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Mazda CX-30 Program Manager Explains New Crossover’s Place in Lineup

Why should you get one over a CX-3 or CX-5?

Why should you get one over a CX-3 or CX-5?

At the Geneva motor show, Mazda unveiled a new compact crossover called the CX-30, further expanding its global SUV lineup. The new model slots between the CX-3 and CX-5, and while you might not think there’s much room there for a new product, Mazda is confident there’s enough demand to add another small crossover. To find out how it fits in the range and who will buy it, we chatted with Mazda CX-30 program manager Naohito Saga in Geneva.

“The aim of introducing this new model was to expand our portfolio in crossover segment,” Saga said through an interpreter. “We wanted to capture more customers, which neither didn’t want to buy [CX-3] or [CX-5]. We thought there was a potential there.”

As for who Mazda thinks will buy the CX-30, Saga had this to say:

“We focused as main target customers single, or maybe just married young couple who are going through starting the new family—going through different, you know, drastic, very quick succession of lifestyle change—and what they’re looking for and why do they have to change cars. And to attract them, then we decided to offer three core values with this car.”

Those values, as Saga explains, include maneuverability, functionality, and comfort. That first value is the main reason why the CX-30 is slightly shorter and narrower than the Mazda3 hatchback, despite the two vehicles sharing a platform. Mazda wanted the CX-30 to be easily manageable in the city where streets and parking spots can be tight. At the same time, Mazda’s ideal customer needs space for their friends and children, as well as room for cargo. Thus, the CX-30 boasts the same amount of rear legroom as the CX-5, and enough luggage space for strollers, shopping bags, and other items a CX-30 driver might throw in the back.

But why call it CX-30? According to Saga, Mazda “wanted to create a new model which is neither CX-3 nor CX-5.”

“We didn’t want to have any relation to 3 or 5, like a 3 Plus or Mini 5 or anything like that,” he said.

CX-30 is going to take some getting used to, but we’re happy Mazda didn’t follow the trend of slapping the word “Sport” at the end of an existing nameplate to denote that it’s the smaller version.

Given that the CX-30 is a crossover that shares a platform with the Mazda3, which is available with all-wheel drive, it should come as no surprise that the new tweener CUV will also be available with all-wheel drive.

“We have capability, as we have already announced with Mazda3…so we are now finalizing what offering we make to individual market—it’s going to be announced,” Saga said. “We are fully aware, especially in like Northeast, all-wheel drive is stronger demanded or has a demand. So, we addressed to all this needs from the major markets…this all-wheel-drive version will be very good in handling not only in the snow, [but in some normal driving conditions, too]. So I’m really hoping you can make it to driving it in the future, and drive it yourself.”

We can’t wait, Saga-san.