Like most current Mazda models, we have a warm liking for the CX-30 here at DriveLife. Our last review was the Takami model, and comments like “This CX-30 falls in that Goldilocks zone, not too fast or too slow, not too expensive, not too cheap, it’s just right to do everything as a compact daily driver.” were thrown about. It’s a great medium SUV for the masses.

For 2022, Mazda has launched an SP20 Blackout Edition with some trim changes, 18” wheels, and black mirror caps. That’s about it for the changes.

While it would have been easy to simply say “here’s a new model CX-30”, we don’t do things in halves here at DriveLife, so it’s our normal full, comprehensive review of the 2022 Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition.

What We Like and Dislike About The 2022 Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Driving dynamics
Standard safety features
Adaptive cruise
Heads-up display
Safe handling
Seat comfort
Relative fuel economy
Pretty basic
High loading height
Dodgy traffic sign recognition
Engine can be noisy at high revs

What’s In The 2022 Mazda CX-30 Range?

Mazda offers a good range of six CX-30 models, including the Blackout Edition. All are petrol-powered, and all run a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The base model is the GSX, which is front-wheel-drive only and is powered by a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine offering 114kW of power and 200Nm of torque. Next up is the SP20 Blackout Edition also with a 2.0-litre engine but this time it’s a mild hybrid. It’s also front-wheel-drive.

The GTX is next with a 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G engine that outputs 139kW of power and 252Nm of torque. This model is all-wheel-drive. Then there’s the Limited model with the same mechanical specs as the GTX but with more features.

The Takami is at the top of the tree, with its 2.0-litre Skyactiv-X engine, that utilises both spark and compression ignition. You can read more about this engine here. This motor puts out 132kW of power and 224Nm of torque. It’s also all-wheel drive.

2022 Mazda CX-30 – Standard Equipment Highlights

  • 16-inch alloy wheels (Grey Metallic)
  • Headlamps (LED) with auto on/off function
  • Privacy glass (rear, side and back window)
  • Tail-lamps (LED)
  • Daytime running lights (halogen)
  • Exterior mirrors with power adjustment and auto-folding function
  • Wipers (front) 2-speed with rain-sensing function
  • Wiper (rear) with intermittent function
  • Rear spoiler
  • 7-inch TFT LCD customisable multi-information meter display
  • Active Driving Display (ADD) – windscreen projected
  • Electric parking brake with Auto Hold
  • Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™
  • 8.8-inch widescreen colour display (Mazda Connect)
  • Multi-function commander control
  • Advanced (proximity) keyless entry
  • Bluetooth® (hands-free compatible)
  • Mazda Harmonic Acoustics audio system with AM/FM tuner
  • Bluetooth® audio (MP3 compatible),
  • USB inputs x2 (iPod compatible®)
  • 8 speakers
  • Satellite navigation
  • Air conditioning
  • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob and steering wheel
  • Power windows with auto up/down (all windows)
  • Seat trim: Black / Grey Cloth
  • Seats (front) with height, rake and slide adjustment
  • Seats (rear) with 60/40 split-fold backrest with centre fold-down armrest
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls with voice activation
  • Tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel
  • Airbags SRS: front (driver and passenger), side (front), knee (driver) and curtain (front and rear)
  • Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)
  • Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
  • i-Activsense active safety technologies:
    •  Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
    •  Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
    •  Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW)
    •  High Beam Control (HBC)
    •  Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)
    •  Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
    •  Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)
    •  Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop & Go
    •  Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
    •  Secondary Collision Reduction (SCR)
    •  Smart Brake Support (SBS) with night-time pedestrian and cycle detection
    •  Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)
    •  Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • ISOFIX child restraint anchor points and top tethers
  • Parking sensors (rear)
  • Reversing camera

CX-30 SP20 adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (black metallic finish)
  • Exterior mirrors (heated) with piano black caps
  • Black cabin theme with red stitching

