The Mazda CX-30 SP25 is new for 2024 and revives the SP badge previously used on some higher-performance models in Mazda’s range. The CX-30 is essentially the SUV variation of the Mazda3, providing more headroom and interior space than the sleeker Mazda 3. The new SP25 is a front wheel drive (FWD) only car and in the lineup, it is replacing the GTX all-wheel drive (AWD) model.

Mazdas have typically been about the drive, performance and style. At DriveLife we have some previous experience with other versions of the CX-30 range like the 2020 Mazda CX-30 Limited, the 2021 Mazda CX-30 Takami Skyactiv X, and the

2022 Mazda CX-30 SP20 MHEV Blackout Edition.

How does this new model compare? 

What We Like and Dislike About The 2024 Mazda CX-30 SP25

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Driving dynamics
Clever integration of tech
Heads-up display
Interior quality
Comfort of the seats
Fuel efficiency
Rear seat legroom is a little cramped
The engine can be noisy at times

What’s In The 2024 Mazda CX-30 Range?

There are four models in the CX-30 range, starting with;

  • GSX, with front-wheel drive and a Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre engine – $43,390
  • SP25, with front-wheel drive and a Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre engine (reviewed here) – $45,990
  • Limited, with i-Active all-wheel drive and a Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre engine – $53,790
  • Takami, i-Active all-wheel drive and an e-Skyactiv X 2.0-litre engine – $57,790

2024 Mazda CX-30 Standard Equipment Highlights

  • 16-inch alloy wheels (grey Metallic)
  • Headlamps (LED) with high beam control and auto on/off
  • Tail-lamps (LED)
  • Daytime running lights (halogen)
  • Parking sensors (rear)
  • Front grille (Black)
  • Privacy glass (rear, side and back windows)
  • Body-coloured exterior mirrors with power adjustment and auto-folding function
  • Bluetooth (hands-free phone and audio capability)
  • 8-speaker audio system
  • 8.8-inch infotainment screen
  • Satellite navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 7-inch TFT centre customisable multi-information meter display
  • Multi-function commander control
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Active Driving Display (ADD) – windscreen projected
  • Airbags SRS: front (driver and passenger), side (front), knee (driver) and curtain (front and rear)
  • Antilock Braking System (ABS)
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
  • Child restraint anchor points (ISOFIX x2, top tether x3)
  • Cruise control Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop & Go
  • Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
  • Emergency Stop Signal system (ESS)
  • Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW)
  • High Beam Control (HBC)
  • Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
  • Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Smart Brake Support (SBS) Forward (with pedestrian and cycle detection)
  • Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) Forward (with pedestrian and cycle detection)
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

CX-30 SP25 adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (Black metallic)
  • Parking sensors (front and rear)
  • Gloss black, exterior mirrors with power adjustment, heated, auto-folding
  • Rearview mirror auto-dimming
  • Air conditioning: dual-zone climate control with rear vents
  • Smart Brake Support (SBS) Forward (with pedestrian and cycle detection) & reverse
  • Smart Brake Support (SBS) Rear Crossing (SBS-RC)
  • Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) Forward (with pedestrian and cycle detection) & reverse

CX-30 Limited adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (silver metallic)
  • Adaptive LED (ALH) with auto on/off
  • Daytime running lights (LED)
  • Front grille (Gloss black)
  • Body-coloured exterior mirrors with power adjustment, heated, auto-folding and dim (driver) 
  • Glass sunroof, power sliding and tilt 
  • 12-speaker Bose audio system
  • 10.25-inch infotainment screen
  • Wireless phone charging (Qi)
  • Steering wheel with paddle shift gear control
  • Cruising & Traffic control (CTS)
  • Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA)

CX-30 Takami adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (bright finish)
  • 360-degree view monitor
  • Remote-operated power tailgate (open/close)
  • Heated steering wheel

2024 Mazda CX-30 Colour Range

There are 8 colours to choose from:

  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic (+$700)
  • Machine Grey Metallic (+$700)
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica
  • Jet Black Mica
  • Deep Crystal Blue Mica
  • Ceramic Metallic (colour of review vehicle)
  • Polymetal Grey Metallic
  • Platinum Quartz Metallic

And you get 3 interior trims, depending on the model:

  • Black/grey cloth (GSX)
  • Black/grey cloth with red stitching (SP25)
  • Black Leather (Limited, Takami)

For a full list of specs and options available for the Mazda CX-30 SP25 head on over to Mazda New Zealand’s website 

How Does The 2024 Mazda CX-30 SP25 Compare To Its Competition?

