SPONSOR SHOUTOUT: I used a selection of prams from our review sponsor Silver Cross. Their range of prams fit nicely in the boot with either the bassinet attachment or the seats. Varying amounts of shopping fit in the boot with the prams. Silver Cross Australia has a great website where you can view their range of prams and see which will suit your family! If you find BabyDrive helpful, please support us by supporting our sponsors!
Mazda has added to its small five-seater SUV offerings with the new Mazda CX-30, which is bigger than the CX-3 and smaller than the CX-5. This is one rather cool looking family car, especially in ‘Machine Grey'! So it will be interesting to see if it does well in our BabyDrive testing and how it compares for families shopping for a small SUV!
The interior of the CX-30 has the easily recognisable Mazda feels but more minimal, especially in this lower-spec Evolve model. A lot of the buttons or dials you would expect to find on the dash are hidden away within the media screen.
Storage inside the cabin is compact but very practical, especially in the front, holding everything you'd want with door bins that hold large refillable water bottles, good size cup holders and phone tray, a glove box that holds an iPad, wallet and the manual and a generous sized central console box for such a small SUV.
In the back storage is minimal too but equally as practical.
There are air vents in the back of the central console box which are good for keeping the rear passengers cool and often absent in this size of car (as well as plenty of bigger ones).
Although the CX-30 is a very small SUV, these rear vents are needed as the front vents are slim and those alone would not easily reach the rear passengers.
We found the size of the Mazda CX-30 to be a major consideration. The ceiling is low and the legroom minimal. It feels very small when you start adding child seats.
I could fit two child seats in the back of the CX-30, not that you would expect to fit three full-size child seats in the back. The two fitted well with space for the fold-down cup folders between them and I can just squeeze between the two child seats but my shoulders are very squashed! There are top tether anchorages in the back of all three rear seats, which gives you the flexibility to put a child seat in the central position and a passenger either side. The ISOFix points are in the two outer seats, they are within plastic guides and easy to connect to.
Legroom is another consideration in the Mazda CX-30. With a rear-facing child seat installed, I could just sit in front of it in the driver's seat but no one over 165cm would fit. With a forward-facing child seat installed we could just fit a 182cm person in the front passenger seat.
The CX-30 has quite a low roofline, so swinging a heavy toddler into her child seat and leaning in to fasten their harness can mean a few bumped heads in this low car.
Space in the boot of the Mazda CX-30 is compact too but surprisingly holds all sizes of pram (but some types do only go in with the parcel shelf removed). I could fit the Silver Cross Wave double pram, with either the bassinet and seat or two seats.
The Mazda CX-30 has the new media system which has CarPlay and Android Auto.
I found the updated system easy to navigate using the rotary dial in the central console which felt more intuitive than in other models.
A great feature in the CX-30 is the sat-nav guidance volume can be adjusted on the steering wheel volume controls which is fantastic!
I find on most journeys when I use sat nav I only need directions for the last part of the journey. I know how to get to the area I am going and then it’s just the exact address I need help with. Because I need to input the address before I head off I found myself on most occasions when you can’t mute the sat nav voice having to listen to all the directions, which disturbs your concentration, any conversation in the car at the time or more importantly my sleeping baby! So being able to mute the sat nav voice until you reach the part where you actually need it is gold!
There is also a very clear rear seatbelt removal visual in the ceiling in the front, so you know exactly who has unplugged while you are driving!
The aircon controls I'm glad to say are still on the central dash making them easy to use and adjust while driving.
Overall I found the Mazda CX-30 to be a nippy little car to drive. Visibility is a problem for me, I found the driver's wing mirror obscured my view to the front right and I really can't see back past the side pillars and have to rely heavily on the blindspot monitoring to see if anyone was beside me.
The minimal dash and Mazda's signature modern interior make the CX-30 a nice car for a small family with one or two children, especially if parking is a problem then it is practical too. I do find the CX-30 feels very much like a hatch in shape rather than an SUV and you just need to consider the legroom and where anyone taller than 165cm is going to sit with rear-facing child seats installed.
The Mazda CX-30 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating. It has seven airbags as standard dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.