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POLL POSITION

Help pick the winners of The Sun Motors Awards 2020 and win a season pass for Silverstone

HELP pick the winners of The Sun Motors Awards 2020 – and you could win a season pass for Silverstone.

That’s you and a friend sorted for the 2021 British ­Formula 1 Grand Prix, British MotoGP, BTCC, Silverstone Classic, as well as a drive experience for two and tickets for the brand new Silverstone Museum.

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I know. Incredible, right?

All you have to do is vote for your favourites from two categories: Family Car of the Year and The Sun Legend Award — and you’ll be entered into our free draw for the Silverstone season pass.

The contenders for Family Car of the Year are: Ford Kuga, Kia XCeed, Range Rover Evoque, Seat Leon, Skoda Kamiq, Toyota Corolla.

The shortlist for The Sun Legend Award — celebrating iconic vehicles that have been in production for 30 years and more — is: BMW 3 Series, Ford Fiesta, Ford Transit, Mazda MX-5, Mini, VW Golf.

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Vote now at thesun.co.uk/motorsawards2020.

Voting closes at 12noon on September 14.

The full list of winners, including The Sun Car of the Year, best van, best electric car and Jeremy ­Clarkson’s People’s Car of the Year, will be published on October 4.

  • Note: Travel and accommodation is not included in the prize. Other terms and conditions for Silverstone drive experience apply. Good luck.

High marks for Mazda Class Act

HERE’S my end-of-term school report on the Mazda CX-30.

EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR: A-

The Mazda CX-30 manages to sit higher than a hatchback without coming across as a hulking great SUV
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The Mazda CX-30 manages to sit higher than a hatchback without coming across as a hulking great SUVCredit: davidlfsmith

It looks great, managing to sit higher than a hatchback without coming across as a hulking great SUV. Inside, the cabin is laid out in textbook fashion. Flashes of brown leather help to give it that studious, quality feel.

However, it’s graded down to an A- for this section because there’s only a part-digital instrument cluster and the infotainment feels a step or two behind the class-leading electronic systems in some rivals. Tsk.

ENGINE AND ECONOMY: A

Top marks for the clever Skyactiv-X engine which is a 180hp petrol motor but with the economy of a diesel. I managed to coax almost 60mpg from it.

Mazda tends to make excellent, athletic chassis and this crossover is no exception, delivering superb comfort and noise suppression on the one hand, and spirited handling on the other.

Strong dynamic performance from the CX-30, then, that would do the school proud at a county-wide sports day. Top show.

The clever Skyactiv-X engine is a 180hp petrol motor but with the economy of a diesel
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The clever Skyactiv-X engine is a 180hp petrol motor but with the economy of a dieselCredit: davidlfsmith

VALUE FOR MONEY: A+

Incredible mathematical work from the Mazda here. This is the top-spec CX-30 as a GT Sport, which means metallic paint is about the only cost option you can fling at the Mazda come ordering time.

With a 180hp engine and a standard kit list that includes leather upholstery, powered front seats, head-up display, heated steering wheel, keyless entry and go, and a 12-speaker Bose sound system, among much more, the Mazda exhibits an immaculate grasp of the algebraic formula: “Lots of x for not much y equals very happy punters.”

MARKETING: F. See me.

And it was all going so well . . . until the marketeers got involved.

Seriously, why confuse us with a daft name? Based on a Mazda 3 hatchback and designed to slot between the CX-3 and CX-5, you’d think it’d be called CX-4.

But a China-only Mazda is already in production under the CX-4 banner.

So they called it CX-30. Hmmm. Not to be confused with the forthcoming electric MX-30, which is just as odd.

The Mazda includes leather upholstery, powered front seats, head-up display, heated steering wheel, keyless entry and go, and a 12-speaker Bose sound system
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The Mazda includes leather upholstery, powered front seats, head-up display, heated steering wheel, keyless entry and go, and a 12-speaker Bose sound systemCredit: davidlfsmith

Why MX, which has always been used for Mazda’s sports cars, like the MX-5?

Honestly, Mazda, this model-naming process has even bigger plot holes in it than a schoolboy’s attempt at a 500-word romantic novel for an English assignment.

TEACHER’S FINAL COMMENTS:

A truly great crossover, shame about the name.

Key facts

MAZDA CX-30 GT SPORT

Price: £29,930

Engine: 2-litre petrol hybrid

Power: 180hp, 224Nm

0-62mph: 8.5 secs

Top speed: 127mph

Economy: 47mpg

CO2: 133g/km

Out: Now


Ask Alfie, the used car specialist

Q: A YEAR ago, I bought an MG3, 14-reg, with only 8,600 miles on the clock.

It now has 11,400 miles on the clock but it broke down at the garage – they said it was the timing chain. They have delayed the repair because the kit was unavailable due to lockdown. Is this correct?

David Raw

A: Entirely possible. MG3s from 2014 were built as complete knock-down (CKD) kits in the UK, with the vehicles manufactured as component parts in China and shipped over here piecemeal to be assembled in the UK (not any longer, though).

With China one of the worst-hit places by Covid, it could be that the parts were just not available for shipping.

Q: IT is near-impossible to see some numbering and lettering on the infotainment screen of my Vauxhall Insignia, the outside temperature especially. My previous Insignia did not have these issues.

I’ve been back to the dealer and contacted Vauxhall, but to no avail. Any ideas?

Chip Sawyer

A: Well, Chip, I can’t find any other specific issues like that with Vauxhall infotainment.

But it’s fairly clear to see from the photo you sent me that you have got a partial graphical failure of the screen.

Some owners report that disconnecting the battery for ten to 15 minutes can solve these issues, as it performs a “deep reset” on the car.

Give it a whirl but, frankly, you need to go back to your Vauxhall dealer and kick up a holy stink with the service manager, until they sort this out for you.

Mazda’s £23,000 family SUV is one of the safest cars EVER after earning near perfect Euro NCAP rating

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