Revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and available to order now, the CX-30 enters a new market segment for Mazda, slotting into the firm's award-winning SUV range between the CX-3 and CX-5.
Following the launch of the all-new Mazda3, the Mazda CX-30 is the second model in the company's next generation line-up and the second to feature the ground-breaking Skyactiv-X spark-controlled compression ignition engine. Combining the bold stance of an SUV with the sleek profile of a coupe, its styling is a sophisticated evolution of Mazda's KODO design philosophy, while it's spacious and versatile cabin ensures it has the practicality and comfort demanded by customers in this popular sector.
Available in five trim levels - SE-L, SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech - the new CX-30 features Mazda's characteristic generous standard equipment across the entire range, and is offered in the UK with a choice of two petrol engines, both of which feature the 24v Mazda M Hybrid mild-hybrid system.
Familiar from the recently launched all-new Mazda3, the 122ps 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine features cylinder-deactivation and is exclusively matched to front-wheel drive with a choice of automatic or manual transmission across all five trim levels. Likewise, the ground-breaking Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) Skyactiv-X petrol engine is also offered across all grades with a choice of transmission. Additionally from Sport Lux upwards, the Skyactiv-X CX-30 is available with Mazda's latest advanced i-Activ all-wheel drive system.
Thanks to its unique combustion method in which spark plug ignition is used to control compression ignition, the resulting efficiencies mean this 180ps petrol SPCCI engine delivers diesel rivalling economy combined with low CO2 emissions and flexible performance. With emissions as low as 105g/km and WLTP combined economy as high as 47.9mpg, the Skyactiv-X engine is the perfect solution for private and fleet customers, offering the ideal alternative to diesel in a segment that has seen demand for diesel powered cars dramatically reduce.
While Mazda is committed to diesel and the development of next-generation clean diesel engines for appropriate sectors, the abilities of Skyactiv-X and diminishing consumer demand for diesel engines in the compact SUV segment mean that in the UK the Mazda CX-30 will be exclusively petrol.
As with the all-new Mazda3, the CX-30 features a generous standard equipment tally across the whole range with every car featuring a colour windscreen projecting head-up display, radar cruise control and LED headlights to name just a few of the high-grade items found on every model. Visually, the CX-30's sleek upper body hints at the streamlined silhouette of a coupe, while the black cladding lower down, and the CX-30's dimensions deliver the sense of rugged stability you'd expect of an SUV.
With a choice of eight exterior colours, SE-L and SE-L Lux cars feature 16-inch grey metallic wheels, while from Sport Lux onwards 18-inch wheels are standard: silver metallic on Skyactiv-G and bright silver metallic on Skyactiv-X models.
Inside, premium dark grey cloth with navy blue accents is standard, while GT Sport and GT Sport Tech models feature black leather with rich brown accents or for £200 stone coloured leather. With a high-quality, stylish and practical cabin, the Mazda CX-30's interior sets new standards for a Mazda SUV, while the 430-litre boot ensures it's as practical as it is desirable.
Commenting on the new Mazda CX-30, Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director of Mazda UK said: "we're very excited about this stunning compact SUV joining our range. This sector of the market is hugely competitive and vibrant in the UK, and we now have a class-leading contender that slots perfectly into the space between the CX-3 and CX-5. Like the all-new Mazda3, this is a car that demonstrates the new standards of style, quality and technology found in our next-generation models. It's also great that the ground-breaking Skyactiv-X engine is available from launch, as its low CO2, excellent fuel economy and performance, delivers a superb combination of benefits to our customers".
Priced from £22,895 to £33,495 the 26 model Mazda CX-30 range is available to order.
The new Mazda CX-30 is the second production model to adopt the latest evolution of Mazda's Kodo design philosophy - artful design which is deeply rooted in traditional Japanese aesthetics. The honing of every element according to the 'less is more' principle has created unprecedentedly clean, beautiful surfaces and brought an entirely original form to the compact crossover SUV segment.
The Mazda Vision Coupe concept model introduced in 2017 embodied this more sophisticated design language through finely honed, minimalist styling: its elegantly restrained body form generating a delicate play of light and reflections that change over time to create styling with a natural, dynamic feel.
The Mazda CX-30 was developed to mimic this 'Sleek and Bold' design concept with exterior styling that exudes the supple and flowing elegance of a coupe combined with the toughness of an SUV. As beneath a sleek upper body with the streamlined silhouette of a coupe, the black cladding to the lower body creates an impression of stability, ruggedness and power appropriate to an SUV.
The styling is controlled by a new design expression: 'Charge and Release'. This style was derived from the brushwork used in Japanese calligraphy and developed to integrate the three key factors of the evolved Kodo design theme: Yohaku, the beauty of empty space; Sori, curves with poise and balance; and Utsuroi, the play of light and shade.
