The dashboard is particularly easy on the eye, with the cowled surround for the dials looking quite a lot like the one you get in the Porsche 911. No really, it does.
And the instruments it contains look great too, with clear white-on-black graphics and delicate needles. Importantly, for me at least, the infotainment screen is ideally sited on top of the dashboard and is operated by a rotary controller set on the transmission tunnel, making it easier to use on the move than the usual touchscreen.
If there’s an oddity, it’s that the controls for the heating and ventilation are angled slightly away from the driver and towards the front seat passenger instead. Still, you’re not left wanting for kit, with a headup display, heated seats, adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry and, well, the list goes on. It’s easy to see why the options list is so short.
What about under the bonnet? We’ve already run Mazda’s novel Skyactiv-X engine (a petrol unit that uses spark plugs as well as diesel-style compression ignition) in the 3, so this time we’ve plumped for the 120bhp 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G unit, complete with cylinder deactivation and Mazda’s mild-hybrid system.
Essentially, this extends to a powerful starter-generator that harvests lost energy during braking and ploughs it into a compact 24V battery, from where it can be used to provide a small amount of electrical torque-fill at low engine speeds. Mated to this technology-packed four-pot is a good old-fashioned six-speed manual gearbox that transmits drive to the front wheels (it may look slightly rugged but, like most crossovers, this Mazda is made purely for taming Tarmac).
So what’s it like to drive? Well, in these movement-restricted times, I’ve managed to put only a few miles under the CX-30’s wheels in the weeks since it arrived, but initial impressions are good. Mazda has a hard-won reputation for delivering cars that are engaging to drive, and even in the first few metres behind the wheel you can tell there has been a determined attempt to infuse the CX-30 with at least a semblance of the MX-5’s spirit.