The following vehicles fall into the same type of vehicle as the CX-30, being a smaller SUV-style vehicle with similar performance, features, and generally around the same price bracket. This is not an exhaustive list, but it does go to show just how SUV-focused the market is, given how many options there are in this vehicle segment. 

Make/ ModelEnginePower/
SeatsFuel L/100kmTowing
Skoda Karok Style1.4-litre, 4-cylinder petrol110/2507.25750521$52,990
Seat Ateca FR 4Drive2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol140/3206.95750485$52,900
Hyundai Tuscon 2.0 Active 2WD2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol115/1929.05750539$49,990
Toyota RAV4 GX Hybrid2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol163/2215.35750542$48,790
Nissan X-Trail ST 2WD2.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol135/24458.2750585$47,990
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol110/19656.5650315$46,990
Mazda CX-30 SP252.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol139/25256.6600430$45,990
Peugeot 2008 GT1.2-litre, 3-cylinder turbo-petrol96/23055.6640434$44,990
Skoda Kamiq Monte Carlo1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol110/25055.8630400$44,990
Kia Seltos Limited AWD2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol110/1807.75600433$43,850
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross VRX1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol112/25458.1750405$42,990
Kia Sportage LX Plus Urban2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol115/19259.0750543$42,790
GWM Havel Jolion Lux Hybrid1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol-hybrid139/37555.0750390$35,990

Please note that DriveLife does its best to ensure the information above is correct at the time of publication, however, prices, specifications, and models can change over time. Please bear that in mind when comparing models in the comparison table.

First Impressions Of The 2024 Mazda CX-30 SP25

On first seeing the car, the light body colour contrasting with the black wheels and black plastic mouldings made it appear smaller than it is. The black theme continues with the door mirror caps. That said, the overall package is stunning. The super-sharp Mazda design language delivers a sharp, purposeful front that morphs seamlessly into the sculptured sides and rear. 

Our car’s paint colour is new for this year and available at no extra cost,  “Ceramic Metallic”. At first glance, it appears white in contrast to the large black mouldings and wheels. On spending time with the car, I think the paint is another winner from Mazda. It completely lives up to the “ceramic” description – like a ceramic glaze. In some lights and angles, it appears to have a satin finish, brilliant at enhancing the subtle sculptural forms of the car. While it’s not a “Soul Red” kind of colour, it is certainly a worthy consideration. 

What’s The Interior Like In The 2024 Mazda CX-30 SP25?

The interior is a special place, particularly for the front seat occupants. It is beautifully designed and finished using high-quality materials with all the main contact points and surfaces generally soft to the touch. In the SP25, there’s a lot of black and grey. It is lifted in places with tasteful applications of fine red-coloured stitching, and some areas of piano black finish on the doors and the centre console. The curving of the soft-touch dash capping is carefully integrated into the front door cards. Chrome highlight elements are also incorporated around the air vents, around the centre console and features like the door release handles. Ivory-coloured fabric lines the roof and pillars, and do a great job of lifting the interior and creating a feeling of lightness and space. There is no disguising that this is a smaller car, and the rear seat legroom is somewhat compromised.

The steering wheel is sporty-looking and great to hold. It is easy to adjust to the driver with both telescoping and height adjustments. 

The dashboard is a master class in integrating all the technology expected in today’s cars in an uncluttered easy-to-use format. Real buttons are used for many common functions negating the need to find them in the infotainment system. The placement of controls follows universal expectations of where functions should be located – so it all simply falls to hand.

The instrument cluster is attractive and simply laid out, providing the driver with all the essential information, the most important of which also features in the heads-up display. In the centre of the dashboard are physical button controls for the dual-zone automatic climate control air-conditioning.  

The infotainment screen is recessed into the centre of the dash top, and angled towards the driver. Unlike many of today’s screens, it is not a touch-screen but is controlled with Mazda’s common multi-function commander located just behind the gear selector. 

The seats are fabric-covered and continue the interior theme by including a fine line of red-coloured stitching. It was surprising to find that the seats, particularly the driver’s, only had manual controls for all adjustments. I found it easy enough to adjust the seat to be perfectly comfortable, but, I did miss the fineness of control electric adjustment is capable of. 

Although the window line is relatively high, visibility is superb. The rear 3/4 view is impacted by the rear pillar and small rear side window, however, the mirrors virtually eliminate any blind spots there. A nice touch is the inclusion of an option to dip both door mirrors whenever the reverse gear is selected. Great for when parallel parking, but a function that can be turned off if preferred.  

