This is Mazda’s new Qashqai and HR-V rival, the CX-30

All new model is bigger than a CX-3 but smaller than a CX-5, could cost less than S$120k with COE

Geneva, Switzerland

At the Geneva Motorshow yesterday, Mazda announced an all new addition to its current lineup in the form of the CX-30 small crossover/sport utility vehicle (SUV).

It will go head to head against popular Japanese small SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai and Honda HR-V.

To be competitive in this fiercely-contested, and very popular segment, the CX-30 will need to be priced below S$120k with COE, given its competitors range from S$90k to $S110k with COE, depending on engine/trim configuration.

No timeline has been confirmed for Singapore launch as yet, but our own estimates are for a late 2019 or early 2020 launch, after the new Mazda 3 hatch/sedan.

In fact, it’s best to think of the CX-30 as the SUV version of the all-popular Mazda 3, which also enjoyed its European debut at the show.

Singapore beat Geneva to the punch as we were only the second place in the world to see the new Mazda 3 in January at the Singapore Motorshow, as we covered in

Watch our quick walkthrough video of the new Mazda 3 by clicking the photo above.

That’s important because the CX-30 uses much of the same new technology present in the Mazda 3 – and if the sales of small SUV rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai and Honda HR-V are anything to go by, the CX-30 looks to become the other big mainstay of the Mazda lineup.

The car is based on the new-gen Mazda Skyactiv architecture, as seen first in the new Mazda 3, which is comprised of 30 percent high-strength steel, and is also designed to make you feel more comfortable by optimising natural movement of the human body.

In size terms, the CX-30 slots in between the CX-3 and CX-5 models. The CX-30 isn’t called a CX-3 because there already is one in the Mazda lineup – read our review of it on here – and as it’s based on the Mazda 2 compact hatch, the CX-3 is a compact SUV and hence smaller than the CX-30.

Sizing up the CX-30

As you can see from the chart, the CX-30 matches up very closely to its rivals in dimensions. From the figures, we see that the Mazda is almost equal in length, though it also has a longer wheelbase, which implies it may have more interior room. It can’t match the colossal boot space of the HR-V, but it’s on par with the Qashqai here.

We also see that the CX-3 is shorter, which could spell for less headroom, but Mazda has banked on the emotional appeal of its design language and it makes the car a little more coupe-like, which is all the rage these days.

We’ve had an insight into Mazda’s rather unique design approach that takes evocative shapes and, quite literally, turns them into cars and it’s no insult to say that the CX-30 looks like a slightly smaller version of the gorgeous-looking CX-5.  

A new touch on the exterior are LED turn signals that ‘start at full power and fade in sequential pulses’. The car will be available in nine colours, including the signature Mazda colours of Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey, and Polymetal Grey.

The interior appears similar to the new Mazda 3’s, although the upper section has a different ‘swoop’, but the instruments, infotainment and vent layout are almost identical, with Mazda’s new-gen interior featuring an open, airy design.

The triple binnacle instrument layout has a digital component (like the CX-5), while the 8.8-inch display belong to the newest version of Mazda’s MZD Connect infotainment system that includes touchscreen and rotary control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported – on a side note Mazda has begun the roll-out of CarPlay across its entire range in Singapore already.

Currently only the European-spec powerplants have been confirmed, and these include the new Skyactiv 2.0 gasoline and 1.8 diesel engines, the former is almost certainly one of the variants to be offerer in Singapore, with a 1.5-litre gasoline engine (confirmed for the Mazda 3) also a strong likelihood.

Diesel probably isn’t coming here, but there are two other intriguing possibilities: The CX-30 will be offered with the advanced Skyactiv-X 2.0-litre gasoline engine that combines the best characteristics of diesel and gasoline, that impressed us on its prototype drive.   

The second is that the CX-30 sees the first mention of Mazda’s new hybrid technology, which is different from the current Toyota-based hybrid system used in the Demio (JDM Mazda 3).

Mazda’s near-future timeline includes electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrids, normal hybrids and mild hybrids. The CX-30 will be offered with the new mild hybrid system, named M-Hybrid, operating on 24V with a small 600 kilojoule (0.16kWh) battery.

The CX-30 will also feature Mazda’s new suite of safety systems ‘i-Activsense’ – like Honda Sensing and Toyota Safety System – including a driver fatigue monitor, Mazda’s Cruising and Traffic Support system (CTS) which takes over acceleration, braking, and provides steering assists in heavy traffic.

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong