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The Japanese art of ‘less-is-more’

By Irish Pharmacist - 01st Oct 2021

Morgan Flanagan Creagh reviews the Mazda CX-30 Crossover

Mazda’s 100th anniversary edition CX-30 crossover was festooned with commemorative markings to celebrate the marque’s century in the business. My test car had a lovely burgundy interior with the aforementioned ‘1920-2020’ markings in the headrests. There were also ‘100 years’ logos on the 18” bright silver alloy wheels and the floor mats. As it’s a special edition, Mazda threw the kitchen sink at the car’s spec list, with the Bose sound system, 360 view cameras, and driver monitoring system, to name just a few.

Mazda are keen to shine a light on more than just the limited-edition specs on this car, as the CX-30’s e-Skyactiv-X engine has received some updates in both power and efficiency. The motor is now producing 186 metric horsepower, which is an increase of 6hp, as well as 240nm of torque at 4,000rpm, which is another increase of 16nm. Those torque levels are in the range you would expect from a diesel engine, which is quite a feat from this impressive motor. The e-Skyactiv-X motor’s fuel economy has improved by 0.2l/km, while it produces -5g less CO2.
So, all-in-all, it’s faster, leaner and greener. I enjoy the feeling of that surge of torque you get from most turbos, so it takes a little time getting used to the feeling of the normally aspirated e-Skyactiv X-engine. The CX-30 has a surprisingly wide power band and the snappy gearbox means it’s enjoyable to drive throughout the rev band. I normally prefer an automatic gearbox in crossover SUVs, but in this instance I’d make an exception. As the car shares its chassis with the Mazda-3 hatchback, it also handles rather nicely, for a crossover, which adds to
the fun of driving it.

The CX-30 is very sleek, inside and out. In my opinion, it is one of the best-looking crossovers on the market. Its design prowess, according to Mazda, showcases the latest developments in the company’s Kodo,
‘Soul of Motion’ design language. According to the Japanese marque, Kodo now targets greater styling prestige through the elegance and rigor of a minimalist, ‘lessis-more’, aesthetic inspired by the purest traditions of Japanese art and the beauty of space between objects.

The only drawback is the infotainment system, which I’m afraid I just don’t get. It was fine in the MX-5, where you have too much driving to be doing to be worrying about it. But in a family-focused crossover, when some of the competition can play Disney videos and Angry Birds games on the touchscreen infotainment system, I think Mazda is falling behind a little.

However, this infotainment system is attached to, dare I say, one of the best sound systems I’ve come across in a while. The system in my test car was so good, I featured it in a collection of Instagram stories on my 928dublin page. My test car had the 12-speaker Bose system custom-tuned set-up. It uses a newly devised BassMatch
system, which combines two 115mm highexcursion woofers, each housed in a 3-litre low-frequency enclosure placed in the front cowl-sides near the kick panels in the driver and passenger footwells, with a third bass source, a 130mm Richbass woofer in an 8-litre custom-engineered enclosure in the spare-tyre well at the rear of the car.

According to the experts at Mazda: “Placing the front enclosures near the kick panels instead of typical integration into the doors minimises speaker buzz and vibration — even when playing music at high volume. In addition, this configuration generates more acoustic energy because the BassMatch enclosures are positioned near the forward cabin corners, producing a similar effect to placing home speakers in the corners of a room to create more powerful bass response through sound reflection off the walls and back toward the listener.”

The CX-30 will be offered with three engine options; the first two options are part of the e-Skyactiv-G engine series. The first produces 122hp, gets milage figures of 6.9-5.9 l/100km, and has CO2 emissions of 156-134g/km. The second 150hp option offers-up fuel consumption of 6.9-5.9 l/100km, with CO2 emissions of 156-134g/km. Finally, the all-important, revolutionary 186hp e-Skyactiv-X, with its bells, whistles, and mild hybrid system, gets
milage of 6.6-5.7 l/100km, with CO2 emissions of 149-128g/km.

The Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary Edition I was testing will set you back €39,165 (rrp), compared to the base model starting price of €29,145. It’s a lovely car to spend time in and like all Mazdas, it will suit a keen driver more than someone who just wants to get from A to B.


ENGINE: 2.0 Skyactiv-X Mazda M Hybrid
POWER: 186ps/6,000rpm (+6ps)
TORQUE: 240nm @ 4000rpm (+16nm)
0-100KM/H: 8.3 seconds
FUEL ECONOMY (WLTP): 5.7 l/km (-0.2l)
TOP SPEED: 204km/h
SPEC: 100th Anniversary Special Edition
COLOUR: Snowflake White (Metallic)
CO2 (WLTP): 128g/km (-5g)

PRICE: €39,165 RRP

? 16” alloys
? LED headlights
? Bluetooth and Mazda MZD Connect
? High beam control
? Mazda radar cruise control
? Lane keep assist with lane departure warning
? Blind spot monitoring
? Rear cross-traffic alert
? Rear parking sensors
? Alarm and Immobiliser
? Multi-function leather steering wheel
? Heated auto folding power door mirrors
? 8.8” colour centre console display and multimedia commander
? 7 inch TFT digital dashboard
? Apple Car Play and Android Auto
? Dynamic stability control (DSC) with traction control system (TCS)
? USB ports (X2)
? Emergency break assist (EBA)
? Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD)
? Tyre pressure monitoring system
? Airbags (driver, passenger, side & curtain)
? ISOFIX brackets
? Hill hold assist
? Automatic rain-sensing wipers
? Automatic dusk-sensing lights
? Electronic handbrake
? Integrated satellite navigation
? i-stop/engine start stop button
? Window projection active driving display

Traffic sign recognition
? G-Vectoring control plus
? Smart city brake support (front) with pedestrian recognition
? Ecall with GPS

(in addition) (GS-L adds:)
? Auto dimming outer mirror
? Auto dimming inner mirror
? Smart keyless entry
? Power liftgate
? Rear digital camera
? Front seat heaters
? Dual automatic air conditioning
? Front parking sensors
? CD player

? 18” alloy wheels
? Mirror and head up display memory
? Driving position memory
? Black leather seats
? Power driver seat (8 way and lumbar)
? Heated steering wheel

? Adaptive LED headlights
? Front and rear LED signature LED lights
? Rear privacy glass
? Frameless auto dimming rear-view mirror
? Piano black front grille and sail garnish
? Piano black B pillar
? BOSE Sound System with 12 speakers

? 100 Years 1920-2020 exterior badging
? 18” bright silver alloys with 100 Years logo
? Burgundy leather seat trim with 100 Years logo embossing
? 100 Years burgundy floor mats
? Stone leather centre and door trim
? 360° view parking monitor
? Driver monitoring system
? Front cross-traffic alert
? Rear smart brake support
? Snowflake White Pearlescent paint
? Power tilt and slide sunroof






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