CX-30 GTX adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (Silver Metallic)
  • Exterior mirrors with heating function
  • Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror
  • Air conditioning (dual-zone climate control) with rear vents
  • Vanity mirror (front) with illumination
  • i-Activsense active safety technologies
    •  Smart Brake Support [Rear] (SBS-R)
    •  Smart Brake Support [Rear Crossing] (SBS-RC)
  • Off-Road Traction Assist
  • Parking sensors (front)

CX-30 Limited adds:

  • Headlamps / Tail-lamps (LED) with lighting signature
  • Daytime running lights (LED)
  • Exterior mirror (driver) with auto-dimming function
  • Exterior mirrors with position memory
  • Exterior mirrors with reverse tilt-down function
  • Power tilt/slide sunroof
  • Seat trim: Black Leather
  • Heated front seats
  • Seat (driver) with 10-way power adjustment, including lumbar adjustment and 2-position memory
  • Steering wheel paddle-shift controls
  • Premium Bose® amplifier (with AudioPilot®/Centerpoint) and 12 speakers
  • i-Activsense active safety technologies:
    •  Adaptive LED Headlamps (ALH)
    •  Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA)
    •  Cruising and Traffic Support (CTS)
    •  Driver Monitoring (DM)

CX-30 Takami adds:

  • e-Skyactiv X engine with M Hybrid system
  • 18-inch alloy wheels (high-gloss finish)
  • Remote-operated power tailgate (open/close)
  • Seat trim: Black Leather or Pure White leather#
  • Frameless rear-view mirror with auto-dimming function
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Reversing camera with dynamic guidelines
  • 360° View Monitor

There are 8 colours to choose from:

  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica
  • Sonic Silver Metallic
  • Polymetal Grey Metallic
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic
  • Machine Grey Metallic
  • Platinum Quartz Metallic
  • Deep Crystal Blue Mica
  • Jet Black Mica

And you get 4 interior trims, depending on the model:

  • Black/grey cloth (GSX/GTX)
  • Black/grey cloth with red stitching (SP20)
  • Black Leather (Limited, Takami)
  • Pure White Leather (Takami)

Mazda will also be funding five native NZ trees for every new Mazda model sold in conjunction with Trees That Count.  

For a full list of specs and options available for the Mazda CX-30 head to Mazda New Zealand’s website.

How Does The 2022 Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition  Compare To Its Competition?

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
SeatsFuel L/100kmTowing
Peugeot 2008 GT1.2-litre, 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol114/24056.1680434$45,990
Mazda CX-30 SP20
MHEV Blackout Edition
2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol, mild-hybrid114/20056.3600317$44,390
Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo1.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo intercooled petrol110/25055.8630400$42,990
Kia Sportage LX Plus Urban2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol115/19259.0750543$41,990
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross VRX1.5-litre, turbo-petrol  4-cylinder112/25458.1750405$41,990
Subaru XV AWD2.0-litre, 4-cylinder115/19657.1650310$40,990
Nissan X-Trail ST 2WD2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol126/23358.1750565$39,990

First Impressions Of The 2022 Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition 

According to Mazda, the Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition is “designed to inspire creativity, blending quality craftsmanship and sleek styling”. This model has black 18” alloy wheels along with black mirror caps to differentiate it, and that’s pretty much it for the changes, so you get the standard CX-30 design but it’s looking a bit more aggressive. 

What’s The Interior Like In The 2022 Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition?

The term ‘austere’ sprung to mind when I first got into the CX-30 Blackout Edition. It’s been a while since I had a car with manual air conditioning, and while I could cope with changing the temperature all on my own, manual AC is becoming a rare sight.

There are no heated or electric seats either, but there is a heads-up display (HUD), adaptive cruise control and…that’s about it. It’s fairly cut down, and that’s fine with us. Often we want to get in a base-spec car to see what it really drives like without being wowed by bells and whistles. The Blackout Edition is all about the look, not the interior or the goodies.

Well, maybe not quite. To make it feel at least a little bit more special inside, there is red stitching on the doors, seats and console. On the doors, that stitching runs up high and blends into the red stitching on the dashboard. This lifts the interior just that little bit and shows off some of the stylish interior design that Mazda is known for.

