Mazda MX-30 review
Taking a slightly different approach to many electric cars, the MX-30 focuses on low weight, a modest range and an engaging driving experience
- Engaging to drive
- Interesting styling
- Sustainable materials
- Impractical door layout
- Quite short driving range
- Not fast as electric cars go
|Car type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||124 miles||5hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||31mins (10-80%, 50kW)|
This is the Mazda MX-30, the Japanese brand’s first production electric car. Like many other Mazda products, it takes a somewhat leftfield and unconventional approach to the more mainstream competition, and judging by our first impression, this could be a gamble that pays off.
There's a big focus on the sustainability of materials used to build the car – something that customers love to see on electric cars. Additionally, Mazda has avoided the temptation to get caught up in a 'range war' with its rivals. It reckons a comparatively small 35.5kWh battery, giving an estimated range of just under 125 miles, will be more than sufficient for most buyers, while also helping to reduce the car's impact on the environment. It should be possible to get close to 100 miles out of it in real-world driving conditions.
That puts the MX-30 in the same category as cars like the MINI Electric and Honda e, as well as the original 'urban electric car', the BMW i3. They're intended as stylish, high-tech companions for the daily commute, school run or shopping trip. Most drivers will charge their cars at home overnight, rather than use them as regular long-distance cruisers.
As such, the MX-30 is best considered as a larger urban car rather than a full-blown family SUV – it's most at home on shorter trips (at least in outright range terms – comfort and refinement are good) and can't carry a huge amount of luggage, nor offer passengers in the back the most comfortable experience around.
Initially, the MX-30 range was limited to 500 'First Edition' models, but this has been joined by a small range of other trim levels: SE-L Lux, Sport Lux and GT Sport Tech, all versions of which are eligible for the UK government's plug-in car grant (PiCG). After the £2,500 grant, the most affordable SE-L starts from just over £26,000, while the top-spec GT Sport Tech model like the one we've been living with is priced from £30,345.
The MX-30 makes most sense in its cheaper guises, especially when compared to rivals like the MG ZS EV and smaller contenders like the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e. It's a high-quality, well designed car with plenty of surprise-and-delight features – novel interior materials, a complete lack of a B-pillar thanks to rear-hinged rear doors and a chassis that doesn't forget to let the driver have fun.
We wouldn't be opposed to a larger battery for better range – and we wouldn't mind seeing a bit more space in the rear seats – but otherwise the Mazda MX-30 is a strong first effort at an electric car by one of the world's most innovative car companies. For a more in-depth look at the Mazda MX-30, check out the rest of our detailed review...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingTaking a slightly different approach to many electric cars, the MX-30 focuses on low weight, a modest range and an engaging driving experience
- 2Range, battery & chargingMazda cites environmental reasons for the MX-30's combination of short range and speedy charging
- 3Running costs & insuranceLike all electric cars, the MX-30 should be cheap to run – but there are still a few unknowns at time of writing
- 4Performance, motor & driveIt's far from being the most powerful electric car around, but the Mazda MX-30 does handle quite well
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortMazda's penchant for cool interiors continues, with great materials, decent infotainment and a modern feel inside the MX-30
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityWith practicality hampered by stylish doors, the Mazda MX-30 isn't exactly the most flexible SUV around
- 7Reliability & safety ratingA five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating means the MX-30 should still be safe – and the signs look good for reliability, too
- 8Living with itMazda's MX-30 electric car has arrived on our fleet – and we're just getting our heads around the out-of-the-ordinary SUV