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Mazda CX-30 due in February – to plug a gap in the small end of the SUV market

 Come February and Mazda will launch its fifth SUV – the CX-30 sitting between its CX-3 and CX-5 models.  The CX-30 is 120mm longer and 30mm wider to the CX-3, with similar styling but more finely sculptured. The extra length goes a long way to answering criticism of the small bob-tailed CX-3 which lacks the luggage space of some of its competitors like the Honda HR-V. The Mazda CX-30 will come in four grades – Pure, Evolve, Touring and Astina, the majority front-wheel-drive with the top two offered in all-wheel drive at a $2,000 premium. And depending on model, a choice of 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre engines, both with six-speed automatic.

We viewed this stylish new Mazda SUV last week and on face value it should be well received, as I said, starting at $29,990 plus on road costs for the 2.0-litre Front-drive Pure and running to $43,990 for the 2.5-litre AWD Astina. Mazda, currently No. 2 in sales behind Toyota, despite running around 10 per cent down compared to last year, are buoyed by the prospect of the CX-30’s acceptance. As we’ve come to expect from this brand, which focuses mainly on private individuals and small business owners as distinct from the fleet market, the CX-30 offers a lot for the small family – active and passive safety driver assist items abound – cutting edge items include a driver monitoring system which monitors the driver’s face to detect fatigue. On sale in Feb.

I’m David Berthon

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