IíVE COME to realise that running a long-termer like this Mazda CX-30 has both plus and minus sides to the ledger. While itís great to really get to know a vehicle in the way that you never can with just a day or two spent on a road test, itís inevitable that manufacturers engineer their cars to make the good stuff overt and the less-brilliant aspects a bit trickier to unearth.

When Cam Kirby handed the CX-30 over to me, he wasnít particularly impressed with the fuel figures heíd seen. That was surprising, as Mazda†has long campaigned on the fact that a decently sized atmo engine will tend to return better fuel figures in the real world than a downsized turbo engine thatís often been designed to game laboratory fuel-economy tests.†Therefore, the 9.7L/100km he saw in our G25 Astina seemed to run counter to that theory. Kirby does a lot of city driving, where my use is a little more open road, and that has helped economy improve to 8.4L/100km during my tenure.

As a Wheels comparison test winner, the CX-30 G25 Astina is undoubtedly a class act. The interior finish is extremely good, it handles sweetly and the instruments are a model of clarity. With such attention to detail, itís odd that a couple of detail-oriented errors have crept in. A mis-spelled error message flashed onto the screen warning me of ĎLow Camera Visibiltyí at one point.

Iím an Android Auto user, and the smartphone mirroring works well on the whole, but once in a while the system will have a bit of a tug of war over whether a podcast gets to be played via the wired Android†Auto connection or the Bluetooth connection to your phone. This manifests in the audio cutting out, switching automatically to the other source and the podcast stopping. That can become annoying when youíre settling into a freeway trip.

These are but minor blips that Iíll doubtless find a way to work around. Slightly more trying is the poor calibration of the adaptive cruise control on busy major routes. It brakes jerkily and then drops a gear and guns the engine to accelerate back up to speed when the lane ahead clears.†Iíve learned to leave it well alone on anything but sparsely trafficked roads.

Overall, I have warmed to the CX-30. Thereís an easy practicality and sweet nature to it thatís been slightly marred by a few weird calibration oversights. Everything is a relatively easy fix in terms of vehicle development, but if youíre a current owner, they might just take the shine off the experience. Viewed objectively, however, the CX-30ís positive attributes weigh massively in its favour. Iíll take that.




Price as tested: $42,180†

This month: 1571km @ 8.4L/100km