Mazda MX-30 2021 (2020) Review
Mazda MX-30 2021 (2020) At A Glance
This is the Mazda MX-30 – the Japanese car maker’s first attempt at an all electric car. Don’t get too excited because you won’t be driving from London to Edinburgh in it thanks to its limited range, however it’s ideal if you fancy an EV as a second car.
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That’s because – according to Mazdamath – producing an EV with a small battery is much better for the environment and creates less carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime than an equivalent diesel model.
So how small is small? Well, Mazda reckons a 33.5kWh battery is the sweet spot. Just to put that into context, models like the Kia E-Niro use a 64kWh battery, which gives them an official range of 274 miles while the Mazda’s range is 124 miles.
Given that ‘range anxiety’ (the fear of running out of charge) is one of the biggest issues preventing the take up of EVs, it seems odd that Mazda hasn’t used a bigger battery. But it’s logical, especially when you remember the MX-30 is designed as a second car.
And that means short trips into town, dropping off the kids, popping out for coffee. So while you might spend a few hours going here and there, most of your driving will be at 30-40mph, and your annual mileage is probably 6000. Sound familiar?
Of course, there are advantages to having a smaller battery. For a start, it takes less time to charge. Plug it into your wall box and it’ll take about six hours to replenish the battery, while using a fast charger at a motorway services will take less than 30 mins.
Then there’s the handling benefits. Not lugging around a heavy battery pack means that Mazda was able to design a fairly nimble little mini-crossover. In fact, it’s no accident that the car got the ‘MX’ name, which is normally reserved for Mazda’s sportiest of models.
And the MX-30 is fun to drive in a round about town way rather than on a race track way. It’s steering is quick but it’s ride isn’t too harsh. Its speed won’t blow you away however as it lacks the all out ‘shove’ that most EV powertrains offer.
It’s the rear doors that will prove to be the car’s baggiest party trick (and also perhaps its biggest disappointment). Mazda calls them ‘freestyle’ but you might have heard them called clamshell, suicide or even French. You might have seen them on the current Rolls-Royce line up, but also on horse and cars.
The thinking is that because both front and rear doors opening outward (like patio doors), then the offer better access to the rear. But this only really works when the car is big enough. With the MX-30, taller drivers will end up sliding the front seat forward and everyone will be just wishing it was a two-door.