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Driven: Mazda CX-30 off to strong start

Promising pre-launch order bank for new CX-30 as Mazda predicts another tough year

6 Feb 2020

WITH a month’s worth of orders for the CX-30 small SUV already in the bank at the time of its official launch this week, Mazda Australia remains confident the all-new model will still add 800 incremental sales to its monthly tally despite a slow start to the year and ongoing tough market conditions.


The company also has a free enough supply of CX-30s to meet demand if the model – priced from $29,990 to $43,490 plus on-road costs across four trim levels with a choice of two petrol engines and front- or all-wheel-drive – proves more popular than expected.


Key rivals include the Nissan Qashqai (from $27,490 to $37,990) and Kia Seltos (from $24,990 to $40,400).


Front-drive CX-30 models are now on the market, with stock of all-wheel-drive variants arriving next month. Mazda’s hi-tech SkyActiv-X engines will join the range in the second half of this year.


Speaking with GoAuto at the CX-30 launch in Victoria, Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi said the company held a month’s worth of orders for the CX-30 despite “customers not being able to test-drive everything they wanted to consider”.


VFACTS figures just released for January report 403 CX-30s were delivered during the first month of this year, although overall Mazda sales were down 29.5 per cent in a market that sputtered into 2020 with volume 12.5 per cent lower than it was a year ago.


Nevertheless, this early positive response to CX-30 is enabling Mazda to stand by its prediction of 800 units per month, which Mr Bhindi said was based on market projections made before the impact of Coronavirus on Australia’s tourism industry and supply chains was known.


“Our planning is around there (800 per month) and we’re pretty confident that’s where the demand will be, even if we pass through the downturn cycles of economics,” he said.


“It’s a little bit of a fluid scenario how the economy is going to pan out (in terms of) the impact and therefore demand for cars.”


Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said internal research suggested the CX-30 would likely cannibalise more sales of the smaller CX-3 than other models but maintained that there was “enough clear differentiation between CX-3, CX-30 and CX-5 that they all have a clear place in our range and a very clear buyer as well”.


“We’ve got a very comprehensive (SUV) range here, so let’s see what happens. If people are buying 1500 CX-30s per month then happy days,” he said.


Mr Doak also confirmed the CX-3 nameplate would continue and evolve into the future, while Mr Bhindi said the Mazda3 small hatch and sedan had a new “natural” monthly run rate of around 1300-1400 units due to the customer trend toward SUVs.


Pricing of the petrol-automatic-only CX-30 line-up overlaps with eight CX-3 variants, including manual, petrol and diesel driveline configurations, as well as six CX-5 variants including the manual entry grade.


Apart from the MX-5 sportscar that rose to 52 units in January from 45 the year prior, CX-3 was the only mainstream Mazda to register a sales uptick last month, with a modest 1.1 per cent year-on-year increase to 1322 deliveries. Sales of the CX-3 now occupy a newly created ‘light SUV’ segment in VFACTS reporting, making way for the CX-30 in the small SUV category.


The CX-30 is 4395mm long and 1795mm wide, making it 120mm longer and 30mm wider than the CX-3 while matching its 1540mm height. Compared to the CX-5, it is 155mm shorter, 45mm narrower and 150mm lower, yet maintains a similar-sized gap between the front seats as its larger sibling.


Boot space of 317 litres above the boot floor is a useful 53L over the CX-3, while using underfloor storage brings the total to 430L on most variants, close to the CX-5’s 442L.


Four specification grades comprise Pure, Evolve, Touring and Astina and share two four-cylinder petrol engines with the current Mazda3: a 114kW/200Nm 2.0-litre and 139kW/252Nm 2.5-litre both paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.


All CX-30 variants can tow 1200kg braked or 600kg unbraked.


Mr Doak said Mazda Australia had opted to forego a manual gearbox option in favour of offering all-wheel drive as a $2000 upgrade to 2.5-litre versions on the top two trim levels, although a manual could be sourced if justified by customer demand.


More than three quarters of CX-30 customers are expected to go for the smaller engine option, with front-drive variants predicted to account for 92 per cent of overall sales.


A comprehensive list of safety and driver-assist technologies are standard, including adaptive cruise control with stop/go function, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, driver alertness monitor, autonomous emergency braking in forward and reverse gear including for rear cross-traffic detection, forward collision warning, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, road-sign recognition and tyre pressure monitoring.


Seven airbags, dusk-sensing LED headlights with auto high beam, keyless push-button start, a 7.0-inch multifunction trip computer, auto-folding exterior mirrors with electric adjustment, an electric park brake with auto-hold and hill-start assist and four-way steering column adjustment are also standard.


All CX-30s include an 8.8-inch multimedia screen with rotary controller operating the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring plus native satellite navigation. There is also DAB+ digital radio reception along with Bluetooth audio streaming and USB input.


The Evolve trim level ups alloy wheel size from 16 to 18 inches, upgrades from manual air-conditioning to dual-zone automatic climate control, and adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector plus self-dimming interior mirror, sunglasses holder and paddle-shifters.


From Touring upwards, the navy and black interior colour scheme with black cloth upholstery is supplanted for a choice of white or black leather against a the black/brown two-tone colour scheme.


Also added is 10-way adjustment with two-position memory and lumbar support control for the driver’s seat along with front parking sensors, keyless entry, auto-dimming exterior mirrors with position memory and automatic reverse tilt, and a pair of illuminated vanity mirrors behind the sun visors.


The top-spec Astina adds a suite of driver aids that are a $1500 option on other variants, comprising a 360-degree surround-view camera, semi-autonomous cruising with traffic-jam assist, front cross-traffic alert and a more sophisticated driver drowsiness monitor.


Mr Doak said a similar upgrade on the Mazda3 had exceeded expectations with a 25 per cent uptake rate.


Also included on the Astina are adaptive LED headlights, a brighter finish for the 18-inch alloys and a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system.


The 2.5-litre engine option also adds a glass tilt/slide sunroof.


2020 Mazda CX-30 pricing*

G20 Pure (a) $29,990
G20 Evolve (a)     $31,490
G20 Touring (a)  $34,990
G25 Touring (a)  $36,490
G25 Touring AWD (a) $38,490
G20 Astina (a) $38,990
G25 Astina (a) $41,490
G25 Astina AWD (a) $43,490

*Excludes on-road costs

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