Mazda unveils CX-30 compact crossover
Mazda has unveiled a new compact crossover at the Geneva Motor Show. The CX-30 will be a new core model for the global market, a five-seat offering that is dimensionally slightly larger than the CX-3. Three engines will be offered, depending on market, and all-wheel drive will be standard.
The Mazda CX-30 seems aimed at a sportier, more lifestyle-oriented market with emphasis on performance and drive appeal. It's slightly longer than the CX-3, adding about 4.7 inches (120 mm) to overall length and 1.8 inches (30 mm) to width. A slightly longer wheelbase, adding 3.3 inches (85 mm), hides the marginally larger front overhang, which is further deemphasized by a larger rear overhang for a balanced look compared to other Mazda crossover-SUV designs.
The new dimensions of the Mazda CX-30 give it a stronger, more capable and sporty appearance compared to the CX-3. This is further enhanced by the higher ground clearance (6.9 inches/175 mm vs 6.2 inches/160 mm) of the CX-30. The overall exterior design is a tilt-forward, large-wheel look that suggests both speed and capability.
The interior of the Mazda CX-30 appears to be functionally very on par with the well-done interiors of Mazda's current crop of crossover-SUVs. A few detail changes, such as positioning of the infotainment control and seating designs, are apparent. The infotainment screen is 8.8 inches, growing a bit to accommodate a more active amount of information from Mazda's newest Human-Machine Interface (HMI).
Positioning of the front and rear pillars have been changed from the CX-3 to give the driver more outward visibility. The rear pillar, for example, is smaller with a small quarter window added for better view into blind spots. The front pillar is thinner and more rounded, giving a better view to sides. Mazda says it also rethought speaker placement for better audio performance in the crossover.
Most of the added length for the CX-30 (compared to the CX-3) seems to have been put into the cargo area. It's measured at 15.18 cubic feet (430 liters) of capacity, versus 12.4 cubic feet (351 liters) in the CX-3.
Mazda says that the CX-30 will launch in Europe first, hence its Geneva debut and footnotes regarding information released for the crossover being Euro-specific. This includes the engines being offered, which total three with both a manual and automatic transmission listed. It appears that all-wheel drive (Mazda's i-Activ AWD) will be standard in the CX-30.
The engines listed for the new CX-30 are two gasoline variants and a diesel option. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline option that's been seen in some other Mazda vehicles lately. It features cylinder deactivation for light-load situations (highway cruising) for better fuel economy.
That Skyactiv-G engine has a high-compression variant as the Skyactiv-X, which raises compression in the 2.0L to create compression ignition like a diesel, giving better output from the same design, including more torque, without the lags associated with diesel. The diesel engine option is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv-D, also seen in other Mazda vehicles in Europe.
To go with the engine options for the CX-30, Mazda upgraded all-wheel drive for more performance tuning. Its control system raises fuel economy to be nearly equivalent to front-wheel drive, by reducing losses through mechanical friction. A key part of this is the oil reservoir in the rear differential, which sits above the gearing and delivers only what's required as opposed to a circulating bath. Vectoring for axle-to-axle and wheel-to-wheel was tuned in the new AWD to respond to the CX-30's traction requirements in various driving conditions.
The Mazda CX-30 also features Mazda's G-Vectoring Control, now GVC Plus, which controls not only where power is being distributed, but also uses sensor inputs for vehicle pitch and yaw changes to further tune torque delivery for the CX-30.
Finally, Mazda made structural changes to the framing and welding on the CX-30 to limit noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) while improving safety and driving dynamics. Several active and advanced safety technologies will be available in the CX-30, including forward crash mitigation and automatic braking.
Mazda has not stated pricing, performance, or fuel economy numbers for the CX-30, nor has it released an anticipated sale date for the new crossover. It's also unclear whether Mazda will be replacing the CX-3 with the CX-30 or offering them alongside one another. We suspect it's the former, which means that the CX-30 could indicate a new basic architecture and naming convention for Mazda's crossover lineup going forward.