Sitting between the CX-3 small SUV and CX-5 large SUV, the newcomer will be priced from £22,895 for the 26 models in five trim levels and a choice of rear or all-wheel-drive depending on the buyer’s selection of 122hp or 180hp 2.0-litre Skyactiv petrol engines with 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Both units feature the latest compression ignition petrol engine in two power outputs and have 24v mild-hybrid powertrain to stretch economy. With this power boost it builds on the launch earlier this year of the Mazda3 and the new CX-30 was shown at the Geneva motor show in March.
Even before its launched, the CX-30 picked up a five-star Euro NCAP rating for its adult occupant safety and range of i-Activesense safety features such as lane and overtaking warnings, sensors and driver assistance technologies.
The 122hp 2.0 engine takes 10.6-seconds to hit 62mph and has a maximum speed of 116mph while the 180hp 2.0 is good for 127mph and 8.5-seconds 0-62mph.
Mazda has taken the decision to sell only the petrol versions of the CX-30 in Britain but diesels will be offered in other markets and in due course but we will see an electric version on UK roads early in 2021.
The Skyactiv petrol engines as fitted to the Mazda3 have earned a reputation for responsiveness, power delivery and economy with low emissions and those of the new CX-30 are as clean as 105gkm.
All models are well equipped with standard head-up display, radar cruise control and LED headlights. As you move up the range you get upgraded sound systems including CD player and climate controls, additional driving and safety aids as well as bigger wheels and tyres.
For families it has a nominal 430-litres boot space rising to maximum 1,406-litres, standard cloth upholstery with leather on top models. The prices go from £22,895 to £33,495.
First impressions of the CX-30 with the 122hp engine were its refinement and smoothness, but it had to be stirred along through the gears on steeper roads or gentle gradients of our very extensive route through Devon.
The anticipated best selling 180hp version was sharper responding with a slightly firmer ride as well and we appreciated its agility but bemoaned a slow reacting auto-headlights system on busy country roads. The fact we did not have to work it so hard was reflected in our average of 44.4mpg compared to 35.2mpg in the less powerful stablemate.
Both were roomy had excellent seats, decent sized boot, and very good instruments display particularly head-up onto screen. Controls were easy and slick with a multi adjustable steering column, strong brakes and safe handling.
Mazda UK Managing Director, Jeremy Thomson said, “The CX-30, which slots into the range precisely between the SUV CX3 and CX5, comes at the right time for the brand with UK sales up 4% as it heads towards 40,000 units by the end of March 2020.
"We are particularly strong in the private sector and we will finish the financial year about 6% up on 27,000 units," he said.
"The really difficult area for everyone at the moment is the 'retail pull' or getting people into showrooms and buying but we are doing well and the CX-30 is ideal for them.
"This will become our best selling car in the UK and Europe and a significant part of Mazda sales. Analysis shows the crossover or SUV sector has passed the tipping point and is now the biggest selling model type with 39% and rising across Europe and next year we think it will account for 47% of our sales."
The likely engine demand will be 70%-75% for the 180hp and 30%-35% for the122hp unit. As for transmission choices, 69% manual 31% auto. Spec level sales splits will be SE-L 18%, SE-L Lux 24%, Sport Lux 34%, GT Sport 18% and GT Sport Tech 6%.
MILESTONES: Mazda CX-30 Sport Lux 180hp (expected main selling model) Price: £27,075 (£29,295 as tested). Engine/transmission: 180hp, 4-cylinder, Skyactiv X petrol with 24v mild-hybrid boost, 6-speed manual, RWD. Performance: 127 mph, 0-62mph 8.5-seconds, Combined Cycle 44.4mpg on test, CO2 105g/km, VED first year road tax £150 then £145 Standard rate, BiK company car tax 25%. Insurance Group: TBC. Warranty: 3-years/ 60,000 miles. Dimensions/capacities: L4.40m, W1.80m, H1.54m, boot/load space: 430 to 1,406-litres. For: Smooth and refined powertrain, agile handling, excellent seats and comfortable ride, reasonably roomy. Against: Some restricted rear vision, slow auto headlights, road noise, busy engine note when pressed, average warranty. Robin Roberts Miles Better News Agency