On a recent glamping trip from London to Luna Domes at Hoath House in the verdant countryside of Kent, I was able to review the Mazda CX-30 GT Sport Tech.
We were reconnecting with nature in a luxurious dome with all mod cons and this mid-sized SUV with its low CO2 emissions seemed to fit the ethos.
Read our review of Luna Domes
Not to mention its curvy good looks, luxury interior, ample space for our excessive luggage and an impressive array of technology. This Japanese car is a match for the best of the German brands.
It was not a long drive from London to Kent – just 68 miles, but it was lengthy time-wise. The Mazda proved to be nimble while navigating the busy London traffic yet remained surefooted enough to feel comfortable. It was a quiet and refined ride, especially at motorway cruising speeds.
The 2.0l engine was sufficient (pushing out 186ps power which is equivalent to 183.4bhp), but the real delight was the semi-autonomous driving and rear automatic braking. I set out the desired cruising speed and the car did the rest by speeding up and slowing down with the flow of traffic. A real boon on a busy M25 afternoon.
Whenever I veered off lane, the steering wheel vibrated to nudge me back within the white lines. If I wanted to change lanes a warning beep sounded and an orange light appeared in both side mirrors to indicate that another car was approaching at the rear. In effect, there was no blind spot.
It’s a lot of tech including a responsive AC and it meant I could enjoy relaxed and effortless driving while chatting to my passenger. We both loved the soft and comfortable cream leather seats, the effective leather-like trim, black piano wood around the dash and centre console, and the slick infotainment system which included Apple Car Play.
The instrument panel featured a good balance between traditional dials displayed on a digital screen. The head-up display on the windscreen provided effective speed, cruise control and navigation data which allowed driving without distraction.
When off the motorway the Mazda coped well with the narrow Kent country lanes. Frequent gear shifts through the manual box were light and precise. The steering was sharp and responsive and the engine pulled nicely if the full range of gears were used.
Parking up at the Luna Dome threw up another surprise act by the Mazda as the 360-degree camera system came into play. The infotainment display showed our reversing trajectory as well as a bird’s eye view of the car and its surroundings. We really didn’t have any excuse for a parking prang.
Verdict: We arrived relaxed and ready for our e-bikes.
More info about the Mazda CX-30