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Mazda CX-30 M Hybrid: Stylish, sporty sensibility

By Ghaith Madadha - May 31,2021 - Last updated at May 31,2021

Photos courtesy of Mazda

A car-like compact crossover introduced for the 2020 model year, the Mazda CX-30 is a stylish and sporty addition to the Hiroshima-based manufacturer’s ever more premium-oriented line-up. Boasting a more connected driving dynamic than most crossovers in its class and an evocatively jutting and urgent design, the CX-30 also features an ergonomic and upmarket driver-oriented cabin. Driven in M Hybrid guise, the CX-30 incorporates a subtle and fluently integrated mild hybrid system to lower fuel consumption and emissions without corrupting the driving experience, as more heavy-handed hybrid systems often do.

Jutting athleticism

Slotting between CX-3 and CX-5 models, the CX-30 is Mazda’s second smallest crossover, styled with the automaker’s current “Kodo” design language. Distinctly Japanese, the CX-30’s aesthetic is characterised by its jutting, almost forward lunging fascia, dominant wire-mesh style grille and narrow, squinting and heavily browed headlights. Assertive with its urgent sense of momentum and forward motion, the CX-30’s design, however, steers clear of brutal aggression, but instead has an elegantly flowing sense athleticism and incorporates a pert rear with short overhang and rakishly descending roofline tipped with a sharp tailgate spoiler.

Among the most innovative and independently-minded auto makers in its on-going development of the combustion engine, Mazda’s Skyactiv technologies incorporate high compression, direct injection, optimised gas flow, shortened combustion duration, and piston cavities for improved efficiency and performance. Powering the Jordanian market CX-30 is the naturally-aspirated 2-litre four-cylinder Skyactiv-G engine, now mated to Mazda’s take on hybrid drive-lines, in the form of the M Hybrid system, which incorporates an integrated starter generator and regenerative braking to scavenge kinetic energy to power a small electric motor and comparatively small 24V battery.

Eager delivery

Positioned transversely and driving the front wheels, as driven, the Mazda CX-30’s naturally-aspirated engine develops 153BHP at 6,000rpm and 147lb/ft torque at 4,000rpm. Smooth and linear in delivery, the CX-30’s combustion engine is subtly assisted by its electric motor during acceleration from standstill and through gears, to ensure smoother cog changes and un-interrupted power flow. The electric motor also seems to chip in at higher revs and throttle positions for improved on-the-move acceleration urgency, but otherwise its main task is to unburden the combustion engine by powering electrical ancillary systems.

With its combustion engine delivering precise throttle control and seamlessly smooth and progressive power accumulation, the CX-30 allows the driver to dial in exact power increments, for a predictable yet engaging driving experience. For its part, the CX-30’s electric assistance is well-integrated, responsive and almost imperceptible coming on, and while there is a brief moment of throttle lift-off delay, this is rare and much less than most hybrids. The CX-30’s six-speed automatic gearbox is meanwhile, smooth and responsive to inputs and through gears, in both auto and manual paddle-shift modes.

Silky and seamless

As sporty in character as its looks suggest, the CX-30’s engine may not be the most powerful among comparable crossovers, but is among the most rewardingly visceral, as it eagerly and urgently revs to it redline, accompanied by a sweet, soft-edged guttural soundtrack. Assisted by its electric motor when necessary, it is confident from standstill and in overtaking, with 0-100km/h arriving in 10-seconds or less, and is meanwhile capable of a top speed of 194km/h. Braking is similarly confident and with good pedal feel and precision for easy modulation.

With eager and silky smooth delivery and handling abilities complementing each other, the CX-30 allows one to utilise its full performance and dynamic package through winding roads, hill climbs and whenever else called upon, as one comes back on throttle early when exiting corners. Turning into corners tidily and with only hint of understeer at its high grip limit, the CX-30 finely balances cornering agility and adjustability, with road-holding, commitment and confidence. Meanwhile, its quick, well-weighted steering offers direct precision and better road feel than most in its class.

Fluency and finesse

Offered with optional all-wheel-drive in some markets, the CX-30 seems more fluent and predictable in front-wheel-drive guise, without sudden rearwards power delivery. Among the best handling in its class, the CX-30 dispatches winding switchbacks with fluency and finesse, and is ever willing to adjust weight to the outside and rear when asked, to tighten a cornering line. Well-controlling cornering body lean, the CX-30 is meanwhile, stable and refined on highway. Settled vertically, with buttoned down confidence on rebound, the CX-30’s ride is forgiving but slightly firm over jagged lumps and bumps.

A well equipped compact crossover available in three specification packages locally, the CX-30 offers plenty of comfort, convenience and safety features including reversing camera and rear cross-path warning system, as driven in top spec. Classy and with convincing premium intentions, the CX-30’s cabin is ergonomic and user-friendly with clear instrumentation, and highly adjustable, comfortable and supportive driving position. Incorporating quality materials, soft textures and stylishly clean and uncluttered design, it has a sportily upmarket ambiance. Meanwhile above average rear space better accommodates taller, larger passengers than most rivals, while boot space is well packaged.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 2-litre, transverse 4-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 83.5 x 91.2mm

Compression ratio: 10:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, variable timing

Hybrid system: Integrated starter generator, 24V battery

Gearbox: 6-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 153 (155) [114] @6,000rpm

Specific power: 76.5BHP/litre

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 147.5 (200) @4,000rpm

Specific torque: 100.1Nm/litre

0-100km/h: under 10-seconds (estimate)

Top speed: 194km/h

Fuel capacity: 51-litres

Length: 4,395mm

Width: 1,795mm

Height: 1,540mm

Wheelbase: 2,655mm

Tread: 1,565mm

Overhang, F/R: 915/825mm

Ground clearance: 175mm

Headroom, F/R: 967/973mm

Shoulder room, F/R: 1,412/1,361mm

Hip room, F/R: 1,388/1,352mm

Luggage volume, min/max: 430-/1,406-litres

Kerb weight: under 1,500kg (estimate)

Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts/torsion beam

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Turning circle: 11.36-metres

Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/discs

Tyres: 215/55R18

Price, on-the-road, without insurance: Starting from JD24,500

 

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