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

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.”

“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.”