After almost 2 decades of single-digit model designations (with the exception of the BT-50 pick-up) for its current range, Mazda appears to now be ‘opening up’ its model line by using a new designation – CX-30. Although it has been making and selling a CX-4 in China for a few years now, that model is destined to stay in China while the new CX-30 that is positioned between the CX-3 and CX-5 will be a global model.

The CX-30 will thus be a core model in the crossover SUV range, with sales to start from mid-2019 in Europe, followed by other markets.

More space inside
Given its positioning, its size is obviously larger than the CX-3 which has been found to be somewhat too compact inside. The CX-30 also enabled Mazda designers to introduce a model premium cabin – which does also mean having more generous space than what the CX-3 can offer – in line with other new models.

The cabin design is based on Mazda’s human-centered design philosophy and traditional Japanese architecture with its use of Ma or empty space. Its basic structure revolves around two areas with contrasting characteristics: a snug and condensed cockpit area for the driver, and a clean, airy open space around the front passenger.

Driver-focussed cockpit
The cockpit is symmetrical and firmly focussed on the driver, with all three meters in the cluster and the centre display correctly angled towards the driving position. A secondary, wing-shaped hood is fitted to the upper area of the dashboard. Running horizontally from the top of the meter hood to the end of the door trim on the passenger side, it generates an airy atmosphere that gives the cockpit an expansive feel, as well as adding to the front passenger’s feeling of relaxation, comfort and security.

The thickness and shape of the A-pillars were optimized to minimize obstruction and associated blind spots. Every detail of the pillar shape was carefully thought out after research into what degree of neck and eye movement would not burden the driver. As a result, the design significantly reduces blind spots ahead of the car, providing the driver with a continuous view of pedestrians or potential obstacles to the right or left while maintaining a natural driving posture.

Dimensional comparisons between the CX-30, CX-3 and CX-5

Mature Kodo design
The exterior styling has the bold proportions of an SUV with elegant styling that embodies Mazda‘s Kodo design language which has evolved into a mature state since being introduced in 2010.

With the CX-30, the designers are trying out a new design language referred to as ‘Charge and Release.’ This language was derived from the brushwork used in Japanese calligraphy and developed to integrate the three key factors of the evolved Kodo design theme, namely Yohaku, the beauty of empty space; Sori curves with poise and balance; and Utsuroi, the play of light and shade.

Much effort has gone into every detail and this includes the headlamps that feature a LED arrangement that emphasizes their elaborate cylindrical shape to point up their artistic beauty while delivering a distinctive mechanical impression. The LED turn signals have a distinctive light-up pattern that starts at full power and then gradually ramps down, giving a powerful impression of a pulsating, living creature.

SKYACTIV technologies
It goes without saying that the CX-30 will incorporate the latest Mazda SKYACTIV technologies, with SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture providing superior driving dynamics and SKYACTIV petrol and diesel engines – including the advanced SKYACTIV-X – providing responsive and powerful performance.


The new model has a newly developed i-Activ AWD control system and new technologies to reduce friction, enabling the CX-30 to return real-world fuel economy claimed to be almost as good as a front-wheel drive vehicle. To enhance fuel economy, the new system adopts a rubber damper inside the power take-off unit, which greatly reduces fluctuations in input torque sent to the rear-wheel drive unit.

The advanced i-Activ AWD systems works with G-Vectoring Control (GVC) to control the distribution of torque between front and rear wheels in accordance with the driver’s steering and acceleration inputs and the grip condition of all wheels in order to deliver a faithful response with that little bit of extra vehicle control to spare.

The i-Activ AWD system

“We designed the CX-30 to be an essential partner in the customer’s daily life,” said Akira Marumoto, Mazda’s Representative Director, President & CEO. “It will be made at key global plants so we can deliver Mazda’s renowned driving pleasure and matured Kodo design to customers all over the world. Moving forward, our new products and technologies will ensure customers continue to see the value in owning a Mazda car. We aim to be recognized as a brand that forms the strongest of bonds with each customer.”

Malaysian launch?
Bermaz Motor hasn’t said when the CX-30 will be in Malaysian showrooms but we were told that the second half of this year will see many activities relating to new models. As CX-30 deliveries will only be starting in Europe from the middle of this year, the model might appear in Malaysia towards the end of the year or early in 2020.

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[Chips Yap]

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