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Mazda launches CX-30 SUV in SA, oddly at the same price as the larger CX-5

Published Jan 28, 2021


JOHANNESBURG - When Mazda first unveiled its CX-30 SUV in 2019, the company described it as a new “core model” that would sit between the current CX-3 and CX-5 models.

Following some Covid-related delays, the new compact SUV is now available in South Africa, but while one might have reasonably assumed that it would be priced below the CX-5, the CX-30 is actually positioned at the same level despite being a smaller vehicle.

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For the record, the CX-30 is 4395mm long and 1795mm wide, giving it a similar footprint to the Audi Q3 and Nissan Qashqai, while the CX-5 (4550mm by 1840mm) slots neatly between the Ford Kuga and Toyota Rav4.

It is worth noting, however, that the next-generation CX-5 is expected to move upmarket to rival premium brands, and so the CX-30 is likely to serve the current vehicle’s audience.

We reached out to Mazda marketing head Janette Cavanagh, who explained the following about the CX-30’s positioning:

“In terms of pricing, the Mazda CX-30 is a 7th generation model vs the CX-5 being on the previous platform.

“There are a few things not necessarily visible in a spec list, such as updates to infotainment system functionality in addition to the screen size, safety features (both active and passive), as well as a more advanced implementation of our human-machine interface. This includes for example newly designed interior elements such as the switches, armrest, interior lighting to name a few and an upgrade on the quality of materials and finishes available in the cabin,” Cavanagh explained.

2-litre engine across the board

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The new CX-30 is powered by the same 2-litre normally aspirated Skyactiv-G petrol engine that serves its bigger brother, with outputs of 121kW at 6000rpm and 213Nm from 4000 revs. But whereas the CX-5 is still offered with a manual gearbox option, the CX-30 is only fitted with Mazda’s six-speed automatic transmission, which makes sense in this day and age.

CX-30 buyers get to choose from three specification grades: Active, Dynamic and Individual.

As mentioned the spec differences between the XC-30 and CX-5 are not major, at least as far as we could decipher after visiting the Specs and Compare section of Mazda’s local website.

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The CX-5 2.0 Active has automatic dual-zone climate control, for instance, whereas the CX-30 makes do with a conventional aircon, however the smaller Mazda fights back with standard items like head-up display, a larger touchscreen (22.3cm vs 20.3cm) and a more advanced version of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system, which uses braking support to sharpen up the handling. Both are fitted with cruise control, push-button start and six airbags.

Over and above what you get in the CX-30 2.0 Active, the CX-30 2.0 Dynamic model adds rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shift levers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, while both variants are fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels. The CX-5 2.0 Dynamic has a similar spec sheet, but gains leather seats (with electric adjustment for the driver) and 18-inch alloy wheels.

At the top of the CX-3 spec pile we see the 2.0 Individual model, which - in addition to the features fitted to the Dynamic - comes with leather seats, black and brown interior accents, a powered sliding sunroof and 18-inch silver metallic alloy wheels, among other additions.

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All three models are available with a choice of nine exterior colours and after-sales back-up comes in the form of a three-year, unlimited kilometre service plan and three-year factory warranty.

IOL Motoring

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