In particular, Sori is clearly embodied in the arc of the shoulder running from the front wing to the rear wheel, giving a sense of speed and vitality. Utsuroi may be seen in the body surfaces beneath the shoulder line, which reflect the surroundings in an S shape that changes as the car moves. These expressions of body form finally come together in a single undulation at the rear where they diffuse.
By eschewing character lines in favour of the movement of surfaces, the Mazda CX-30 achieves styling with both the beauty of a work of art and a powerful sense of dynamism.
The front styling conveys a refined, yet bold personality. Mazda's signature wing takes on a sharper and deeper form that combines with the solid, sculpted contours of the front bumper to achieve a composition strongly suggestive of forward motion. The size and pattern of the radiator grille's triangular motif are tightly controlled to show rich variations according to the viewing angle and changes in light. From Sport Lux models onwards, the grille is gloss black, as are the B and C Pillar garnish trims.
Equipped with 18 or 16-inch alloy wheels depending on trim level: SE-L and SE-L Lux cars feature 16-inch Grey Metallic wheels, while Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech cars powered by the Skyactiv-G engine have 18-inch Silver Metallic wheels. Sport Lux, GT Sport and GT Sport Tech cars powered by the ground-breaking Skyactiv-X engine are marked out by 18-inch Bright Silver wheels.
From the back, the rear wings stand proud from the tapered rear cabin and the tailgate has a correspondingly narrowed arch shape. In combination, this creates a sensuously powerful rear form akin to the wide, dynamic stance of a sports car. From Sport Lux onwards the CX-30 features Signature LED rear lights with LED rear turn lights. Across all trim levels, eight body colours are available on the CX-30. Arctic White Solid and for £550 Polymetal Grey Metallic, Snowflake White Pearlescent, Jet Black Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica and Sonic Silver Metallic. Soul Red Crystal Metallic costs £790, while Machine Grey Metallic is £670.
The design of the Mazda CX-30's cabin is based on Mazda's human-centred design philosophy, and traditional Japanese architecture with its use of Ma, or empty space. The basic layout combines a snug and condensed cockpit area for the driver, and a clean, airy open space around the front passenger.
The cockpit is symmetrical and firmly centred on the driver, with all three dials in the instrument cluster and the centre display correctly angled towards the driving position for optimum visibility and ease of operation with minimum distraction. The upper area of the dashboard features a secondary, wing-shaped hood. Running horizontally from the top of the dials into the door trim on the passenger side and finished with high quality stitching and metallic accents, it gives the cockpit a more expansive feel.
A wide floor console groups the gear lever, cup holders and Multimedia Commander controller forward in a 'control area' close to the driver for convenient, ergonomically easy operation, while the gently curved knee rests and arm rest behind create a warm, contrasting atmosphere.
The gear shift panel features an evolved version of Mazda's 'two-layer moulding' technology. Light striking the upper layer's deep smoke-grey panel reveals a metallic pattern engraved in the base layer below. Its appearance changing with the play of light on its surface, the panel accentuates the fine detailing and avant-garde character of the Mazda CX-30's interior.
Complementing this high-class cabin design and the driver focused ergonomics, the Mazda CX-30 is offered in three interior colour schemes depending on model grade. Premium dark grey cloth with navy blue interior accents is standard on SE-L, SE-L Lux and Sport Lux cars. Step up to GT Sport and GT Sport Tech and you'll find black leather with rich brown interior accents, while Skyactiv-X powered GT Sport and GT Sport Tech cars can be specified with optional stone leather with rich brown accents in lieu of the standard black leather.
For the driver, the CX-30 delivers on the 'Jinba Ittai' car and driver as one ethos you'd expect from Mazda, with a cabin design that provides an ideal driving position for occupants of all sizes. The steering wheel's 45mm tilt and 70mm telescopic range enables precise adjustment of the driving position. In addition, front seat cushion tilt adjustment is fitted as standard to help prevent the occupant's thighs floating above the cushion (seat angle too low) or placing undue pressure on the thighs (seat angle too high). From SE-L onwards the front seats are heated, while from GT Sport power adjustment with memory linked to the head-up display and driver side mirror, delivers a premium driver's seat experience.
Across all models, the high, forward positioning of the gear lever makes the moving of the driver's hand from the steering wheel to the shift lever easier and faster. The combination of supportive and comfortable seats matched to well weighted and ergonomically laid out controls, plus intelligently placed switches and controls make for a fully engaging driving experience.
Mazda's engineers also focused on the importance of visibility and people's subconscious awareness of spatial axes, and their ability to determine distance and speed when moving through a given space. For example, the belt line along the upper section of the door trim and lines of the floor console come close to tracing the path of the lane markers that can be seen through the window. Also, the lines of the dial hood extend forward toward the point at which the lane markers converge, enhancing drivers' spatial awareness.
