal alternative to diesel in a segment that has seen demand for diesel powered cars dramatically reduce. However, diesel engines still remain the choice for many throughout Ireland. All is certainly not lost when it comes to diesel engines from Mazda as the company is committed to diesel and the development of next-generation clean diesel engines for appropriate sectors.

Returning to the equipment package and the CX-30 features a generous standard equipment list across the whole range with every car featuring a colour windscreen projecting head-up display, radar cruise control and LED headlights. I must say the head up display is excellent, just the job for aiding in sticking to the relative speed limits and it is one of the items I would like when purchasing a new set of wheels.

On the road, the new CX-30 presents an attractive stance, the sleek upper body hints at the streamlined silhouette of a coupe, while the black cladding lower down, and the vehicle’s dimensions deliver the sense of ruggedness we associate with an SUV. The GT Sport and GT Sport Tech ( as tested) models feature black leather with rich brown accents and with a high-quality, stylish and practical cabin, the interior sets new standards for a Mazda SUV, while the 430-litre boot ensures it’s as practical. Take note there is different rim levels between Northern Ireland and the Republic and the GT Sport being the range topper in the Republic of Ireland I found my week with the new Mazda very satisfying, good road holding, low noise levels and the cabin with a strong focus on the driver.

Ian Lynas

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