Cars

Mazda CX-30 and Skoda Karoq: The people take them

They are certainly rarely referred to as dream cars. The Skoda Karoq and Mazda CX-30 then have to queue far behind Ferrari, Rolls-Royce or Tesla. On the one hand, it’s understandable, because the compact SUVs don’t necessarily encourage you to dream.

On the other hand, highly unfair, because the two high seats combine so much everyday talent and family spirit that they definitely deserve a place in our hearts. The comparison clarifies who scores the best.

That’s what they offer: the Karoq shows the right format

With almost the same length, the Skoda makes it clear at first glance that it has paid more attention to space economy and utility-oriented design. The Czech relies on high windows and linear architecture, where the slim Mazda with clear, flowing shapes places more emphasis on externals.
Skoda Karoq Mazda CX-30

The mix of compact format, high everyday use and reasonable costs make the Skoda and Mazda real all-rounders.


Looks great, but you can feel it inside. The Japanese, which is 63 millimeters flatter and 46 millimeters narrower, pinches much earlier, especially on the back seat. The entry demands more mobility from the guests, there is less air above the crown and in front of the knees. (These are the most interesting compact SUVs under 30,000 euros)

In addition, we sit a little lower above the ground than in the Skoda, the very tightly padded backrest is little fun on long journeys. And then the rear window doesn’t even go all the way down, about five centimeters of glass remain. Hanging out your arm casually is only possible in the Skoda, where only a piece of pane sticks out of the window slot at the very front.

In the front row we feel a little more comfortable in the Mazda. The lower seat height (590 mm) conveys the feeling of sitting in a car – in the Karoq (635 mm), tall drivers would like to sit a little lower.

Skoda Karoq engine

1.5-liter turbo: the Škoda’s engine is a bright guy in every situation.


The electrically adjustable leather seats (leather package for 1800 euros) in the CX-30 lack a little format on the chairs in the Karoq, but they offer more lateral support and an additional adjustment of the seat inclination.

The upholstery of the Czech provides a good overall comfort, but the side bolsters only look like sporty grip – in fact they are so softly padded that there is no stopping them in curves.

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Acceleration 0-50km/h

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0-100km/h

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0-130km/h

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0-160km/h

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Elasticity 60-100km/h

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80-120km/h

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curb weight/load

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Weight distribution v./h.

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Turning circle left/right

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seat height

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Braking distance from 100 km/h cold

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from 100 km/h warm

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Interior noise at 50 km/h

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at 100km/h

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at 130 km/h

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saving consumption

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test consumption

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Average of the 155 km test lap (deviation from the WLTP specification)

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sports consumption

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CO2 (test consumption)

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Range (test consumption)

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10.5/14.0 s (4th/5th gear)

14.7/21.5 s (5th/6th gear)

8.1/10.4 s (4th/5th gear)

10.8/14.1 s (5th/6th gear)


The Mazda collects further sympathy points with its rather classic cockpit. Yes, the monitor in the middle is rather small, the navigation map on it no bigger than an iPhone 12. But round instruments with pointers, real buttons and a kind of iDrive operation make life on board easy and pleasant.

With the Skoda, on the other hand, we have to do without a volume button (only via touch or roller in the steering wheel) with the large infotainment package Columbus (1290 euros). However, the Karoq’s digital instruments offer distinct advantages. Different views and information up to the format-filling navigation map can be displayed – very pleasant.

Mazda CX-30 engine

Two-liter sucker with 150 hp: The engine of the Mazda is pretty tired without revs.


This does not apply to the voice assistants. In both SUVs, they are difficult to hear, are limited to navigation and audio functions, and require correct addressing. After all, the Skoda reacts to “Okay, Laura” and sometimes allows simpler commands.

For holidays, the Skoda is recommended with an impressive 1630 liters of storage space – in the Mazda it’s already 1406 liters. However, the Skoda lacks a double loading floor – you should definitely invest the 190 euros.

This is how they drive: Mazda more restrained in everything

Both compact SUVs get 150 hp from the pleasantly smooth-running four-cylinder petrol engines and transmit this to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. That’s it with the similarities, the type of power development could hardly be more different.

With its 1.5 turbo, the Skoda offers a decent punch from 2000 rpm and, above all, impressive power reserves when overtaking in high gear.

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Engine type/cylinder

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installation position

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valves/camshafts

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camshaft drive

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displacement

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kW (hp) at rpm

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Nm at rpm

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top speed

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transmission

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drive

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Brakes front/rear

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test car tires

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tire type

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wheel size

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Exhaust gas CO2

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Consumption*

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tank capacity

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fuel grade

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particle filter

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pass-by noise

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trailer load used/unused

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drawbar load

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trunk volume

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Length Width Height

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wheelbase

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basic price

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Test car price (is evaluated)

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Falken Azensis FR 510 SUV


The Mazda’s two-liter naturally aspirated engine, on the other hand, needs enormous revs to get going at all. If the scale is used up to the 6000 mark, the CX-30 can even keep up with the Karoq in the sprint. When it comes to elasticity, however, the low torque of the Japanese makes itself felt, from 80 to 120 km/h the Mazda dawdles around four seconds longer than the Skoda, and in sixth gear the gap grows to over seven seconds.

So it’s comforting that the proper circuit slides a little easier than that in the competitor. And that the foam-braked Mazda is also holding back when it comes to consumption. On our test lap, 6.7 l/100 km was enough – the Karoq requires 0.6 liters of turbo surcharge.

Thanks to adaptive dampers (DCC, in a package with progressive steering for 850 euros), the Czech springs, however, half a class more supple and delivers a more direct steering feel.

Skoda Karoq Mazda CX-30

Finish photo: After counting all the points, the Skoda (left) is actually able to put itself clearly ahead of the Mazda.


The basically binding springy Japanese let the tight dampers wriggle restlessly on patchwork rugs, hearty shocks are passed on to the rather diffuse steering. In addition, the CX-30 crackles a little more in the cockpit and looks thinner overall.

They cost: Skoda self-confident, Mazda fair

Already more than 3000 euros cheaper in the basic price, the advantage of the Mazda in the test trim grows to a good 4000 euros. A six (!) year warranty is included compared to two with Skoda.

With the annual maintenance (Skoda two years) and the consistently more expensive insurance, the CX-30 then loses points again. Not exactly dreamy.

1. Skoda Karo 1.5 TSI ACT: 572 points

The compact Czech has no real weaknesses, an all-round car – and definitely not a cheap one.

2. Mazda CX-30 e-Skyactive G 2.0 M Hybrid: 544 points

The design and classic cockpit are appealing, but with deficits in terms of space, drive and connectivity. Cheap!

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