The thickness and shape of the A-pillars have been optimised to reduce blind spots; the C-pillar is shaped to provide optimal visibility out of the rear quarter window, while the rear door and quarter windows allow drivers to easily see vehicles positioned diagonally behind the car. Additionally rear parking sensors are standard across the range, while from SE-L Lux there's a reversing camera and GT Sport Tech cars feature a 360 View Monitor.
Other examples of this attention to detail include windscreen wipers that constantly adjust their operating angle in fine increments, allowing them to clean right up to the A-pillar and secure visibility near the driver's side A-pillar. They are also housed beneath the hood to help provide a clear downward view out of the screen, while the washer nozzles are attached to the wiper arms so their spray can be wiped away immediately after application and not interfere with visibility.
The driver was also centre of mind with the design of the interfaces in the CX-30. The standard Colour Active Driving Display (Head-Up Display) system, driving dials and central display screen have all been designed to present information in a clear, simple fashion, while the fonts used have been unified to create a pleasing and consistent look. The Mazda CX-30 adopts an 8.8-inch wide-screen centre display, which offers simple, straightforward operation via the intuitive Multimedia Commander controller.
Mazda's human research also extends to the field of 'Kansei' engineering, finely crafting all switches to deliver a consistent feel, regardless of whether they are pushed, pulled, flipped or turned, providing drivers with a satisfaction that can be felt even in the physical operation of switches and controls. The steering wheel switch layout combines the use of both toggle- and push-type switches. The switches can be located by feel and the linking of operating direction and function for each toggle makes their use entirely intuitive.
Adopting the recently enhanced Mazda Connect system, drivers of the Mazda CX-30 will benefit from its significantly improved safety and user-friendliness. For instance, greater hardware processing ability and optimised software reduce the boot-up time for the infotainment screen by half. Features such as the navigation system are ready for use almost instantaneously after the ignition is turned on. Image and sound quality have also been greatly improved by digitalising signal transmissions from the camera and audio system. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are standard.
Mazda also believes in the importance of car audio and the CX-30 is available with a choice of two audio systems: with SE-L, SE-L Lux and Sport Lux cars featuring the standard 3-way, 8-speaker Mazda Harmonic Acoustics system, while GT Sport and GT Sport Tech have a 12-speaker Bose system custom-tuned to provide more powerful bass and the enhanced audio quality expected of the Bose brand.
When developing the standard audio system, Mazda carried out comprehensive studies into how sounds are transmitted through a car's cabin. This led to locating the 3L bass speakers in the front cowl sides where low-frequency sound is better reproduced, resulting in a more clearly audible lower register, while 2.5cm tweeters and 8cm midrange units have been positioned on the left and right side garnish, and on the upper section of the front and rear door trim respectively, where the sound is transmitted directly towards the occupant's ears. This more powerfully and naturally locates the sound's origin, enhancing both depth and clarity.
The 12-speaker Bose premium sound system is hallmarked by deeper, more impactful low-frequency reproduction along with clearer audio performance throughout the cabin. The Bose system is based on a recently developed speaker layout concept from Mazda, which places audio components in unconventional locations inside the vehicle. Through cooperation with Mazda's engineers, Bose has achieved a higher level of audio performance through its BassMatch system configuration.
The BassMatch configuration combines two 115mm high-excursion woofers, each housed in a 3 litre low-frequency enclosure placed in the front cowl-sides near the kick panels in the driver and passenger footwells, with a third bass source, a 130mm Richbass woofer in an 8 litre custom-engineered enclosure in the spare-tyre well at the rear of the car.
Placing the front enclosures near the kick panels instead of typical integration into the doors minimizes speaker buzz and vibration - even when playing music at high volume. In addition, this configuration generates more acoustic energy because the BassMatch enclosures are positioned near the forward cabin corners, producing a similar effect to placing home speakers in the corners of a room to create more powerful bass response through sound reflection off the walls and back toward the listener.
The cowl-side and spare-tyre-well bass enclosures are precisely tuned together to provide balanced and synchronized or 'matched' bass performance with impact and depth throughout the cabin and for each seating position.The Bose system further includes two 25mm neodymium tweeters, one in each mirror patch; one 80mm Bose Twiddler speaker in the centre of the instrument panel; four 80mm neodymium mid/high-range units - one in each door; and two 65-mm surround speakers mounted in the C-pillars. In conjunction with the BassMatch units, these speakers deliver a clear, smooth and balanced sound to all cabin occupants. System power is provided by a Bose digital amplifier mounted beneath the front passenger seat. It features 9 channels of customised equalisation, Bose Centerpoint surround signal processing, and Bose AudioPilot noise-compensation technology.
And finally, to enable a higher degree of adjusting the listening experience to individual preferences, the system offers several new listening modes and functions.
