Mazda CX-30 Review 2024

Mazda CX-30 At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you want a crossover SUV that does things a little differently, the Mazda CX-30 might be the answer. It has a premium interior, and offers a fine driving experience to bolster its appeal.

+A handsome crossover SUV that is more interesting than key rivals. Interior feels upmarket without being ostentatious. Efficient engines are combined with nimble handling.

-More expensive than some alternatives. No plug-in hybrid or diesel engines available. Space for passengers and luggage is smaller than in conventional SUVs.

New prices start from £23,745, brokers can source from £21,046
On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

The small SUV market is crowded and very competitive, but the Mazda CX-30 still manages to stand out. Filling a gap beneath the larger CX-5, it offers an intriguing and leftfield alternative to vehicles such as the Volkswagen T-Roc and Toyota C-HR – and benefits from an interior to rival premium-badged crossovers.

Mazda likes to do things in its own way, and the Mazda CX-30 is a unique take on the crossover SUV formula. Slotted between the smaller Mazda CX-3 and larger Mazda CX-5, it resembles a high-riding version of the Mazda 3 hatchback. Mazda had its reasons for not calling this car the Mazda CX-4, but nomenclature does not really matter here.

Although closer in size to the roomy Mazda CX-5, Mazda made the CX-30 look far more rakish. A sloping roofline, large front grille and neat exterior detailing make for a genuinely handsome family car.

Mazda has a tradition of doing things its own way, and that applies to the engines powering the Mazda CX-30. Forget any thoughts of plug-in hybrids, diesels or even turbochargers. Instead, the Mazda CX-30 is offered with a pair of 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines, both of which are naturally aspirated. The duo need to be worked hard to extract maximum performance; even the most powerful 186PS e-Skyactiv X version can feel lacklustre at low revs.

Helping the driving experience is a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission, which is fitted as standard. There is an automatic gearbox available, too. Most Mazda CX-30s will come with front-wheel drive, but there is the option of all-wheel drive for those who require extra all-weather traction.

Having to work the Mazda CX-30’s engines contributes to a sporty feel, which includes sharp and accurate steering. Compared with rival SUVs such as the Toyota C-HR, the Mazda is far more engaging on the road. Taut body control means the Mazda CX-30 feels closer to the Mazda 3 hatchback it is based upon, rather than rival crossovers.

Where the Mazda CX-30 truly stands out from alternatives such as the Kia Xceed, Toyota C-HR and Volkswagen T-Roc is the quality of its interior. Everything inside feels genuinely premium, and puts the Mazda on par with upmarket SUVs like the Audi Q2 and Volvo XC40. Soft-touch materials swathe almost every surface, and all the switchgear gives an impression of lasting quality.

Pleasingly, there are traditional buttons and knobs for the climate control air-con system. Mazda has avoided the temptation to use a touchscreen for every interior function, although there is still an 8.8-inch multimedia display screen on all models.

A comprehensive model range starts with the relatively affordable SE-L and stretches all the way to GT Sport Tech. All versions come with LED headlights, rear parking sensors and satellite navigation. As a result, even the cheapest Mazda CX-30 won’t leave buyers feeling short-changed – while higher specifications do feel truly luxurious. 

As classy as the cabin may be, this isn’t the most accommodating crossover SUV on sale. Front-seat passengers get a good deal, but those in the rear may feel a little cramped. Luggage space in the boot is competitive, and larger than the Mazda 3 hatchback.

This is an attractive and quite luxurious crossover SUV that is more enjoyable to drive than most. The high-revving engines will be off-putting for some people, but the overall Mazda CX-30 package is a compelling one.

Ask Honest John

What cars come with an opening sunroof?

"My wife is looking for a replacement for her ten year old Kia Venga. She loves the opening sunroof but I am struggling to find anything. Do any cars have opening sunroofs these days. It doesn't have to be brand new, say up to three years old."
The latest Kia Niro would be a good replacement for your wife's Venga. It's an excellent family SUV, available in top-spec '4' trim with an opening sunroof. Alternatively, a Mazda of some description could fit the bill - look at a used CX-30, as an example.
Answered by Andrew Brady

How can I stop the driver's seat in my Mazda CX-30 moving when I open the door?

"How do I stop the electronic driver's seat in a Mazda CX-30 (2020) returning to default position when door is opened?"
If your CX-30 has an electric driver's seat with memory position, it will move the seat backwards when the door is opened to allow easier entry and exit. However, you can program the position of the seats, outside mirrors and the Active Driving Display to one of the two memory positions or the key fob. The procedure is explained in detail in the owner's manual, but in short turn the ignition to on, set the seat and mirror position you want, press the SET button until you hear a sound and then press either of memory positions or the unlock button on the key fob.
Answered by David Ross

Can I get a generic space saver wheel for my car?

"I was quoted over £600 for a space saver spare wheel for my Mazda CX-30. I have seen generic 16-inch wheels on line for around £120. Would one fit and are they safe?"
Thank you for your message. Yes, you can have a smaller size space saver in your car. It's a spare for emergencies only - essentially to either get you home or get you to a garage. The slight disparity on rolling circumference is not a problem when used for emergencies only. If you're after a spacesaver try: or
Answered by David Ross

Can you recommend a car for an older passenger with arthritis?

"My husband has arthritis and early Parkinsons, so we need to move from a low convertible to a sensible and safe car with comfort features. We need high adjustable seats, an automatic gearbox, petrol and or hybrid engine and good visibility. The car must be economical, low tax, with safety driving features, park assist, four-doors, five seats and ideally a hatchback. Can you recommend a car for us that meets our needs?"
Without knowing your budget we can't be more specific but we'd be checking out cars such as the Toyota Corolla (hybrid-only), Volkswagen Golf and Mazda CX-30. You might also want to check out some of the cars in our best hatchbacks list here: or for even better visibility and ease of getting in and out how about a mid-size SUV?
Answered by Lawrence Allan
More Questions

What does a Mazda CX-30 cost?

Buy new from £21,046(list price from £25,350)