Much has been said about Mazda’s new CX-30 crossover, certainly in the looks and size department. Fitting perfectly between the CX-3 and CX-5 and boasting the ‘Utsuroi principle’ or interplay of light that the new Mazda3 displays, but now having driven the GSX model for a week, one of the biggest things we noticed about this compact SUV was how quiet it is.
NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) is essentially an industry term, which, for obvious reasons, carmakers try to reduce as much as possible. I mean, aside from being in a track car, who wants to have their teeth rattled out or be deafened by road-noise, and this my friends, is where the new CX-30 excels.
Underpinning the CX-30 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. But there’s more to it than that. The tyres have been specially developed to reduce road noise and increase comfort and control. And if that wasn’t enough, the engineers have crawled all over the body, plugging holes and moving things like door speakers, to avoid any unnecessary sounds.
Admittedly, it may seem rather odd to go on and on about the NVH but it is worth shouting about (or not as the case may be). The result of Mazda’s work is outstanding, similar to that of a vehicle brand quadruple its price. The lack of intrusive exterior sound is noticeable in its absence. We drove past a normally noisy bus and barely heard it (until I opened the window). Anyway, I think you get the point.
We tested out the GSX model (there is also the GTX and Limited on offer), but although it is the first rung on the CX-30 ladder, it sure came fully equipped. Safety alerts for almost every eventuality (Blind spot, lane, rear cross-traffic etc) and it kept a watch out for traffic signs and road markings. In fact, the CX-30 is so extremely safe that it received high praise from ANCAP for its near-perfect 99% score in adult occupant protection – the highest recorded.
The head-up display was a welcome surprise, as was the 8.8-inch infotainment screen with Mazda Connect and Apple/Android.
Sure the seats were cloth but they did have a hint of leather, as did the rest of the cabin, blue in my case to match the exterior colour. The cabin itself is driver-centric and uncluttered, it’s easy to find the things you want or need.
The drive itself was nippy and enjoyable. I would have probably preferred the 2.5L that comes with the other two models, but the 2L offered up enough pep (114kW/200Nm) to play with, especially in Sport mode and the advertised 6.5L/100km fuel economy is very attainable.
Although the CX-30 has an elevated 175mm ride height, it actually handled the corners well, I poked it enough to have the traction system intervene, but even then, it was as an aid to my driving skills, rather than being a fun-police spoiler.
Being 2-wheel drive, my GSX model didn’t come with the Off-Road Traction Assist (that engages AWD and traction control systems together to suppress tire spin and distribute the right amount of torque to the tires) of it’s AWD siblings, but I didn’t venture off-road/soft-road anyway, so not needed.
At 4.3m in length, the new Mazda CX-30 is ideal in size for the town and yet seems to have enough size to venture towards the country. Its clever rear design allows for plenty of rear-seat headroom and there’s even 430L of luggage space should your require it.
As if having all the above squeezed into this small crossover wasn’t enough, Mazda NZ have gone all out to ensure added peace of mind with 5 year/unlimited km warranty and Free (yeas you read that correctly) Servicing for 5 years/100,000km as standard.
It’s a capable crossover that is extremely quiet (not sure if I mentioned that).