For all the delivery of quality materials, generous standard equipment, refinement and driver comfort, Mazda's engineers did not forget how important practicality is to SUV buyers. This focus on space and comfort resulted in a notably well packaged and versatile interior. Slotting into the range between the CX-3 and CX-5, the CX-30 enters a new market segment for Mazda. With the design goal for overall length set at 4,400mm or less, it fulfils all the requirements of customers who wish to combine the compact, urban-friendly dimensions of the former with the space and practicality of the latter.
A generous distance of 740mm between the front seats is 50mm greater than in the Mazda CX-3, and on par with that of the Mazda CX-5. The spacing of the front seats allows for a wide floor console with a refined layout and a large centre armrest. Equally spacious rear seat separation facilitates big rear centre armrest and door armrests, allowing rear seat occupants to enjoy a comfortable, relaxed seating posture.
The space between front and rear seat hip points and a low rear seat hip-point height create ample knee and headroom, enabling taller passengers to occupy the rear seats in comfort. Moreover, the wide spacing of the seats, both fore-aft and laterally, makes it easier for people in the front to turn and face people in the rear.
Despite an SUV-appropriate ground clearance, low seat hip-point heights of 601mm for the front seats and 619mm for those at the rear combine with generous door opening heights to allow for easy entry and exit from the Mazda CX-30. In addition to the generous distance between the front and rear seats and the low rear floor height, the shapes of seat cushions and B-pillars have been optimised to accommodate the movement of passengers during entry and exit. Moreover, side seals have been added to the bottom of the rear doors, preventing occupants from dirtying their clothing when exiting a muddy vehicle.
Luggage capacity is a generous 430 litres, enough to simultaneously accommodate a large, global-standard baby buggy and a carry-on bag. The boot opening width is 1,030mm, while the height of the loading lip is just 731mm, for easy loading and unloading of heavy or bulky cargo. Standard from SE-L Lux onwards the power-operated tailgate features one-touch opening and closing, while the gears and housing of its damper unit are made of resin for quieter operation.
With its combination of quality, premium materials, smart design and practicality the Mazda CX-30 sets new standards for a Mazda SUV cabin.
Engines and Transmissions
Powered by a pair of Skyactiv Technology petrol engines matched to the Mazda M Hybrid 24v mild-hybrid system, the Mazda CX-30 range features manual and automatic transmissions, plus all-wheel drive and conventional front-wheel drive layouts.
Familiar from the recently launched all-new Mazda3, the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine is exclusively matched to front-wheel drive with a choice of automatic or manual transmission across all five trim levels. Producing 122ps at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 213Nm at 4,000rpm it features optimised intake port and piston shapes, split fuel injection, a coolant control valve and cylinder deactivation, to deliver higher levels of dynamic performance, fuel economy and environmental friendliness. The Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre adopts the company's intelligent Mazda M Hybrid system to support greater gains in fuel economy and more driving pleasure.
The Skyactiv-G's cylinder deactivation system further improves efficiency by shutting down two of the engine's four cylinders in light-load situations, such as when cruising at a constant speed. Shutting down the two outer cylinders increases the load on the remaining two, causing them to operate in a range of greater efficiency. Airflow intake volume, fuel injection rates and ignition timing are precisely controlled to allow the engine to switch smoothly between two-cylinder and four-cylinder operation and reduce fuel consumption when cruising at constant speeds.
Expected to account for around 60-70 percent of UK sales, the ground-breaking Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) Skyactiv-X petrol engine is also offered across all grades with a choice of transmission. Additionally from Sport Lux upwards, the Skyactiv-X CX-30 is available with Mazda's latest advanced i-Activ all-wheel drive system.
Thanks to its unique combustion method in which spark plug ignition is used to control compression ignition, the resulting efficiencies mean this 180ps petrol SPCCI engine delivers excellent economy combined with low CO2 emissions and flexible performance. With emissions as low as 105g/km and WLTP combined economy as high as 47.9mpg, the Skyactiv-X engine is the perfect solution for private and fleet customers, offering the ideal alternative to diesel in a segment that has seen demand for diesel powered cars dramatically reduce.
While Mazda is committed to diesel and the development of next-generation clean diesel engines for appropriate sectors, the abilities of Skyactiv-X and diminishing consumer demand for diesel engines in the compact SUV segment mean that in the UK the Mazda CX-30 will be exclusively petrol. One of the principle points of focus in Mazda's long-term technology development strategy, Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030, is the need to significantly lower CO2 emissions. And the company is committed to reducing its global average 'Well-to-Wheel' CO2 emissions to 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and to 90% by 2050.
At Mazda, we believe that multiple solutions are required to effectively lower CO2 emissions from road transport. With two thirds of global electricity production currently relying on the use of fossil fuels, Mazda believes regulations placing the emissions of an electric vehicle (EV) at zero to be disingenuous. Indeed, when converted to a 'Well-to-Wheel' figure, the average CO2 emissions of an EV in some regions can be rather close to those of a conventional vehicle, depending on the energy mix from which the electricity is made.
