Mazda used the Geneva Motor Show to officially unveil their new ‘CX-30’ compact crossover SUV.
While the name suggests a replacement for the current CX-3 SUV, the CX-30 will apparently be sold alongside the existing model as an upmarket, more spacious and more refined companion.
Both the Skyactiv-Vehicle architecture and Skyactiv engine range employed in the CX-30 are Mazda’s latest, with the newcomer’s design being only the second model to employ the next-generation of Mazda’s Kodo: Soul of Motion design language.
Longer and wider than the CX-3, the CX-300 offers greater ground clearance, too, but more importantly for Mazda’s design goals with this model, it rolls on a longer wheelbase than the CX-3, which has improved both occupant and cargo space.
Essentially, the CX-30 is a halfway house between the CX-3 and CX-5 in terms of size, combining the city-friendly dimensions of the former with interior space comparable to the latter.
While full specs are yet to be revealed, the CX-30 will be offered with a petrol, diesel and Mazda’s compression-ignition petrol engine, with petrol powerplants to also be available with a mild hybrid system. A six-speed automatic and six-speed manual will be the transmission options, while the i-Activ all-wheel drive system will be offered in updated form. However, AWD is unlikely to be offered across the range.
Mazda calls the CX-30 design ‘Sleek & Bold’ and, compared to the CX-3, it certainly is that, but remains identifiably ‘Mazda’. The company calls it “an entirely new design for a compact crossover SUV,” but there’s nothing too radical here. In many ways, the CX-30 is Mazda’s embodiment of the coupe-SUV design theme seen on European-brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The curvy, Coke bottle centreline of the CX-3 is gone, replaced with a single shallow arc that runs from the bonnets leading edge, across the bottom of the side glass to the tail. The curve from the roofline to the tail is more graceful, too, a product of the coupe-like approach to the design.
The sportier overall appearance is accented by the more liberal use of black plastic in the lower body cladding and wheelarch trims, which shortens the optical depth of the CX-30, even though its height is the same as the CX-3 at 1540mm.
At the front end, there’s a fine mesh fill to the grille instead of the CX-3’s thick horizontal bars, but the grille surround and narrow headlights are familiar features from other Mazda models.
With no additional vents or ducting, the overall appearance of the front end is cleaner; a theme that extends to the back end.
Like the front end, there’s a cleaner and less-cluttered look to the back end, with a familiar treatment of the tail lights to retain the Mazda identity. Mazda’s description of the rear design having the “dynamic stance of a sports car” is a bit rich, but the design is nonetheless appealing.
Inside, the Sleek & Bold design theme is manifested in the form of lines that flow from the dash into the doors and more empty space in front of the front-seat passenger, while the instruments and pop-up 8.8-inch centre display screen are angled toward the driver. Lacking the large centre console touchscreen and with the lower-positioned venting, there’s almost an old school look to the dash area.
Two specific interior trim colours, dark brown and blue, will be offered, with the former paired with white or black leather seat upholstery, while the latter will be combined with a choice off grey or black fabric-trimmed seats.
Offering more space overall compared to the CX-3, the five-seater CX-30 measures 4395mm x 1795mm x 1540mm (LxWxH): 120mm longer and 30mm wider than the CX-3, with the 2655mm wheelbase – 85mm longer than the CX-3 – being the main factor behind the upcoming model’s enhanced interior space. That wheelbase is only 45mm shorter than the CX-5’s.
The larger dimensions have improved luggage space, too, which at 430 litres is 166lt greater than the CX-3 and only 12lt shy of the CX-5.
Power and Drive
Mazda has confirmed there will be a choice of three engines available for the CX-30, but the specs on the engines are still forthcoming.
Engine options will include the Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder, Skyactiv-D 1.8-litre diesel four-cylinder and the new Skyactiv-X 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder that uses diesel-like compression ignition technology.
Both the petrol engines will be equipped with Mazda’s ‘M Hybrid’ system for improved fuel economy, with the Skyactiv-G to also offer cylinder deactivation technology.
On the i-Activ all-wheel drive system, details are similarly vague at this stage, but Mazda says that new engineering and technologies (including a redesigned rear differential) to reduce friction and improve the AWD control system have resulted in a more stable and refined ride, while also offering fuel economy close to that of a front-wheel drive vehicle.
The i-Activ AWD will be combined with G-Vectoring Control (GVC) that controls torque between front and rear axles to enhance vehicle control. A further enhancement of this is G-Vectoring Control Plus that adds yaw control, via braking, to the existing system. Whether GVC Plus will be standard across the CX-30 range or limited to upper grade models has not been revealed.
The CX-30’s Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture is an evolution of what’s been developed previously, with the result being increased body rigidity thanks to a greater use of high-strength steel.
Active safety technology is led by a Driver Monitoring system that’s incorporated into the i-Activsense package. Using infrared camera and LED technology, the system monitors the driver’s attentiveness to the road ahead. An audible warning is sounded if the driver is judged to be inattentive, with further warnings and interventions following, as well as pre-loading the brakes to make brake response quicker.
A driver’s knee airbag will be standard, while pedestrian safety has been improved with a new front bumper and bonnet structure that dampens the force of an impact.
Other notable safety tech includes Front Cross Traffic Alert to identify blind spots and Cruising & Traffic Support that is a low-level form of autonomous driving assistance that controls, acceleration, braking and steering in traffic jams and other low speed situations. Both these technologies are likely to be limited to upper grades of the CX-30.
Mazda has confirmed that European deliveries of the CX-30 will begin later this year, with an Australian release expected in early 2020.
More details on the new CX-30, including model grades and specs, will be announced closer to local release.