In-depth reviews

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

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£28,590 - £34,940
Fuel Type:
Electric
0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
9.7s87mphFront143bhp

Mazda knows how to make a car good to drive: just about every model 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.

It's typically quiet for a zero-emissions model, but there's also a synthetic 'engine' sound that changes pitch as your 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 electric cars 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, with only 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.

Handling

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 – right up until they have to find a charging point to top up its tiny battery.

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