Mazda MX-30: Brand’s First Electric Car Revealed

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Mazda has joined the rest of its EV-championing Japanese manufacturers Nissan and Honda by revealing its first electric car, the MX-30.

You may be wondering why this EV has taken part of the name of the brand’s iconic sports car MX-5. Naturally, it isn’t as fun to drive or quite as good looking. However, Mazda’s unveiling of the car has us believing that it will be a very sensible option for those sceptics still needing some convincing to make the switch to electric.

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What is the Mazda MX-30?

Mazda MX-30

It’s an exotic-looking thing isn’t it?

As a whole package, the MX-30 is a four-seater family crossover that takes design cues from a multitude of existing Mazda models. For around £25,000 (including the Government’s plug-in car grant) it can be yours in 2021, when it’s expected to hit the market.

We have to start with those rear-hinged suicide doors that are a nod to the forsaken (but absolutely brilliant) RX-8 sports car. Not only do they make the car look nice and sporty, but when opened they allow for easy access for those passengers in the back. Coupled with a pair of front-hinged doors in the front, this creates a walkway behind the front seats so that getting in and out of the car is very easy.

As for the Mazda MX-30’s dimensions, you can look no further than the CX-30 for a direct comparison. Both have a compact coupe-like body (signified by the sloping roofline) and the raised ride height you’d expect from a family crossover. As you’ll see below in our section on how this entry-level drives, its hatchback origins and more-than-sufficient power from the electric motor/battery combo is decent when you consider that performance isn’t this vehicle’s purpose.


Mazda MX-30 2

Mazda’s reputation for producing cars that are genuinely fun to drive doesn’t stop with the introduction of an electrical drivetrain.

Sure, the 310kg battery pack featured low in the chassis and total weight of 1,645kg doesn’t allow this car to duck and dive into corners with the enthusiasm of the CX-3 and MX-5. Nevertheless its single 143bhp electric motor and instant torque across the rev range (a typical electric car trait) pushes it from 0-62mph in a competent 9.7 seconds.

A top speed of 87mph means you don’t drain the sensibly-sized 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery too quickly. In terms of range, official tests have revealed the MX-30 can do a maximum of 124 miles on a single charge. Unfortunately, it’s not as good on paper as the similarly-priced MG ZS (163 miles) which uses a larger 44.5kWh power unit.

Efficiency and reliability are the key reasons behind the choice of a smaller battery in the MX-30. A study by Mazda and the Kogakuin University in Tokyo, Japan found that the reduced size of the pack meant lower CO2 emissions over its entire life-cycle, compared with bigger ones in other EVs.

Adding to the MX-30’s energy-saving components are clever onboard systems that help reduce the amount of charge you burn through while driving. Smart regenerative braking is one of these features on offer, which includes different strength levels that effectively allow you to brake using just the electric motor – developing charge for the battery at the same time. At its strongest setting, you’ll only need to use the brakes for coming to a complete standstill.

Another cool function of the MX-30’s performance is a false engine noise, produced when you’re accelerating and braking. Surprisingly it doesn’t sound as ridiculous as you might initially think, plus it helps keep pedestrians and cyclists around you safe by alerting them to your presence.


Mazda MX-30 1

Just like the Honda e‘s retro interior, you’ll find a lot of similar styling indications inside the MX-30.

The interior is light, airy and modern – aided by the use of funky-looking vegan materials and the use of cork cupholders inspired by the brand’s roots of making the material.

Things take an even more traditional approach when you glance down at the driver controls. An automatic-style gear selector allows you to select between Drive, Park, Reverse and Neutral, while the gauge for your battery level is displayed in conventional analogue dials. It looks a lot less of a faff than some of the more tech-savvy interiors of other cars in the EV range.

What about standard equipment then? All 500 units of the First Edition MX-30 come with the following:

  • 8.8″ colour entertainment display with Mazda Connect System (includes a sat nav, smartphone mirroring and other media).
  • 7″ colour touchscreen display to control climate settings.
  • Head-up driver display projected onto the windscreen.
  • i-Activsense safety technology (includes adaptive front-lighting system, high-beam control, radar cruise control, lane-changing warning, lane departure warning and forward obstruction warning).

How practical is it?

Rear passenger space will be a slight concern if you’re wanting to carry adult-sized people in the back. It’s a bit of a squeeze back there if you’re anywhere near six-foot, but shorter distances won’t present too much of an issue.

Room in the boot is a bit more promising, with a 366-litre cargo that’s similar to the Vauxhall Astra‘s and the Ford Focus.

Unsurprisingly, headroom and legroom is plentiful in the front for the driver and passenger up top. What’s more is that the large windscreen and windows either side allow you to really appreciate the uncluttered feel to the cabin.

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