Interior storage is well provided around the cabin. Under a combination slide and lift armrest lid, the centre console offers decent storage space for an SLR camera-sized object. Also in this space are two USB-C ports and a separate 12v socket. Somewhat surprisingly, these are the only power supplies within the car. In front of the gear selector are a pair of cup holders and a small mobile phone-sized tray, and there is also a generous-sized glove box. All doors have good-sized pockets that include rebates to take full-sized drink bottles. 

All of the materials used for the interior surfaces feel well-selected for their durability as much as for their appearance and feel, including the linings of the boot. 

The boot is a good size and is more generous than the exterior size of the car would suggest. The load height is a little higher than the boot floor, but it wasn’t found to be an issue when loading general luggage, be it large suitcases or shopping. Bucking the recent trend, Mazda includes a space-saver spare wheel under the boot floor. Its presence is more reassuring than a repair kit and a pump, especially if you venture further away from the main roads.

What’s The 2024 Mazda CX-30 SP25 Like To Drive?

Over more than a week with the car, we found it to be an excellent all-rounder, using it as our daily commuter and for a long weekend getaway to New Plymouth. In all, we covered almost 1,100km very easily. For a car with a 2.5-litre petrol engine, the Skyactiv G technology contributed to some impressive fuel economy. 

How would I summarise it? Great, great and great. It has that classic Mazda DNA; the driving dynamics are so good. The steering sharpness and feedback combined with the good handling help make you feel instantly at home behind the controls. It is so satisfying to drive a car that feels like it is built for driving. What’s more, it’s a practical everyday car for round town, and equally competent on decent-length road trips. Although it’s a relatively small but tall-ish car it performed well in crosswinds, and both wind and road noise are generally well suppressed. That said, noise from our classic coarse-chip seal still gets through. 

When starting the car, the engine sound can be a little diesel-like, a little more pronounced than in other makes. But it’s a good sound. Most prominent at take-off and high revs, it simply confirms that “all is well”, a common feature of Mazdas. Once underway and at cruising speed, sound from the engine is almost imperceptible. 

The “Skyactiv G” motor is very clever too.  Essentially, when driving under a low load or coasting, the engine can deactivate two of the four cylinders to improve fuel efficiency.

This is seamless and the only indication of this wizardry is given within the infotainment system. Here, a screen shows the current status of the cylinder deactivation system. Curiously, the graphic suggests that under low load two cylinders turn off, and when there is no load all four cylinders show as turned off. Other tech focuses on enhancing combustion efficiency, one aspect of that is a relatively high compression ratio of 13.0:1. Not diesel-high, but certainly in the territory of higher-performance engines. So it’s no surprise that the result is a great combination of performance while achieving an impressively low fuel consumption.

The superb heads-up display projects over the road ahead of the car, comfortably within the driver’s line of sight. It displays the current speed, the last observed speed limit (with only a couple of missed observations), the cruise-control settings, and the next navigation instruction. Usefully, this is one of the first I have seen able to display the navigation instructions from either the native car system or from Android Auto. 

The infotainment system worked well once familiar with the rotary command controller in the centre console, and since it is not a touch screen, the screen remains clear of fingerprints. Surrounding the command controller are quick key buttons should you need to jump from within the system. Also, there is a physical volume knob  – much easier and quicker to use than on the steering wheel or within the infotainment system. The screen is set back on the top of the dashboard in an easy line of sight for the driver. It is also sufficiently far back to discourage occupants from trying to use touch. Once used to the command controller, using it feels simpler and safer to navigate the infotainment screens than using touch.   

The leather-wrapped steering wheel is sporty in design, a good size, and very comfortable. Buttons are positioned on both horizontal spokes of the wheel, on the right for adaptive cruise and a speed limit function, and on the left for volume, music, and phone calls. I like that cruise control speed can be set using either Set + or Set -, which is nice and simple. The two button clusters were easy to learn and operate without looking. 

Because the responsiveness of the adaptive cruise perfectly matched my expectations, I felt confident to use it a lot. Features like these can be a godsend on roads like the Himitangi Straights, managing speed and together with a well-moderated lane-keep function, it is like driving with a second pair of eyes, one that is always on guard and far less prone to distractions. However, when we got onto some more twisty roads, the adaptive cruise often became overzealous, reducing the speed more than was required. At times the speed reduction could be great enough to take following cars by surprise. It’s a great safety setting, but for those who relish the act of driving, the twisty bits are where this car shines; time to turn off all the auto controls and just drive.

On most cars, the adaptive cruise information screen adds a car symbol for the car in front to let you know the system is aware of it and will respond as required. In the CX-30 this is no different, except if the vehicle in front of you is a motorbike, it then displays a motorbike symbol. This made sense to me, confirming it is controlling your speed/distance off the motorbike and not the vehicle further in front. 

