In-depth reviews

Mazda MX-30 review

The MX-30 takes a different approach to many EVs, with a focus on sustainability and a low weight. The result is an engaging driving experience, but limited range

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£28,590 - £34,940
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Engaging to drive
  • Interesting styling
  • Sustainable materials

Cons

  • Impractical door layout
  • Pretty short driving range
  • Not fast as electric cars go
Car typeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric124 miles5hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)26mins (10-80%, 50kW)

The Mazda MX-30 is the Japanese brand’s first electric car. Like many other Mazda products, it takes a somewhat left-field and unconventional approach compared to more mainstream competition, with both positive and negative results.

Firstly, there's a big focus on the sustainability of materials used to build the car – although other brands have started to catch up in this area and it isn't the unique selling point it was when the MX-30 launched. Secondly, 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 sufficient for most buyers, while also helping to reduce the car's impact on the environment.

That puts the MX-30 in the same category as models like the MINI Electric and Honda e, as well as the original 'urban electric car', the soon-to-be-discontinued BMW i3. They're intended as stylish, high-tech companions for the daily commute, school run or shopping trip. Most drivers of cars in this category will charge the battery at home overnight, rather than using 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 and can't carry a huge amount of luggage, nor offer passengers in the back the most comfortable accommodation.

As of early 2022, the MX-30 is offered in three trim levels: Prime-Line, Exclusive-Line and Makoto, with the first two eligible for the UK government's £1,500 plug-in car grant. The car definitely makes more sense in these cheaper guises, especially when compared to rivals like the MG ZS EV and smaller contenders like the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e.

Overall, it's a high-quality, well designed product 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. An early 2022 update tweaked the artificial sound the MX-30 makes when accelerating and slightly improved its charging speed from public rapid points.

On the downside, both the driving range and amount of rear-seat space on offer are below what you'd probably need from an 'only' car, but otherwise the MX-30 is a strong first effort at an electric car by one of the more innovative car companies. For a more in-depth look, check out the rest of our review...

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