Blackout is a theme running on the inside too, with black trim almost everywhere. It does feel a little small with so much blackness, but thankfully there is an ivory-coloured headlining and pillars to lighten things up a bit.

The rest of the interior is pretty stock-standard CX-30. Rear legroom is passable, and headroom is good.

While (finally) some brands are moving away from using piano black on touch surfaces, the CX-30 has it not only on the centre console all around the buttons there but also on the doors around the electric window controls. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for smudges to appear. Hopefully, in the next update, we’ll see some other type of finish here.

The centre cubby is a reasonable size, just fitting my SLR camera inside. On top is a sliding, padded cover – something I always appreciate. It’s a simple thing but it’s nice to be able to adjust the position of the centre console lid. Inside the cubby are two USB-A ports which is handy, as there are none forward of this and there is no forward 12-volt socket for your dashcam, either.

Other storage is fairly good, with a large glovebox and on the right-hand side of the steering wheel, there’s a small cubby under a flip-down cover that could just about take a wallet inside.

The boot isn’t massive at 317 litres and has a high loading height, but the bonus is there’s a space-saver spare under the boot floor. This too is becoming a rare sight, so it was great to see Mazda has kept this in play. Long may it remain.

The centre display has great resolution, but it is very low set into the top of the dash. For taller people this won’t be an issue, but even with the seat up quite high, the bottom of the display was slightly cut off for me. For people shorter than me, they would certainly miss some things. Still, the response is good and Mazda’s ‘Multi-function commander control’ system is as good as it ever was. Simple and quick to use, and that’s all we ask for.

What’s The 2022 Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition Like To Drive?

The CX-30 Blackout Edition is fitted with Mazda’s well-known 2-litre, non-turbo, 4-cylinder petrol engine. It would have been great to see the new Activ-X engine in this car with its compression/spark ignition system, the 2-litre is still a good unit, although it can be noisy at higher revs. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox (no CVT or dual-clutch unit here) and it’s a great matchup, on the whole.

Our week with the car included a return trip to Hawera to work on our project car, so we’d be clocking up the miles and putting the car through a decent test.

In the week leading up to the Hawera trip, I used the car as a Daily Driver and it performs well. Around town, there’s never a feeling of not enough power or torque, and it’s an easy car to chuck around the city running errands. Visibility out is average to good, with the added bonus of having Blind Spot Monitoring on the mirrors to help keep you safe.

That high-loading height in the boot can be a bit of a pain as I loaded the car up for Hawera. In fact, I had to drop the seats down to get all the parts I needed into the car. It feels longer than it really is, and I managed to squeeze chassis rails, inner and outer guards and a complete sill kit into the CX-30 without issue.

On the open road, the engine can be a little noisy above 4,000rpm but it’s always smooth. Changing lanes on the motorway and giving the car a small prod on the gas pedal will see more gear changes than I had expected or remembered, but the gearbox is always very smooth in its changes.

At times when I had to pass people, a lack of top-end power came into play. Foot hard down, acceleration was commendable but then it got to a point in the rev range where there was no more to be had. But this was loaded up with spare parts and a reasonable amount of weight. Then again, thinking of a family of 4 in the car with a boot load of stuff and you’d likely be seeing the same thing.

Still, it’s an easy drive and a simple matter of planning your overtaking, not that New Zealanders get much of an opportunity to do this anymore. I did miss paddles for manual gear changing, but you can of course shift the lever to the right and flick it up or down to change gears. The lever itself is perfectly placed and falls easily to hand.

While this is the first car I’ve had in a long time with no lumbar adjustment for the seats, even over the 3.5-hour drive, I felt no aches or pains. I don’t recall anything about the seats on that trip to Hawera, so that’s a good sign of a great seat. it was the same on the return trip where I was conscious about seat comfort and what it was like. The seats are spot-on for comfort for hours at a time.

