20: Mazda CX-30 – A crossover that’s fun to drive (who knew it could be done!)

Top 100 cars for 2020: CX-30 is probably best sampled with the basic 122hp mild-hybrid 2.0-litre petrol engine

 

Another impressive new model from Mazda, and this time the Japanese firm wants to take a slice out of the Nissan Qashqai’s pie. The CX-30, you could possibly uncharitably point out, is a slightly taller Mazda 3 hatch with some stick on plastic bits.

Up to a point, you’d be right, but if you’re going to have a compact crossover (and most of us are these days) then why not have one that’s (a) pretty gorgeous, and (b) really, really good to drive. You can, if you like, have a diesel (and Mazda makes great claims for the cleanliness of its new 1.8-litre diesel engine) but actually the CX-30 is probably best sampled with the basic 122hp mild-hybrid 2.0-litre petrol engine.

It’s not the most explosive engine around, but it’s smooth and very economical, and its languid power delivery seems to rather suit the CX-30’s style. Through the corners, it’s engagingly precise and rewarding, and the cabin (lifted from the 3) has excellent levels of quality, as well as being handsome. It’s perhaps a little small in the boot department, but that aside this is a quality crossover choice. It is only slightly cheaper than Mazda’s impressive, and bigger, CX-5 though, which is worth bearing in mind.

Best model: CX-30 SkyActiv-G M-Hybrid GT for €33,395

Price range: €29,495 to €43,115. Finance from POA per month.

Co2 emissions: 133 to 160g/km

Sum up: A crossover that’s worth driving.