Mazda MX-30 performance, motor & drive
It's far from being the most powerful electric car around, but the Mazda MX-30 does handle quite well
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Mazda knows how to make a car that's good to drive: just about every car in its range handles keenly and can keep its driver entertained. The MX-30 is no exception and is among the better-driving lower-end electric cars on sale.
The MX-30 is typically quiet for an electric car, but there's also a synthetic 'engine' sound that changes in pitch as the car's speed increases. That might strike some buyers as annoying, but anyone coming from an internal-combustion car will find it entirely natural; it pretty much blends into the background.
For the most part, the MX-30 drives like a normal small automatic SUV. The 'MX' part of the name is usually associated with the brand’s sports cars, and isn't entirely unjustified. From the driving seat, it echoes much of the famous MX-5 roadster's characteristics; precise steering, smooth braking and well judged suspension are all present and correct. Like all Mazdas, big or small, overtly sporty or family-focused, it's a cut above the competition when it comes to driver satisfaction.
Regenerative braking, which is pretty much a given on any electric car these days, is standard. You can adjust the strength of the effect using the paddles between the steering wheel. There are five levels to choose from, ranging from barely perceptible to a strong slowing force when you lift off the accelerator; the latter allows for 'one-pedal' driving if you anticipate the traffic ahead well enough.
Mazda MX-30 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
The MX-30 is not very fast by electric-car standards and only has around 143bhp on tap – which means 0-62mph takes 9.7 seconds and top speed is just 87mph. However, this will be perfectly adequate for most users, and these on-paper figures don't take into account the feeling (and convenience) of the instant torque that's available at any speed. Whether you're making a swift getaway from the lights or executing an overtake, things feel fairly effortless.
That small battery means the Mazda isn't as excessively heavy as some other electric cars, so it's pleasingly fleet-footed on a twisty country road, and you don't feel its bulk fighting against you as you take a series of corners. Keen drivers will definitely enjoy this car.
In This Review
- 1VerdictTaking 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 & drive - currently readingIt'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