The cruise control system also has a limit function useful to manage your top speed. I found it useful in some circumstances, for example, quiet country roads that wound their way through undulating hills. Being able to set the limit gave me an almost guaranteed upper limit under acceleration so I could enjoy the corners without the risk of exceeding the speed limit. It’s not a complete guarantee, though. 

Stalks behind the wheel control the wipers on the left and lights on the right, and both have auto settings. For the headlights, when on “auto” control, the headlight symbol illuminates on the instrument cluster complete with the letter “A”. As is normal, there is no similar indication for the wipers. However, on the wiper stalk, a small orange light illuminated to show that the “auto” setting was active, and given that all wiper settings are selected by moving the stalk progressively up or down, illuminating the “auto” selection made it immediately clear to the driver – brilliant. Another different feature worthy of note is that the windscreen washers deliver water alongside the blade. This makes cleaning the windscreen much more efficient and effective than when water is supplied from bonnet-mounted water jets. 

The dual-zone climate air conditioning and ventilation controls are equally simple to use. Again just a standard set of buttons, easily accessed in the centre of the car, knobs for the driver and passenger to set their desired temperatures. The selections and fan speed are either illuminated or displayed on a screen immediately over the buttons. The only criticism I have, and it is a minor one, is that it was almost impossible when driving to determine the status of the recirculation function. The symbol change between on and off was so fine that it was difficult for the driver to see which was active.  As in the wipers, a simple orange light on the button could have been used here.

At night, the LED headlights are excellent, supplemented well with a high beam that is also capable of running under auto control. Under auto control, it would reliably detect cars within the beam, turning it off before it could be a nuisance. Mazda does have a more advanced specification active high beam available on the higher-spec CX-30 models. With active high beam control, only that portion of the high beam hitting the observed car is turned off. I can confirm that these work well, a feature I enjoyed when driving the 2024 Mazda MX-5 recently reviewed by Drivelife (review coming) 

The front seats are very comfortable and supportive and proved so over two full days in the car. Legroom for rear seat passengers initially appeared to be cramped, but in reality, it was more than adequate for our 6-foot-tall teenagers, even with the front seats set for their equally sized parents. While it appeared close, the back of the front seats was sufficiently scalloped to provide sufficient space for knees, the roof tall enough to give plenty of headroom, and there was more than ample feet space under the front seats. 

Another feature was that the car would lock itself when you walked away. Locking your car is second nature, so much so that you don’t always remember doing it. It was reassuring then to have that auto-locking feature if for nothing other than as a backup. I am also a fan of door mirrors that auto-fold on locking the car. Not only does this aid in their protection, but it also provides a physical indication that the car is in fact locked. 

Over the time we drove the CX-30, the car indicated the overall fuel consumption ranged from 8.4L/100km used around town, and an impressive 6.6L/100km on our trip from Wellington to New Plymouth return, resulting in an overall consumption of 7.1L/100km.

2024 Mazda CX-30 SP25 – Specifications

Vehicle TypeSmall SUV
Starting Price$45,990
Price as Tested$45,990
EngineSkyactiv-G 2.5-litre in-line 4-cylinder DOHC, 16-valve
Power, Torque
139 @ 6,000rpm
252 @ 4,000rpm 
Transmission6-speed automatic
Spare WheelSteel (temporary, space saver)
Kerb Weight, Kg1,466
Length x Width x Height
4,395 x 1,795 x 1,540
(width excluding mirrors)
Boot Space / Cargo Capacity,
(seats up/seats down)
Fuel tank capacity,
Fuel Economy,
Advertised Spec – Combined – 7.3
Real-World Test – Combined 7.1
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 Year/unlimited km
5 Year/100,000 km servicing
5 Year/unlimited km Mazda on-call Roadside Assistance 
Safety informationANCAP Rating – 5 Stars – 5 Stars – CX30

Have you enjoyed this review? Be sure to join our monthly email newsletter list so you don’t miss a single car review!

Driver Technology
Previous articleBYD launches the plugin-hybrid SUV, SEALION 6
Next article2024 Ford Mustang – Wellington Reveal
67903The Mazda CX-30 SP25 is an impressive all-rounder of a car. A small SUV that is a good size for living in the city and yet big enough for very comfortable longer-distance travel too. It is thoroughly modern with a comprehensive suite of safety features that don’t take too much control of you. <br><br> It drives and handles in such an inspiring way it reminds you that driving can still be fun.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.