Mazda CX-30 2020 g25 astina (awd)

2020 Mazda CX-30 long-term review: Farewell

Rating: 8.1
$39,410 $46,860 Dealer
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We bid farewell to our 2020 Mazda CX-30 G25 Astina, which has done pretty well in its first year on sale. James runs through where the car worked and where it didn't during our long-term loan.
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I think it’s fair to say Mazda’s most recent SUV addition has had a good year. Straight out of the blocks as a brand-new model, the CX-30 has shifted just under 8000 units so far in 2020.

Sure, it’s not as impressive as the smaller CX-3’s first year of sales (12,656 for calendar-year 2015), and it hasn’t been enough to change the top order of Mazda’s volume sellers (year-to-date, CX-5 at 19,919, Mazda 3 at 13,344 and CX-3 at 12,620).

Considering the overall challenge of the market (down 16 per cent year-on-year), and that the CX-30 competes in a very competitive segment, it’s not a bad result.

Mazda has employed the balanced Goldilocks approach to nestle the CX-30 between the CX-3 and CX-5, and even showcase the differences between the nameplates in the CX-30 brochure.

The price band overlaps both the larger and smaller CX models, making the decision about style and functionality rather than affordability. Meaning, you can judge Mazda’s trio of SUVs on your needs and find something that fits the bill, regardless of badge. Clever.

To better understand the new middle child, we ran a Machine Grey 2020 Mazda CX-30 G25 Astina AWD as a long-term test car for a few months, covering its position in the market, technology offering and family-friendliness in the process.

It’s fair to say, too, that we have come away pretty impressed.

2020 Mazda CX-30 G25 Astina AWD
Engine configuration2.5-litre four-cylinder
Displacement2.5 litres (2488cc)
Power139kW at 6000rpm
Torque252Nm at 4000rpm
TransmissionSix-speed automatic
Drive typeAll-wheel drive
Tare weight1475kg
Fuel claim, combined6.8L/100km
Fuel use on test8.6L/100km
Turning circle10.6m
ANCAP safety rating (year tested)Five stars (2019)
Warranty (years / km)5 years / unlimited km
Main competitorsKia Seltos, Mazda CX-3, Mazda CX-5, Ford Puma
Options as tested$495

The modern styling that essentially adds the tried-and-true SUV ‘lift and clad’ formula to the funky Mazda 3 hatch works well, and has resulted in a premium-looking urban-runner that, as we found out, is at home in any suburb.

So, with about 4000km under our clean, white, leather seats, what worked and what didn’t with Mazda’s in-between SUV?

On the plus side, the Astina comes very well featured, as it should for a list price of $43,490 before options and on-road costs. Our Machine Grey paint (one of eight choices) adds another $495, but that’s the only box you can tick at this point in the range.

The 8.8-inch widescreen LCD screen is standard, as is integrated navigation, DAB digital radio and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You score adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistant, a 360-degree camera and rear cross-traffic alert.

In terms of comfort, the lovely white leather is a no-cost selection, the powered sunroof is included, as are the snazzy 18-inch alloys. It’s a very complete package.

From behind the wheel, the digital instrument cluster is configurable and easy to read, plus the widescreen infotainment unit is very clear and bright, and certainly lifts the immediate appeal of the CX-30’s cabin.

Usability is mostly good, too, with the speed of connection to Apple CarPlay leaving some European rivals in the dust, and the overall ergonomics of the volume control and other steering-wheel-mounted functions largely excellent.

Even the Bose stereo, with 12 speakers and an amplifier, is impressive.

2020 Mazda CX-30 G25 Astina AWD
Ground clearance175mm
Weight (Tare)1475kg
Wheels/tyres18-inch – 215/55R18 Dunlop

The CX-30 is very comfortable, too – to a point.

As noted in earlier updates, the leather seats are very soft and plush, and the standard heating in the front, and even heated steering wheel, were very welcome through Melbourne’s colder months.

You get wide door openings for access to the rear seats, and the boot, despite being smaller than many competitors at 317L (422L including the under-floor storage), works well for most tasks.

The power tailgate and flat floor when the back seats are folded (1280L) give a decent amount of room, too. So much so that the CX-30 came in very handy when moving house in the middle of the year.

Fun fact, you can fit nine standard book cartons (406mm x 298mm x 431mm) in the back.

And, when running about town, the 139kW/252Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine is zippy enough to deal with the majority of urban conditions without too much fuss.

Where the CX-30 didn’t quite score top marks, though, also includes the engine.

Under load toward the peak power point of 6000rpm, and even the 4000rpm peak torque level, the naturally aspirated engine sounds raspy and hollow. Whereas the six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and well-ratio’d, the heightened NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels from the motor somewhat sour the experience of the comfortable cabin.

In typical Mazda fashion, we saw fuel consumption sit consistently higher than the claim, with our average of 8.6L/100km a good 25 per cent higher than the claim of 6.8L/100km. In all honesty, the fuel use didn’t seem overly high for a 1475kg, naturally aspirated 2.5-litre car, it just seems Mazda’s claims are overly ambitious.

The rest of the ownership puzzle isn’t too extravagant either, with the first three years of capped-price Mazda servicing running to $1161, and five years at $2018 (it’s about $100 more than a Kia Seltos at $1914).

2020 Mazda CX-30 G25 Astina AWD
ColourMachine Grey
Price (MSRP)$43,490
Options as tested$495
Servicing 3yr$1161
Servicing 5yr$2018
ANCAP safety rating5-star
Warranty5 years / unlimited km

The point I noted earlier where the CX-30’s interior isn’t so well thought out? When you need to use newborn-capsule-style car seats, they force the front seats to be positioned so far forward that taller drivers simply won't fit.

Plus, there are some little fiddly things around the CX-30’s cabin that could have been better thought out. For example, access to the centre armrest couldn’t be less intuitive, in that you have to slide it all the way back from where you’ve got it set just right for your arm, just to open it.

The shelf in front of the screen seems like a great place to store things, except that they then obscure the screen – so why have a shelf at all, other than there being nowhere else to put anything? And, the whole juicy high-resolution screen without a touch interface just seems like a missed opportunity.

But in general, and to be very fair to the CX-30, these quibbles are just that.

It’s much better suited as a one-or-two-up urban runner than as a young-family’s car, and while on the rise, it still doesn’t quite offer the quality and overall refinement of a Lexus.

Get past that, though, and the CX-30 is certainly one of the better choices in the Mazda stable. It is, quite simply, to quote many who experienced the little Mazda while it was in our care, a very nice little car.

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 G25 Astina offers the right size with the right look, and the right level of comfort and equipment to see it potentially challenge any one of the top-three-selling Mazdas it sits next to in the showroom. We'll be watching the sales results keenly to see if year two sees the CX-30 rise further up the charts.