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In-depth reviews

Mazda MX-30 review: quirky EV is corked!

The Mazda MX-30 is fundamentally flawed in several areas; at least it looks good and is pretty decent to drive

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Engaging to drive
  • Interesting styling
  • Sustainable materials

Cons

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

Mazda MX-30 verdict

It’s impossible to regard the MX-30 as anything other than a missed opportunity; Mazda’s first-and-currently-only electric car certainly looks the business, but quickly falls flat when it comes to range and practicality. Aside from the very cheapest EV models available, a range of 124 miles is frankly unacceptable in this day and age, especially given all the Mazda's rivals offer more than double this figure. Then there’s the RX-8-inspired hinged rear doors which, whilst certainly an interesting concept, are a pain in everyday use and make the MX-30 difficult to recommend as a family car. It’s not all bad, though; we like the MX-30’s sustainably-finished cabin and, in true Mazda fashion, the MX-30 is pretty decent to drive. Mazda is hoping that the option of a wankel-engined range extender model can revive interest in the MX-30, however, we think the EV model will remain a niche choice.

Range details, specs and alternatives

You may be surprised to hear that in this day and age, the Mazda MX-30 is the Japanese maker’s only electric car. It’s a small electric SUV, with rivals including the Jeep Avenger, Peugeot E-2008, Volvo EX30 and Kia Soul EV.

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The MX-30 is cheaper than almost all of its competitors, though – a good thing, given its 35.5kWh battery only returns a range of up to 124 miles, which is around half of what’s possible in all of its aforementioned rivals. However, instead of adding a larger battery pack, Mazda has decided to rectify this issue by also offering the MX-30 as a wankel-engined range extender hybrid which is said to be able to travel up to 400 miles on a combination of petrol and electricity.

We’re not called DrivingElectric for nothing, though, so it’s the fully electric model we’ll be focusing on here. This gets a 143bhp electric motor which results in a somewhat leisurely 0-62mph time of 9.7 seconds. Equally uninspiring is the MX-30’s maximum charging speed of 50kW; however, given the dinky size of the Mazda’s battery, it means a 10-80% top-up is still possible in as little as 25 minutes – a good thing, given how often you’ll be needing to stop for a charge.

If you’re still interested in the MX-30 – perhaps as a stylish second car – you’ll have three trim levels to choose from: Prime-Line, Exclusive-Line and Makoto. Starting at just over £31,000, the entry-level Mazda MX-30 Prime-Line undercuts most other electric SUVs and comes pretty well equipped. Standard features include LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, an 8.8-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, climate control, cruise control, front-and-rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

Upgrading to the mid-spec Exclusive-Line car will set you back another £2,000 or so, although it does get you part-leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a head-up display and tinted windows. Finally, the £35,500 Makoto model is far too expensive in our opinion, although if you can stomach the high price tag, this model boasts a Bose sound system, a sliding sunroof and a heated steering wheel. Ultimately, though, we’d stick with the base Prime-Line.

Click here to see why you can trust DrivingElectric reviews, or for a more detailed look at the Mazda MX-30, read on for the rest of our in-depth review…

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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