As the majority of cars will be fully or partially powered by internal combustion engines for many years to come, improvements made to these engines will have a greater effect on the reduction of total emissions, simply because of the number of vehicles that will benefit from them. Accordingly, Mazda has been looking to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from petrol engines based on the analysis of the control factors given by combustion chemistry and physics.
Featuring Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI), a Mazda unique combustion method, the Skyactiv-X engine represents the second step in Mazda's quest to develop a petrol engine with the ideal internal combustion mechanism. Developing controlled compression ignition for petrol engines has long been a goal of engineers. The Skyactiv-X is a ground-breaking new engine, exclusive to Mazda, in which spark plug ignition is used to control compression ignition, resulting in dramatic improvements across a range of important performance areas.
The benefits of a spark-ignition petrol engine-expansiveness at high rpm and cleaner exhaust emissions- have been combined with the improved fuel-economy of a compression-ignition diesel engine - to produce a crossover engine that delivers the best of both worlds. The Skyactiv-X engine is the world's first production petrol unit to exploit the benefits of compression ignition. Key to its operation is the use of a highly lean, fuel- and emissions-efficient mixture of air and fuel: 2-3 times leaner than in today's conventional petrol engines. This mixture contains so little fuel that a normal engine with spark plugs cannot fire it.
Mazda already uses uniquely high compression ratios on its current Skyactiv petrol engines to reduce fuel consumption. This lead to the idea of increasing the compression ratio even further and igniting the fuel simply by compression as is the norm in modern diesel engines, this concept has been tried before by several manufacturers with Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), but none has been able to expand the area of lean compression ignition across a wide range of engine operation.
Mazda's unique solution to this challenge is Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) which allows the engine to switch seamlessly between conventional combustion and compression ignition by using a spark to trigger both types of combustion in different ways. In SPCCI mode, a split injection process creates separate zones of fuel-air mixture inside the combustion chamber, first, a very lean fuel to air mixture is injected into the combustion chamber during the intake stroke, then a zone of atomised fuel is precisely injected directly around the spark plug during the compression stroke.
Because of the high 16.3:1 compression ratio of Skyactiv petrol technology, the first injection of fuel is on the verge of spontaneously combusting anyway. To ignite the mixture at the right time, the small injection of atomised fuel directly around the spark plug builds a richer core. When the spark fires, it ignites the local zone of fuel and air. This increases pressure and temperature in the combustion chamber to the point where the main volume of the lean mixture rapidly combusts.
Improving fuel economy, SPCCI works in almost all ranges of engine operation except during cold starts, initial warm-up phases and at very high load. Under these circumstances, the engine seamlessly switches to normal operation, igniting a conventional 'stoichiometric' fuel and air mixture of 14.7:1. Because SPCCI is so stable whereas HCCI wasn't, it can be used more frequently in the engine's operating range, which means the engine can run for a higher percentage of the time in a very efficient mode. As a result, torque output is approximately 10% greater than that of the old Skyactiv-G 165ps engine in the outgoing Mazda3.
In both the Skyactiv-X and Skyactiv-G CX-30 Mazda's petrol engines are matched the company's intelligent Mazda M Hybrid system. Compact and efficient, the mild hybrid system features a belt-driven integrated starter generator (ISG) and a 24V lithium-ion battery. It supports greater gains in fuel economy by recycling energy recovered during deceleration and powering the ISG, functioning as an electric motor, to assist the engine.
The ISG converts the recovered kinetic energy into electric power and stores it in the lithium-ion battery. The system then uses a DC-DC converter to transform that voltage to the appropriate level, and supplies it to the car's electrical equipment. Adopting the belt-driven ISG also delivers a refined drive feel by enabling the system to provide drive assist and helping the engine restart more quickly and quietly after shutting down for idling stop. The lithium-ion battery is mounted between the wheels, minimising its impact on interior space, while helping to optimise weight distribution and contributing to collision safety.
The Mazda M Hybrid system's brake-by-wire technology smoothly and dynamically blends electric and friction brake forces to maximise both stopping power and energy recuperation efficiency. Not only does it offer short braking distances with high levels of vehicle stability, but also - through the transformation of electric brake force into useable energy - further reductions in CO2 emissions. The electronically controlled brake-by-wire system is also designed to revert to entirely mechanical friction braking as a fail-safe in the event of an electrical system failure.
From Sport Lux onwards Skyactiv-X CX-30s can be matched to Mazda's i-Activ AWD system, which thanks to newly developed control system and new technologies to reduce friction, delivers real-world fuel economy almost on a par with a front-wheel drive vehicle.
Featuring 'four-wheel vertical load' detection to control torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, enhancing traction and grip regardless of the driving scenario, it also significantly reduces overall mechanical loss and contributes to improved fuel economy.
