Remember that mysterious model that Mazda was teasing prior to the start of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show? Well, here it is out in the open. It’s called the Mazda CX-30, and contrary to what we believed, it isn’t the second-generation CX-3. Instead, it is a new SUV model that occupies the space between the CX-3 and the larger CX-5.

At this point, you’re probably thinking why Mazda didn’t just call it the CX-4, but if you’ll recall, such a model already exists exclusively for the Chinese market (allegedly for now). As we’ve yet to see the CX-4 be sold outside the republic, we can deduce that the CX-30 is what markets like Europe will be getting instead.

With that out of the way, let’s talk dimensions. Mazda says the CX-30 measures 4,395 mm long, 1,795 mm wide, 1,540 mm high and has 2,655 mm wheelbase. Pulling the figures for the CX-3 (4,275 mm long, 1,765 mm wide, 1,535 mm high, 2,570 mm wheelbase) and CX-5 (4,550 mm long, 1,840 mm wide, 1,675 mm high, 2,700 mm wheelbase) reaffirm the CX-30’s positioning.

For the sake of comparison, the CX-4 is 4,633 mm long, 1,840 mm wide, 1,535 mm high and has a 2,700 mm wheelbase.

Like the new Mazda 3, the CX-30 is the second model from the Japanese carmaker to adopt the latest evolution of its Kodo design philosophy. The front-end may have a whiff of the CX-5 in its look, but there are some noticeable differences like the chrome grille trim that leads deeper into the slim headlamps.

The bottom half of the bumper is also fully black compared to the half-and-half of the CX-5, and sports a larger lower intake and two LED “slits” which appear to act as the fog lamps.

However, it is from the side where the disparity is made even more obvious. For starters, there’s the “S shape” seen on the door panels, which Mazda says is influenced by the brushwork used in Japanese calligraphy.

The use of empty space (Yohaku), curves with poise and balance (Sori) and play of light and shadow (Utsoroi) are the three key tenets for Kodo 2.0, and as we’ve seen on the Vision Coupe Concept, allows for changes in reflections on the body when the car is in motion or when the light source is moved around it.

The CX-30 also adopts a sloping roofline more akin to a coupe, as well as steeply raked (and rather narrow) C-pillars. Meanwhile the black body cladding along the wheel arches and the lower sides are much more prominent than those on the CX-5.

In terms of colour options, Mazda says there are nine options available, including its unique Soul Red Crystal, Machine Grey and Polymetal Grey. There are also 16- and 18-inch wheels to choose from.

At the back, the rakish rear window meets up with a vertically inclined, powered tailgate, which has an opening width of 1,020 mm and loading height of 731 mm, providing access to 430 litres of boot space.

As for the bottom half of the rear, you’ll find more black cladding and a pair of exhausts. The taillights, we’ve seen in the prior teaser, feature a cylindrical design with trailing edges leading into the tailgate.

Moving inside, you’ll find a dashboard layout that looks almost identical to the Mazda 3, although the upper area gets a wind-shaped hood that runs the width of the dash, further emphasised by topstitching.

The usual gamut of Mazda technologies like the Active Driving Display, analogue and digital dials in the instrument cluster, 8.8-inch primary display, MZD Connect infotainment system and audio systems (standard 8-speaker configuration and Bose 12-speaker setup) are all available.

Safety-wise, the CX-30 gets the same kit from the Mazda 3, with seven airbags (including for the driver’s knee) and Mazda’s i-Activsense suite. The latter includes a Driver Monitoring system, Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA) and Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS) – a form of low-speed adaptive cruise control.

Powertrain options include the latest SkyActiv range of petrol and diesel engines, including the Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI) technology. Petrol powerplants come with Mazda’s M Hybrid system, which operates on a 24-volt mild hybrid system.

Six-speed automatic and manual transmissions will also be offered, along with the option of Mazda’s i-Activ AWD system; Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) comes as standard.

The CX-30 is built on the company’s SkyActiv-Vehicle Architecture, and features a body that uses a straight framework and continuous ring structures. This, along with the use of ultra-hightensile steel rated at up to 1,310 MPa, allows for a lightweight, high-rigidity body design. The suspension uses MacPherson struts in the front and a torsion beam setup in the rear.

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