Introducing our latest long-term review subject, the Mazda CX-30. Don't think on the name too long, and you might just find it's an appealing buy.
If you're a little confused about the 2020 Mazda CX-30 and what it represents in the company's SUV range, you'd easily be forgiven.
After all, most brands offer models in at least three size categories: small, medium and large. In Mazda Australia's case that strategy has been represented by the little CX-3, the mid-sized CX-5 and its longer seven-seat sibling the CX-8, and the frankly behemoth CX-9.
Likewise, the CX-5 might make more sense if it were named the CX-6, given it occupies the same 'medium' slot in Mazda's line-up that the 6 sedan and wagon share in the passenger-car category.
The CX-8, largely identical to the CX-5 but for its longer body and extra rear-seating row, could just as sensibly wear a CX-6 or CX-5 Plus badge (for a closer relationship to its sibling), or even have revived the CX-7 badge for obvious reasons.
Of course, a five-seat CX-5 and seven-seat CX-5 Plus wouldn't make the CX-9 a nine-seater. And, really, that flagship SUV's badge positioning can be linked – somewhat loosely – to the '929' of days gone by.
You can see where I'm going here: Mazda, like many other brands, doesn't necessarily have a lot of 'at a glance' logic in its naming choices – at least when it comes to SUVs, because thankfully the Mazda 2, Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 are still easy enough to make sense of.
This brings us back to the CX-30. Unlike the CX-3, this one is indeed related to the Mazda 3, although the 3 boasts a longer wheelbase (2725mm to 2655mm).
So… Why isn't it called CX-4? You'll never guess, dear readers: such a car already exists in the global Mazda line-up, and it's a coupe-styled lifestyle SUV sold only in China. Go figure.
CX-30 it is, then. But what does the zero represent? Nothing at all, really, except to account for the existence of the shoulda-been-a-CX-2 CX-3. It's not an orphan concept, though: we have the BT-50 already, and now there's also the MX-30 electric SUV. Time will tell if we see other 'zero' models join the range.
Putting its name out of our minds, we not too long ago welcomed a CX-30 to the CarAdvice garage for a long-term review of its virtues.
You've met the car already, in fact, having recently starred in Kez Casey's 'Sibling Rivalry' comparison against the familiar CX-5.
Our CX-30 test car is equipped in 'G25 Astina' specification, the most expensive variant on offer at $43,490 plus on-road costs.
For that money, the CX-30 is driven by a 139kW/252Nm 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder 'Skyactiv-G' petrol engine – hence the 'G25' in its name.
That engine is mated to a six-speed automatic, and claimed fuel consumption is 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres.
The CX-30 joins the 3 in debuting new-generation styling, inside and out, for the Mazda brand. Although familiar, the new look brings a new level of refinement in its material quality, fit, and finish – but we'll talk more on that later in our long-termer journey.
Hopping into a CX-3 G25 Astina will cost you $3250 more than opting for the equivalent Mazda 3, while upgrading to all-wheel drive – as found in our tester – will add another $2000 to the bill. That brings this one to $43,490 before on-road costs.
Ours is also wearing the premium Machine Grey paint finish, making for another $495 on the tab.
Standard kit includes leather trim, power-adjustable driver's seat with memory, a 7.0-inch digital instrument display, keyless entry with push-button start, auto-folding mirrors with reverse tilting, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, plus a leather steering wheel and gearshift knob.
The safety spread gets you seven airbags, rear cross-traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and traffic sign recognition – all standard across the range.
The CX-30 gets a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, with capped-price servicing at $315 for the first, third and fifth services, and $359 for services two and four. Intervals are an industry-standard 12 months apart, time-wise, but a comparatively short 10,000km (whichever comes first). The average Aussie vehicle's travel distance in a year is around 13,000km.
Whether the stylish new CX-30 is worth the coin is what we'll be assessing in the weeks ahead, but you can skip through to our existing coverage – from standalone reviews to comparisons – to get a headstart on understanding our thoughts on Mazda's latest model line.