Suspension might be stiffer but Mazda CX-30 delivers a spirited performance

HAD a pleasure to test drive the Mazda CX-30 Carbon edition.

Whenever the word carbon is punted- expect the engine to become peppier with better throttle response.

In normal driving mode, the 2.0l naturally-aspirated engine delivers a spirited performance, but it’s easy to tell that a turbocharger is lesser.

It has six-speed automatic transmission, but you can also flip it into manual shift mode.

The only drive mode available is Sport- which made it more appealing when overtaking as we found it capable of manoeuvring past traffic without a flat foot.

Since it was the week of the annual DStv International music festival at Kyalami, driving was only limited to highways. No off-roads took place, and one could feel the suspension is slightly stiffer on the other side, but there’s enough absorption from the shocks for a drive experience.

But when switching lanes the FWD CX-30’s stability and balance came out tops. With a decent insulated cabin and okay drive comfortability, the inside experience of it is welcomed.

The interior and dashboard, including other panels felt of good quality- a typical made Mazda brand.

The infotainment system sits embedded into the dashboard at a good eye level for the driver, which makes it easier to keep an eye on the road when distractions from the screen creeps in. It’s also worth noting that a heads-up display for driving speed is available, which adds to less eye-diverting.

Our driving with my colleague brought to our attention that the fuel consumption: 6.6l (claimed) and power and torque: 121kW, 213Nm, respectively.

The only snag- limited space for passengers at the back, it becomes crampy for bigger bodies, but for the driver and front passenger, there is an adequate space.

Also liked the firm-feeling black seats interior, matched with red stitching which is found on other parts as well such as the gear lever and driver’s armrest.

The Carbon Edition model differs from its counterparts in the lineup with black wheel arches and side skirtings, black side mirrors, and black 18-inch alloys.

Adding to the black finish is a back bumper and a front lip of the same colour. The black finishes and sharp lines give it an air of sportiness.

The exterior is in line with Mazda’s modern design, and this is evident by its front grill and slim headlights.

It is uses smart keyless entry, has all safety requirements and boast passive collision signal, including reverse camera and parking sensors.

With Mazda, and in particular with the CX-30, it can be difficult to differentiate the trim levels by features as they are all nearly specced the same.

For example, the CX-30 has the same powertrains across the range with the same power outputs.

Is it a Sports or Utility Vehicle- you decide?

The Carbon Edition’s strength lies in its exceptional interior build quality, exterior design, and driver experience.

Retail price: Carbon Edition R532, 200


Performance 1-10 (6)

Fuel 1-10 (5)

Top image SLM (The Mazda CX 30 Carbon edition is seamless on the road).

(The seats interior and other features associated with it, speak volume).

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