We have just spent a couple of days in Spain with Mazda’s latest offering the CX-30. This much anticipated SUV has been designed to sit firmly between the CX-3 and CX-5 poised with the task of taking on the likes of the Seat Ateca, Skoda Karoq and Volvo XC40. With ample room for four full sized passengers and 430 litres of boot space this is a little more than just a Mazda 3 on stilts! First impressions are good, I mean just look at it! Mazda’s award winning design team are dishing out sublime looking vehicles these days and this latest handcrafted Kodo design is so attractive.

From every angle the elegant lines flow beautifully giving it a purposeful look that just commands attention. Inside it is equally as impressive with premium materials used throughout. Naturally there are a number of specification options but even the lowest spec offers impressive kit and doesn’t look particularly cheap. Our test car was the GT Sport spec and once in the drivers seat, you are rewarded with excellent visibility and easy access to all the essentials such as the 8.8-inch infotainment system.

Technology includes Mazda’s Driver Monitoring system, which uses an infrared camera along with an infrared LED to identify when the driver needs to take a break. You can also avail of Mazda’s Cruising and Traffic Support system which assists with the accelerator, brake pedal and steering inputs when you are stuck in traffic. Front Cross Traffic Alert is also available on the CX-30 along with all the standard tech that you would expect from any new Mazda. Once comfortable we set about on our test drive that would incorporate motorway, backroads and even a little light off-road to really put the CX-30 to the test. As it is a crossover vehicle it’s nice to have an All-Wheel Drive option which not all offer in this segment.

Our first test car featured the 2.0 122 PS petrol engine but buyers will have a choice from not just the Skyactiv-G petrol but also a 1.8 116 PS Skyactiv-D diesel engine. Included in the petrol power plant line-up will be Mazda’s revolutionary 180 PS Skyactiv-X Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition technology which Mazda painstakingly developed to combine the free-revving performance of a petrol engine with the fuel economy of a diesel. All petrol engines feature hybrid technology using an electric motor and a 24V lithium-ion battery mounted between the wheels.

There is a choice between a six-speed manual and the six-speed automatic transmission we got to experience and it seemed perfectly suited to the petrol engine unlike some in this category that needlessly rev in the search for the next gear. Motorway miles were eaten up with ease but it’s on the back roads where the little CX-30 really impressed. Sometimes when you raise a car to buy you the desired ground clearance, you have to sacrifice a little in cornering ability, but even when we pushed the CX-30 hard, body roll was kept to a minimum. The MacPherson strut suspension backed up by the torsion beam rear setup make the ride a little firm over bumpy surfaces but much better through the bends. We completed just over 300 kilomteres over two days in the CX-30 with ease but the most impressive bit was just how sharp and connected it feels on the road.

The all new Mazda CX-30 will be available on the Irish market before the end of the year. Dealers are currently taking delivery of Left Hand Drive demo models to show customers and you can expect the CX-30 price point to be approximately €28,500 when it lands on Irish soil. Like the Mazda3 the different spec options will be GS, GS-L, GT and GT Sport. Your biggest problem could be picking which of the many beautiful triple layer paint options you like! We think it’s safe to say Mazda is on a roll right now with its product offering. This new generation of Mazda easily combines design, tech and a premium feel all at a competitive price. This ultimately means they simply cannot be overlooked when it comes to picking your new car. Go take a test drive and see for yourself!