The all-new 2019 Mazda CX-30 has been revealed at the Geneva motor show, and will slot between the CX-3 and CX-5 when it goes on sale in Europe later this year.
Measuring 4395mm long, 1795mm wide and 1540mm tall, the CX-30 is 120mm longer and 30mm wider than the current CX-3. Ground clearance has also increased by 15mm to 175mm.
More, its 2655mm wheelbase is 85mm longer than the CX-3, with all its increased dimensions helping to free up more interior space – a key complaint with the model currently on sale.
It's more closely linked to the larger CX-5, too, while also introducing its own unique character – namely the prominent contrasting black bumpers and arch cladding, along with new alloy wheel designs.
Like the 3 hatch and CX-5, the CX-30 sports a long nose and short rear overhang. Mazda says the black cladding and sleek proportions combine to realise "two contradictory elements: the flowing beauty of a coupe and the bold toughness of an SUV".
The wide rear haunches and inward-tapering rear cabin lend a muscular stance "like a sports car", while the slim LED head- and tail-light units with circular signatures echo the aggressive and upmarket designs of Mazda's latest models.
Huge changes have been made in the interior as well. Gone is the quirky cute dashboard layout from the Mazda 2, making way for the 'human-centred' and more premium design first seen in the all-new 3.
All the displays and dials are angled towards the driver, including the new 8.8-inch widescreen infotainment display, along with far more liberal use of upmarket materials including leather-look surfaces just about everywhere and contrasting top-stitching.
Two colour schemes are available: Dark Brown (pictured) and Dark Blue. The former will likely be reserved for high-spec models, and is available with the choice of perforated Black or Pure White genuine leather.
As for the Dark Blue option, it features fabric upholstery offered in either Greige (grey) or black.
Like the new 3, the CX-30 gets a new seat structure that is designed to maintain the natural S-shape of the human spine, while the seat cushion and lower seatback are designed to keep the pelvis in an upright position.
As a result, Mazda says the driver is able to stabilise their head in a "natural fashion" by shifting the pelvis and spine to "maintain balance without any conscious effort".
The company claims the CX-30's cabin is 'spacious' with most of the interior dimensions described as 'generous' – though exact figures for head- and legroom, for example, are yet to be detailed.
However, the luggage area has grown substantially to 430L, with a 1020mm wide tailgate opening and 731mm high load lip. By comparison, the CX-3 offers just 264L.
In fact, the CX-30 isn't far off the boot capacity of the larger CX-5 either, which claims 442L.
A powered tailgate will be offered on higher grades as well, for easier access to the cargo area.
Mazda says it has made very particular adjustments to improve visibility and field of view as well.
For example, the thickness and shape of the A-pillars were 'optimised' to minimise blind spots, while the C-pillar is small for improved rearward visibility through the quarter window.
Some of the more pedantic bits include adjusting the pillar shape after researching what degree of neck and eye movement wouldn't burden the driver. The company even "carefully engineered" the wipers to clean right up to the A-pillar and install the washer nozzles on the wiper arms so "their spray can be wiped away immediately" to not impede on visibility. It's the little things.
As for the aural experience, the standard audio system includes an eight-speaker system, while a flagship 12-speaker Bose setup will be offered on higher models.
Various measures were also taken to reduce NVH (noise vibration harshness), including reduced holes in the carpet, and sound-absorbing materials fitted to the headliner and floor mats. Mazda adds it employed a two-wall structure (like the 3) for the carpet and body panel to improve insulation without adding weight.
Three engines will be available, in Europe at least, including a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, a 1.8-litre turbo-diesel, and the company's new SkyActiv-X compression-ignition petrol.
Both petrol options feature mild-hybrid technology for improved efficiency and "higher levels of driving pleasure", though outputs are still to be confirmed for all three powertrains. The SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre petrol also features cylinder-deactivation technology which allows two of the four cylinders to deactivate when cruising for even lower fuel consumption and lowered mechanical resistance.
Front- and all-wheel drive will be offered, as will six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions depending on variant. The revised i-Activ all-wheel drive system has seen a number of changes to achieve a more "refined and stable ride" and fuel economy "almost as good" as the front-wheel drive version.
G-Vectoring Control Plus is also including, which adds to the outgoing G-Vectoring Control system by adding a 'direct yaw moment control' via braking which helps bring the steering wheel to the straight-ahead position with more accuracy and stability.
In terms of safety, the CX-30 offers Mazda's latest range of driver assistance and active safety technologies first seen on the new-generation 3.
Headlining features include the company's new driver monitoring system – which uses infrared camera and LED technology to detect various aspects of the driver's face to determine the level of fatigue – front cross-traffic alert to detect oncoming traffic at T-intersections, along with 'Cruising & Traffic Support' which assists with accelerator, brake and steering inputs when stuck in traffic jams on the highway.
Changes have been made under the skin too, in order to improve the vehicle's passive safety. The body, for example, uses more high-strength steel to improve impact performance and energy absorption.
A driver's knee airbag will be fitted as standard globally, helping lessen injuries to the leg, chest and abdomen.
Finally, the bonnet features a new energy-absorbing inner structure that is designed to lessen the impact on a pedestrian's head, while the front bumper is designed to support the thigh and shins while softening the impact to the knee area.
Mazda's local division has confirmed with CarAdvice the CX-30 will "definitely" come to Australia, with a launch planned for 'sometime' in 2020.
Further details will come to hand in the lead-up to the local launch next year, stay tuned.
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