Newly adopted friction-reducing technologies include a rubber damper inside the power take-off unit that greatly reduces fluctuations in input torque sent to the rear-wheel-drive unit, and a new setting that applies a slight difference in the deceleration ratio between the power take-off and rear differential. By quickly adjusting torque distribution only when necessary, the system features positive response and enhanced real-world fuel economy.
The rear differential reduces mechanical loss by adopting ball bearings and the use of low-viscosity oil, along with a design that stores oil in the upper part and supplies just the necessary amount where and when required. Acting in combination, these measures increase the precision of the AWD-control unit while significantly reducing overall mechanical losses.
All-wheel drive can be matched to either a manual or automatic transmission, ensuring anyone can enjoy the benefits of increased traction with their Skyactiv-X Mazda CX-30.
Like the all-new Mazda3, the Mazda CX-30 features the very latest Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics and Architecture technology to ensure it delivers new standards of handling, refinement and driver engagement for a Mazda SUV.
With its new-generation Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, Mazda has focused on a fundamentally human-centred development process in which the basic functions of the company's Skyactiv technologies have been fine-tuned to ensure that occupants can make use of their natural ability to maintain a feeling of oneness with the car. Over and above the development of individual components such as seats, body, chassis and tyres, Mazda has focused on whole-vehicle coordination, re-allocating functions to create an architecture that works together as a coordinated whole.
Mazda has applied the principles of the human body's natural balance to the development of the driving position, ensuring that the occupant's pelvis is supported so as to maintain the spine's S-shaped curve enabling them to make full use of their balance ability. The seat design supports the upper pelvis to ensure that the entire pelvis is positioned correctly. Moreover, the shape and firmness of the seat envelops the gravity centre of the rib cage - corresponding to the upper section of the S-shaped curve of the spine, helping to keep the spinal column in this position.
In addition, the shape and rigidity of the cushioning provide good support for the thigh bones, creating a structure which allows the user to adjust the angle of each thigh independently, ensuring that the seat can accommodate and adapt to individual differences in physique.
Simultaneously, Mazda has increased the rigidity of individual components in the seats and of the attachment points that transfer forces from the vehicle body. This eliminates any lag between the movements of the sprung mass and those of the seats, ensuring that input energy is transferred smoothly to the occupant's pelvis. The rigidity of the seats' internal structure has also been increased to ensure that the load is transmitted more directly from the sprung mass to the occupant's body.
These changes minimise the movement of the seat relative to the sprung mass; the seat moves together with the sprung mass with no delay and forces are transmitted to the pelvis smoothly. All of which delivers a sense of connection with the car and an oneness with the road.
Targeting the ideal path for transmitting input energy from the ground to the body shell, Mazda has taken the basic Skyactiv-Body model - based on the concept of a 'straight and continuous' framework - and fine-tuned it still further. To the ring structures that connect the framework vertically and laterally in previous body shell structures, Mazda has now added front-to-back connections, creating multi-directional ring structures that improve diagonal rigidity.
The front cowl side panel, front and rear damper attachments, and rear door opening have been positioned for maximum effectiveness, based on analysis of energy paths. As a result of this new multi-directional ring structure, the delay in the transmission of input energy to the diagonals stretching from the front to the rear has been reduced by 30% compared to previous body shell structures, with forces now transmitted between all four diagonal corners almost instantly.
This helps maximise the function of the dampers and tyres. By concentrating energy input from the road surface in specific locations and using the damping structure that serves as a buffer material to absorb it, the body effectively reduces vibration that would otherwise cause noise and does so without increasing vehicle weight. The Mazda CX-30 suspension system uses MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam setup in the rear. Input energy from the ground is communicated to the body via the suspension.
Traditionally, vehicle architecture has been designed to reduce the magnitude of forces conveyed to the sprung mass. With Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, however, Mazda has added a new concept -smoothing out the forces conveyed to the unsprung mass over the time axis- and, based on this, has completely redesigned the allocation of functions among the various components. While the suspension operates in a vertical direction, the suspension arm angle faces downward - in an inverted V shape- at all times, so that the inertial force of the sprung mass pushes the tyres down toward the ground. Meanwhile, the use of a spherical bush ensures that the transmission of energy is perfectly aligned with no slippage, making it easier for the attachment of the suspension arm and link to rotate smoothly.
A more efficient functional arrangement has also been adopted for the tyres. In a radical departure from Mazda's previous approach, which focused on increasing the vertical stiffness of the tyres, the company has softened the side walls and reduced stiffness. Doing so has allowed Mazda to plan for the adoption of its unique vehicle dynamics control technology, G-Vectoring Control (GVC), right from the initial conceptual stage of platform development, resulting in a more effective functional allocation.
