Mazda CX-30 launch NZ – It’s fair to say that these are challenging times for all of us. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe and affected virtually all industries, most certainly including a personal favourite, the Automotive one.
Aside from the issues that surround their manufacture, (assembly, parts, distribution – the list goes on), currently, car brands can’t get you into showrooms and can’t get you behind the wheel. Let’s face it, right now it would be impossible to launch a new vehicle, right? Well Mazda doesn’t think so. Not only has Mazda launched a new vehicle but it’s a new nameplate too, and the Zoom-Zoom brand has done it via Zoom.
It what I believe is a ‘world first’ certainly an NZ one, Mazda has thought outside the box and used the video conferencing app Zoom to gather together NZ’s leading Motoring Journalists and release their all-new ‘just right’ compact SUV the CX-30.
Nestled perfectly between the CX-3 and CX-5, the CX-30 merges the style and panache of the award-winning Mazda3 with the soft-road functionality of Mazda’s CX range, two worlds cleverly joined at the hip or in this case the sills. An extensive PowerPoint presentation explained further.
‘Proportionally perfect’ Mazda’s design team has extended out the CX-30’s shoulder line at the rear, giving a small bubble to the SUV’s silhouette. Design-wise, this negates the need to slope or ‘box’ the vehicle’s roofline and yet maintains (relatively) expansive room on the inside – that I’ll get to in a moment. Also, viewing from the rear, the bubble offers more lateral shape, making the CX-30 look wider and more poised.
With Mazda’s Kodo design philosophy to draw from, the CX-30 embraces the Utsuroi principle which is the interplay of light and shadow, as seen in the new Mazda3, giving the illusion that the paintwork is alive.
Inside, the cabin (apparently) feels more spacious than would seem possible from a vehicle that’s only around 4.3m long. To achieve this the designers utilised ma and yohaku, traditional Japanese concepts of space, to create flow and atmosphere in the cabin. Luggage space, boasts a roomy 430L whereas the driver’s zone has a snug, secure character. The passenger area is airy and unconstrained, encouraging relaxation and interaction.
The CX-30 also features the new Mazda Connect infotainment system, with integrated satellite navigation on all grades for convenience, plus phone-mirroring technologies Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Active Driving Display, meters and centre display have all been designed to present information in a clear, simple fashion and it has an 8.8-inch wide-screen centre display, which offers simple, straightforward operation via the intuitive Commander control.
A long list of high-tech safety technology, standard across the range (GSX, GTX and Limited) includes Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-keep Assist System, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, reversing camera, Traffic Sign Recognition and Smart Brake Support.
Under the bonnet is either a (GSX) Skyactiv-G 2.0L or (GTX/Limited) a 2.5L petrol engine with the GTX and Limited models both featuring Mazda’s enhanced i-Activ AWD system, and the CX-30’s engaging drive experience assisted by Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus). Underpinning it all is Mazda’s new-generation high-tech Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture which provides a rigid vehicle structure that’s able to use a complex dampening structure to absorb and distribute energy input from the road surface into specific locations. Basically, CX-30 drivers will feel reduced vibration and noise from the road.
For this all-new new nameplate, Mazda has introduced ORTA (Off-road Traction Control), which in laymen’s terms is a diff lock, enabling this primarily road-going vehicle a way of getting you out of mild off-road situations.
Of course, nothing beats getting behind the wheel of a new car but the Mazda CX-30’s Zoom experience actually worked. It gave us a good insight into the rationale behind the new nameplate and had us itching to take it for a ride. What’s more, attending a New Zealand car launch in my underwear gives a whole new meaning to ‘thinking outside the box’.