Adaptive Cruise Control is standard on this model, and it works a treat. It’s fairly smooth too, so won’t jerk the car when someone pulls into your lane in front of you, for example. The steering wheel controls are a mirror of the left side of the wheel so it’s all very intuitive and simple. The left controls set the distance between you and the car in front, while the right controls set the speed, resume it, or cancel it. These are the same controls used for setting your speed if you want to use the speed limiter.

I actually found myself using the speed limiter quite a bit during my time with the CX-30, as it’s so simple to use. It’s not that other systems are complex, but Mazda’s is a doddle. Just passed a 50km/h sign and want to limit your speed? Press the LIM button on the left side of the wheel, then hit the RES button and your speed will be instantly limited to 55km/h. You can press that gas pedal down as hard as you like, but it won’t exceed the set limit speed. If you need quick acceleration in an emergency, you can stab the gas pedal quickly and this will override the system.

Naturally, using the speed limiter with the RES button is great, but relies on Traffic Sign Recognition working well. Unfortunately, for our test car it didn’t work well at all. It often missed signs completely, especially in road works. Other systems are much better and we’ve had Mazdas in the past that haven’t had this issue, so perhaps it was only our test car.

It was great to see the Blackout Edition fitted with a heads-up display (HUD). This isn’t Mazda’s small pop-up from the dash piece of plastic, but their ‘real’ HUD with information projected onto the windscreen. You’ll see your current speed, the speed limit, adaptive cruise control set speed, SatNav directions, and audio. It’s a great feature, and one we wished all cars had.

Handling on Mazdas is generally very good to excellent, and the CX-30 Blackout is no different. It uses G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVS Plus) to manage all system inputs to improve the car’s handling, and it works. The handling overall can best be described as very safe and predictable. The steering is relatively direct, with a good weight to it at open road speeds.

Mazda says that: Additionally, all CX-30 models are equipped with G-Vectoring Control Plus – a Mazda vehicle dynamic and motion control system that responds to steering inputs with subtle engine torque and braking changes to provide a much smoother ride and handling making it more pleasurable to drive and more comfortable for passengers.

Two-litre engines generally don’t have a reputation for being fuel-efficient, but it seems like the CX-30 Blackout is bucking that trend. Agreed, most of my driving was on the open road (with a good load of weight on board), and after 800Km of total driving the car managed 7.3L/100Km. Not bad for a 2-litre SUV.

2022 Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition – Specifications

Vehicle Type5-Door Small-Medium SUV
Starting Price$44,390
Price as Tested$44,390
Engine2.0 litre in-line 4-cylinder
16 valve DOHC S-VT petrol
M Hybrid (e-Skyactiv G) with i-stop
Power, Torque
Transmission6-speed automatic
Spare WheelSpace saver
Kerb Weight, Kg1,591
Length x Width x Height
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
(seats up/seats down)
Fuel tank capacity,
Fuel Economy,
Advertised Spec – Combined – 6.3
Real-World Test – Combined – 7.3
Low Usage: 0-6 / Medium Usage 6-12 / High Usage 12+
Towing Capacity
Kg, unbraked/braked
Turning circle
Small: 6-10m / Medium 10-12m / Large 12m+
Warranty5 Years, Unlimited Km Warranty
5 Years Roadside Assistance
5 Years or 100,000Km free scheduled servicing
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 stars – Link – 5 Stars

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.
2022-mazda-cx-30-sp20-mhev-blackout-edition-car-review<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>We’ve said it before: all of Mazda’s current range of cars are above average, with some of these reaching excellence. The CX-30 is no different this is respect, and it’s hard to imagine a buyer not being happy with their purchase. </p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>There’s something about the CX-30, and part of this is down to the overall driving experience. Some brands whip out some fancy marketing term to say how good their car is, but it’s all just marketing. No so with Mazda; the Kodo design philosophy really works, with all parts of the car working so well together, it makes for a special driving experience. It’s hard to describe specifically but I do have times where I forget what Mazda are all about, and then I drive one again and it all comes rushing back. They’re an engaging drive, and well-engineered.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->


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