The Mazda MX-30 is a super fun little five-seater SUV. It is best recognised for its quirky design interior, with cork surfaces in the central console and contrast upholstery.
On the exterior, the ‘lifestyle' rear doors (really they're called freestyle doors but I got it wrong in the video!!) open backwards, making it different to most cars but similar to the BMW i3 and some space-cab utes. As you can imagine this may have some effects on family use. So let's go and find out how it got on in our BabyDrive testing…
Firstly, when it comes to installing child seats in the back of the Mazda MX-30 the gap between the back of the doorway and front seats is narrow, so the space to pass the child seats in through is tricky.
Once you do fit the child seats through the doors, there are ISOFix pointsin the two outer rear seats and top tether anchorages on the back of all three seatbacks.
I found that although two child seats fit in the back, space is tight and there are a couple of considerations. Firstly the size of your child seats, if they are too tall they will hit into the sides of the MX-30 so won't fit and if they are too deep they won't fit either.
Also, if you have a baby or rear-facing infant then getting them in and out of a rear-facing child seat is tricky! There isn't enough space to post them through into their child seat from the outside of the Mazda MX-30.
To overcome this I found I had to get into the back with my baby in my arms and pass her into her child seat from the inside.
Now in order for there to be enough room for me to get into the back with my baby I had to put my other daughter in an Infasecure Versatile folding booster seat so that I can remove it easily every time I need to get the baby in or out.
The Mazda MX-30 would be much better for families once all kids are out of rearward-facing child seats.
Legroom is pretty minimal in the Mazda MX-30. We could just get a 180cm passenger in front of a rear-facing child seat and just get a 180cm driver in front of a forward-facing child seat. Legroom is good as a passenger in the back (I'm 162cm) and I could sit between two child seats too.
There are buttons on the back of the driver's seat so that rear passengers can move it to get in and out, however, as you can imagine little fingers LOVE to fiddle with these!! They do not work while you are driving but if you sat waiting or get out of the car for anything then the kids have a field day!!
The interior of the Mazda MX-30 is beautiful, with contrast piping, panelling and stitching in the seats.
It has cork surfaces in the central console too, which makes it stand out like the natural interior finishes in a BMW i3.
There are aircon vents across the front dash of the Mazda MX-30 but there are none in the back for rear passengers and I know my kids found it stuffy even though it wasn't summer yet, so it may be a little tricky in the hotter months.
Storage throughout the Mazda MX-30 is pretty good for a small car, having cup holders and map pockets in the back and small door bins.
Whereas in the front, the fun of design has carried through with a cork shelf underneath the floating central console and the cork lids that fold up to reveal two cup holders, both of which are a good size for reusable coffee cups.
Boot space is good for a small car and it fits ten shopping bags which is comparable to the BMW i3 that only holds eight shopping bags.
The boot space is nice and flat and carpeted so it's good for an emergency nappy change, or remove the parcel shelf and you can carry a small or medium-size family dog.
The Mazda MX-30 is an enjoyable car to drive, it's nice and smooth and quiet and the steering wheel feels really nice in your hands. Visibility isn't very good when looking back from the driver's seat and although there are no b-pillars because of the backward opening rear doors, you still have a large blind spot where the two doors meet.
Being a small car, parking should be easy, however, you have to consider where you park carefully because to access the back you need to be able to open both doors outward at once while also leaving enough space for the juggle of getting kids in and out past both doors. I also found when I parked on a slope the rear door kept shutting on my legs 🙁
The media system in the Mazda MX-30 is lovely and easy to use and navigate.
There are two screens, the top one has Mazda's most recent media system…
…with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The reversing camera image is small but I didn't find I needed it to be any bigger in a small car like the Mazda MX-30 and you can turn the parking sensors off with a button by the driver's right knee.
The bottom screen is to control the aircon and climate, which was easy to use while driving unlike some screen-operated systems.
The jazzy interior and quirky exterior make the Mazda MX-30 a fun and modern little car for a small family with one or two children, even better when the kids are forward-facing or out of child seats. Parking is a consideration too as you have to make sure you have room for both doors to open and to do the double door shuffle because you can't open the rear doors without the front doors already being open!
The Mazda MX-30 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating. It has eight airbags as standard dual frontal, side head chest-protecting curtain airbags for both rows of seats, a central airbag and a driver knee airbag.