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July 25, 2020

2020 Mazda CX-30 AWD Sport: Long-Term Test Introduction

Say hello to our newest long-termer: the 2020 Mazda CX-30. With a 2018 CX-5 already in the garage, we figured this fits the bill as our urban runabout, especially at times when luggage carrying isn’t really the top priority. With all other choices at this price range, you could say this was largely an emotional decision.

Originally, we set our sights on the World Car Design of the Year—the Mazda3. However, from where we’re from, we wanted, or should we say, needed ample ground clearance. Thus, the CX-30 fits the bill perfectly. There’s no need to take driveways or ramps sideways here; you can just drive straight through them.

It’s now the best time to get one because the CX-30 comes with a P 100,000 discount for the mid-grade FWD Sport model, or P 50,000 for the top-of-the-line AWD Sport and entry-level FWD Pro model.

The car itself has been with us for less than a week, and with all the limitations on unnecessary driving still in place, we haven’t had the chance to stretch its legs just yet. Regardless, we’ve been averaging around 9.1 km/L—not bad considering this variant has the predictive i-Activ AWD system (you can read our full review on the similar CX-30 AWD Sport here).

Overall, there’s a lot to love about the CX-30’s design and engineering; it sure feels a huge improvement over our CX-5 or previous-generation Mazda3. That said, Mazda should reconsider its wiper design. Hear us out.

The sales agent who gave us the product walkaround, RJ Huete—yes, the same one who sold us the CX-5 warned us that the wiper arms on the CX-30, just like in the Mazda3, retract below the hood line. This is something European car owners are familiar with, but is still unique when it comes to Asian cars.

Whenever the CX-30 (or Mazda3) needs a wash or wiper change, the driver must first engage a “service mode” that moves the wipers up allowing you to put up the wiper blades. This is done by pushing the start button twice without stepping on the brake pedal (this engages the “On” mode) and flicking the wiper stalk up twice. To put it back down, the driver needs to engage the “On” mode again, and flick the wiper stalk up once. We’ll do a short video in the future to make this clearer.

Anyway, it all sounds straightforward, right? Well, that’s assuming you’re used to it. Unfamiliarity with the entire system meant that around five days into ownership, we accidentally brought the wipers down with the blades still up. Care to guess what happened? Yes, it’s our very first paint chip.

Chuck it down to experience, but it all happened so quickly that we just let out a “shit” as the wiper arms came crashing down the hood. Thankfully, we still had left over Machine Gray touch-up paint lying around. You can barely see the chip now, unless you run your finger on the edge. You could say that the first cut’s the deepest, and after messaging Mazda Philippines President Steven Tan about it, he could only say one word, “Ouch.” Yes, ouch indeed.

Moving forward, we’ve come up with a system to prevent this from ever happening, and this is a must for all CX-30 and Mazda3 owners out there. We’ve decided that next time, we’ll leave a microfiber cloth on the windshield as a reminder to bring the wiper blades down before retracting them. Lesson learned.

Oh, and for those who’re curious about our CX-5, its stint isn’t over yet. We just haven’t done much driving recently to warrant an update. But don’t worry, because it’s headed to service soon, we’ll be giving you guys an update.

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