G-Vectoring Control adjusts engine torque in response to steering input in order to control lateral and longitudinal acceleration G-forces in a unified way and smoothly optimise the vertical loading of each tyre during cornering. The latest GVC Plus system is standard on the Mazda CX-30 and it introduces technology that further enhances handling stability by using the brakes to add direct yaw moment control to the conventional engine control of GVC.
As the driver steers out of a corner by returning the steering wheel to the centre position, GVC Plus applies a light braking force to the outer wheels, providing a stabilizing moment that helps restore the vehicle to straight line running. The system realises consistently smooth transitions between yaw, roll and pitch even under high cornering forces, improving the vehicle's ability to accurately track sudden steering inputs and exit corners crisply.
In addition to improving handling in emergency collision avoidance manoeuvres, GVC Plus offers a reassuring feeling of control when changing lanes at high speeds on the motorway. When matched to all-wheel drive, the AWD system will maintain the existing front/rear torque distribution to prioritise better turning response through the GVC Plus unit engine torque control. After the initial turn-in, the AWD system gradually increases the amount of torque sent to the rear wheels to realise neutral steering and more stable vehicle motion.
Harmonisation with GVC Plus also substantially improves rear torque response and linearity with respect to the driver's accelerator inputs. When accelerating, more torque is distributed to rear tyres where vertical load is increasing. When decelerating, more torque is delivered to the front wheels to maximize the traction performance of all four wheels. It also improves controllability, so the vehicle responds faithfully to the driver's intentions.
The Mazda CX-30 also adopts a new brake calliper design that ensures constant clearance between the brake pads and discs at all times, even after hard braking. This reduces rolling resistance while increasing control. The resulting vehicle behaviour enables cabin occupants to maximise their innate ability to maintain balance and enjoy a comfortable driving experience.
While the dynamic elements of handling, ride, braking and steering sat high on the priority list, the Mazda CX-30's development also focused heavily on NVH performance with the aim of class-leading refinement. The NVH development focused on three sound characteristics that directly impact cabin occupants: volume, changes in pitch and tone over time, and the direction from which sounds originate.
In addition to conventional measures aimed at reducing noise by suppressing it at the source, the goal for the Mazda CX-30 was to control changes in the quality and directionality of sounds after they enter the cabin to provide a 'high-quality quietness' that is satisfying to all cabin occupants.
Mazda improved insulation performance without increasing weight by adopting a 'two-wall' structure that leaves space between the floor carpeting and the body panel beneath it, and between the door trim and inner panel. In addition, the amount of fibre material on the backside of the floor carpet was adjusted to match specific locations, to achieve optimum density across the entire floor. The number of holes in the carpeting was also reduced wherever possible to further improve sound insulation performance.
Sound-absorption added to the headliner and floor mats effectively suppresses high-frequency sound. Tyres with optimised vertical spring action absorb vibrations related to increases in noise volume through changes in road surface. In addition, increased structural rigidity at possible entry points further helps prevent vibration from penetrating the cabin.
The side walls and mat of the loadspace have been soundproofed, and holes in the mat eliminated to improve quietness. A small gap around the extractor chamber filled with sound absorbing material further enhances boot space soundproofing without detriment to the chamber's performance. The introduction of a seal inside the tailgate parting lines significantly reduces wind noise.
The optimisation of the engine mounts suppresses unpleasant vibrations during restarts, which are gentle yet clearly audible to cabin occupants. Of particular note is the belt-driven ISG of the Mazda M Hybrid system. When stopping, the ISG enables the system's motor to move the pistons to a position where they will start again smoothly regardless of the operating environment. Finally, the lag-free transmission of permissible sounds and vibrations fundamental to the driving process helps create a more reassuring and comfortable cabin environment.
The Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy guides all the company's research and development efforts in safety performance. It drives advances in every area from safety fundamentals, such as the driving position, through passive safety features, to advanced i-Activsense innovations. The Mazda CX-30 is equipped with numerous safety technologies born from these research endeavours.
Awarded the maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP in its latest series of tests, the CX-30 performed strongly in all four test categories: Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Vulnerable Road User and Safety Assist. The rating is a result of three key factors: the adoption of the very latest Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, which features a high-rigidity, impact-absorbing yet lightweight bodyshell; a wide range of advanced i-Activsense safety technologies, which help drivers identify potential risks and reduce the likelihood of damage or injury; and high standards of pedestrian protection performance.
With an exceptional 99% score in the Adult Occupant category, the Mazda CX-30 achieved maximum points for frontal full-width impact, as well as for both barrier and pole side impacts. Mazda's Smart Brake Support system also gained full marks in low-speed tests, with collisions avoided in all scenarios. An excellent Child Occupant score of 86% included full marks in Child Restraint System installation checks and for child protection in the lateral impact test. Vulnerable Road User (pedestrian safety) tests achieved a score of 80%, with maximum points for pedestrian leg and pelvis area protection. A score of 77% in the Safety Assist category recognises the efficiency of the new Mazda CX-30's comprehensive suite of i-Activsense safety features.
