Mazda MX-30 Review 2024
Mazda MX-30 At A Glance
The Mazda MX-30 is a slightly quirky alternative to the Hyundai Kona and Vauxhall Mokka. It's available with pure-electric power, as well as a new plug-in hybrid model. Read our full 2023 Mazda MX-30 review to find out everything that's weird and wonderful about this small SUV.
The Mazda MX-30 first arrived in 2021 as an electric car with a small battery and the ability to travel just 124 miles between charges. This might explain why it's only sold in limited numbers so far - although Mazda claims that you don't actually need an electric car with a long range.
It could have fitted a bigger battery pack, but doing so would have been wasteful when most buyers are looking at the MX-30 as a second car for the school run.
If you do want a Mazda MX-30 that can travel further afield, the Mazda MX-30 R-EV offers a slightly different take on the plug-in hybrid approach.
It can travel up to 53 miles under electric power. After that, a small rotary petrol engine kicks in to act as a generator. Unlike more conventional rivals, there isn't a direct link between the engine and the MX-30's wheels - it's there solely to charge the battery.
So what's the Mazda MX-30 like to drive? Well, the regular electric MX-30 is pretty good. It feels light and agile (more so than rivals with heavy battery packs under the floor). The steering is impressive, while its compact turning circle helps around town. Is it sporty enough to justify its 'MX' moniker? Not really, but few buyers will care.
The Mazda MX-30 R-EV takes a little more getting used to. It's fine when the battery's fully charged and you're bimbling about under electric power, but once the petrol engine kicks in, it's pretty unrefined. If you want an EV that can travel hundreds of miles between charges, we'd be looking at the Kia Niro EV instead.
Unusual powertrains aside, the Mazda MX-30's biggest party trick is its 'freestyle' doors. The rear doors are rear-mounted, meaning there's no B-pillar to get in the way when you're jumping in and out of the MX-30.
But this actually makes access to the rear pretty tricky - you'll end up sliding the front seat forward, just like you would in a three-door car.
That aside, the Mazda MX-30's sustainable interior is pretty lovely. There's a slightly odd mix of materials, but it feels well-finished and is apparently kind to the planet. The infotainment is easy to use, while even the most affordable Mazda MX-30 models are well equipped as standard.
Would we buy a Mazda MX-30? Well, objectively, there are lots of excellent electric SUVs on the market - and the MX-30 probably isn't one of them. However, we admire Mazda's slightly left-field approach and, as a used purchase, it starts to make a little more sense. If you don't need to travel far, we'd certainly consider an MX-30 over a used Vauxhall Corsa Electric or an ageing Nissan Leaf.