KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — Let’s face it!
When searching for a new vehicle to buy, all you usually hear about is the heat of the engine, the powerful acceleration and the high-tech engineering aspects, which may not even make sense to most people.
No doubt, such facts are thrilling to read about; but for an average Joe like me, all I would prefer to know is if the car is fit to my lifestyle.
That’s right, it’s imperative to take your lifestyle into consideration to make sure you pick the most suitable car for you.
Recently I was offered to take the new Mazda CX-30 for a three-day spin around the town, but the thought of it didn’t initially sit well with me.
Generally, I prefer bigger cars like SUVs and crossovers for family trips.
When it comes to city rides, it is a bit of hassle to drive a relatively big car on congested Kuala Lumpur roads.
And let’s not talk about the burden of finding a proper parking spot that would fit the car size.
Anyway, I decided to give it a shot.
At first glance, the car exudes a classy, upscale look.
Although it may not radiate the same luxurious impressions as continental vehicles, the car’s edgy and sleek look can capture some eyeballs if you are looking for a car to give you a more executive feel.
However, the true moment of seduction for me was when I got into the car.
I have to admit the seats are sculpted to give you a comforting experience, regardless if you sit behind the wheel or on the passenger seat.
On the inside, I was quite impressed with the cabin design and the appealing materials.
The front seat provides plenty of compartments and bins for phone, wallet, sunglasses and the like.
There’s ample head, leg and shoulder room for the driver, which is a convenient feature for people like me who wish to stretch their legs all the way while driving.
The rear seat also gives plenty of head and legroom, which makes it a perfect vehicle for families and long trips.
Like me, if you are always on the go and wish to align your vehicle with the technological life you live, all you have to do is to connect your smartphone to the 8.8-inch Mazda Connect infotainment screen that sits top centre on the dashboard.
To make life easy for the driver at the helm, the infotainment screen responds to touch and swipe gestures as naturally as navigating a smartphone or a tablet.
It also conveniently allows Apple and Android users to access maps, playlists, contacts and compatible mobile applications, which to me is a big advantage when I have to spend hours on the road.
Other buttons and knobs are also strategically placed within reach – either on the multi-function steering wheel or by the side – so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to look for anything.
There’s also the Mazda windshield-projected active driving display that projects key information such as the car speed directly in the driver’s line of sight on the windshield.
The good thing about the windshield projector is that you can both monitor your speed and keep your eyes on the road ahead – a thoughtful safety feature to keep distractions at very least.
But of course, what really matters is how the car drives.
To get started all I had to do was to press the brake pedal and push the start button, and the car was set to roll.
If you are a forgetful person like me, you don’t have to worry if you forget to release the hand brake, because it releases by itself once you push the accelerator pedal.
The driving experience of the CX-30 is relatively smooth and you don’t hear much of the engine sound or outside noise in the cabin.
The car is powered by Mazda Skyactiv-X engine, which according to the automaker, it assures excellent fuel economy.
I picked up the car with a full tank and after driving it for over 200 kilometres around Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, the tank was still two thirds full when I returned the car to Bermaz Motor headquarters in Glenmarie Shah Alam.
To put the car’s performance and stability into the test, I took it for a speed test along the Maju Expressway (MEX) from KL to Putrajaya at night.
At the higher speeds, the steering felt positive and direct when I was cruising down the long straight stretch along MEX, while the quick corner turns felt a breeze.
Another plus point of the CX-30 is its suspension, which impressed me with its smoothness when I drove through the uneven sandy pathway under the Seri Gemilang Bridge in Putrajaya.
The car also has the sport mode feature for those who prefer to have a thrilling ride.
To switch modes, simply turn on the Mazda sport mode feature by pressing the sport mode button next to the gear stick for a more sporty driving experience.
Although the mode may drop a few kilometres per litre, it gives you a quick acceleration, passing power and a more sensitive gas pedal.
The feature comes handy when you feel the need for a push to overtake a vehicle or simply want a more uplifting ride.
When it comes to its braking system, stomp on the ABS brakes and watch for the rapid yet steady fall of the speedo dial.
During my test drive, I didn’t experience nosedive and skidding when I tried to brake on a slippery painted surface in a carpark.
Overall, I may still stick to a small city car for my everyday use around the town, but if I’m looking for a classy car that would provide me everyday comfort and a peace of mind, I would say Mazda CX-30 can tick almost all the boxes for me – although it may not be the most affordable option.
The new model comes in eight colours including Red Crystal, Machine Gray, Jet Black, Deep Crystal Blue, Sonic Silver, Snowflake White Pearl, Titanium Flash and Polymetal Gray Metallic.
Available from RM141,649 (on the road price after tax exemption), the CX-30 will have five-year manufacturer warranty plus five-year free maintenance (except Mazda BT-50) in line with manufacturer’s standards inclusive of labour, parts and lubricants.
Both manufacturer warranty and free maintenance have a coverage period of five years and a mileage limit of 100,000km, whichever comes first.
If you’re interested to find out more about the CX-30, surf over here.
*This article is brought to you by Bermaz Motor, the sole importer and distributor of Mazda vehicles in Malaysia.