With a laser focus on passive safety and strength, the Mazda CX-30 benefits from a remarkably strong and lightweight body structure comprising approximately 30% ultra-high-tensile steel rated 980 MPa or higher, and including the strategic application of 1,310 MPa-class steel. This combines with a new perimeter beam, newly designed B-pillars that are both stronger and lighter, and rear side frames that deform in an accordion-style pattern to create a strong body that can withstand impact force and a frame structure that effectively absorbs energy.
The body uses Mazda's distinctive multi-path structure and straight framework. It also adopts a perimeter beam that reduces the impact force generated when structural components of an opposing vehicle make contact with the Mazda CX-30 in an offset collision. In such a collision, where a small amount of overlapping occurs with the opposing vehicle or obstacle, the material used on the right and left ends of the perimeter beam effectively guide energy to the load paths. This combines with a bendable front frame structure that takes the brunt of the impact and then gradually absorbs its energy with optimum efficiency.
For side impact protection the CX-30's body is built to take the brunt of impact energy from a variety of directions and locations, and to help minimise cabin deformation by dispersing that energy to the front and rear of the vehicle. The Mazda CX-30 is the first Mazda vehicle which hot-stamped material is first attached to a ridged reinforcing material before both are formed together into the B-pillar shape. The increased efficiency of this reinforced structure achieves greater strength while also reducing weight.
At the back, the rear side frames are designed to deform in an accordion-style pattern in the event of a collision. This makes it possible to double the efficiency of energy absorption over the structure previously used without increasing weight, while also achieving high levels of collision safety, dynamic performance and fuel economy.
Other passive safety highlights include the addition of a knee airbag in addition to front, curtain and front side airbags as standard equipment. By suppressing forward motion of the driver's body in the event of a collision, the driver's knee airbag contributes to fewer injuries to the driver's legs, chest and abdomen. The CX-30's front seats are designed to mitigate neck injuries by making the seats rigid and adopting a side frame designed to absorb energy. This reduces the chances and severity of neck injury by minimising the amount of head, chest and pelvis travel experienced in a collision.
The focus on passive safety also extends to the protection of pedestrians should the worse happen. An energy-absorbing space between the hood and engine is designed to mitigate injury to a pedestrian's head should it contact the hood in the event of an accident. The inside of the hood also adopts an energy-absorbing structure with a pattern of parallel columns positioned closer to the hood surface. Impact energy is more directly absorbed in the initial moment of contact and then gradually diffused, enabling more rapid energy absorption.
To reduce the chance of injury to a pedestrian's legs, the bumper adopts a plastic face with small ribs attached to the upper section along with a plastic lower stiffener positioned in front of the perimeter beam. By supporting the thigh and shins when contact is made and thereby softening the blow to the knees, this structure helps to reduce the chance of knee or ligament injuries caused by the legs bending.
As is demonstrated by the high score in NCAP's Safety Assist category, the new Mazda CX-30 features a comprehensive suite of Mazda's i-Activsense safety features designed to help the driver and mitigate or prevent accidents. In addition to a never before seen level of standard safety systems across the entire range, the GT Sport Tech Mazda CX-30 is equipped with three recently developed active safety features: Driver Monitoring, Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) and Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) systems.
The Driver Monitoring (DM) system uses both an infrared camera and infrared LED to observe the driver's condition while driving. Specifically, it monitors how wide the driver's eyes are open at any given time, the number of times he or she blinks, and also the angle of the mouth and face in order to determine the level of drowsiness or fatigue. It also monitors the driver's line of sight and eye movement to determine when the driver is being inattentive. If the system judges that the situation has become dangerous, it activates the brake warning sound to alert the driver.
The infrared camera and infrared LED are mounted within the centre display's bezel, which enables the system to monitor the driver day or night without its view being blocked by the driver's hand movements when operating the steering wheel. The system is carefully designed to sound warnings only when needed so they cause no annoyances when driving normally.
When pulling away from a standing start, the Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) system detects other vehicles approaching from blind spots at the front right or left of the vehicle and alerts the driver of their presence. It uses front side radars to monitor the left and right front diagonal areas the driver cannot easily confirm by eye. This helps prevent a common cause of accidents, such as when cars enter a T-junction with a partially obscured view.
Working in conjunction with the standard Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Cruising and Traffic Support (CTS) helps reduce driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when stuck in traffic. When active, CTS automatically adjusts vehicle speed to maintain a proper trailing distance while following the vehicle ahead. It also assists with steering torque to make it easier to maintain proper lane position through bends. The benefits of CTS are particularly effective and help support a safer, more reassuring and more comfortable driving experience when having to perform numerous fine adjustments while driving in traffic jams. The system operates at speeds of between 0-38mph for automatic transmission models and 19-38mph for manual transmission models.