New Mazda MX-30 EV – Review By Brian Fahey.
Mazda MX-30 EV – Full Road Test Review by Brian Fahey.
Approaching Mazda’s new MX-30, the first thing to catch your eye is the striking, shark like, front end, with its squinting headlights and recessed grille giving the car a menacing yet sophisticated look. Things are a little more sedate though, from pretty much every other angle on the outside of the all-new electric car, some may even think that it’s bordering on plain looking from the side and rear, an opinion that I sadly have to agree with, why Mazda have put so much style into the front and appear to have slightly disregarded the rest of the exterior is disappointing.
Getting into the car you notice how wide the front doors open, and that leads us onto the other big talking point on the MX-30 exterior, the rear doors. In a nod to the sporty RX-8 of yesteryear, a car that is at the complete opposite end of the tailpipe emissions table, the emissions being so high on the RX-8 that they are not actually measured in the NCT in Ireland, the rear doors are hinged from the rear, suicide doors if you will. And they are tiny, therefore requiring the front doors to open wider than on a standard 5 door car. The smaller rear doors mean that access to the rear is going to be limited for some. Again, this piques my curiosity as to why Mazda have made that decision, why not just a normal 5 door set up, surely the RX-8-esque rear doors will put some potential customers off, with them making it cumbersome, at best, getting into the rear seats and nothing short of difficult if getting children into and out of child seats. I don’t think parents or grandparents of small children will be big fans of this set up.
With a host of atypical materials used throughout the interior, including vegan leather, denim and for the first time in my experience, cork, actual cork is used on the centre console tray, which I have to say, looks great and adds a splash of contrast to the interior that is not often seen in modern mundane car interiors. This use of cork is also a throwback to Mazda’s original business which was manufacturing cork, years before they ever made a car. If you spec your MX-30 with the denim seats, this again adds a splash of colour, making the inside of the MX-30 a very pleasant place to be indeed.
The infotainment system is smart and easy to use. With an 8.8-inch touch screen on the dash and a centre console-mounted rotary dial, drivers have options on how they choose to navigate through the menu’s, from audio controls, vehicle settings and sat nav. The heater controls get their own touchscreen, and again it’s all well laid out and intuitive to use.
Sitting into the MX-30 it is very easy to feel at home, with electrically adjustable seats on all but the entry level spec, and reach and rake adjustment on the steering wheel, it is easy to find your sweet spot of a driving position. All the controls are well laid out and easily within reach and the instrument cluster is a good mix of the old school and the modern, with physical dials in the speedometer and a bright sharp heads-up display projecting onto the windscreen.
Taking off the acceleration feels brisk at lower speeds, and more than enough for a city car. I was surprised to read that the given 0-100 km/k time is 9.7 seconds because it does feel quicker than that when driving, aided by the immediate hit of torque from the electric motors, no rev’s to build up or turbos to come on song before you get a decent dose of acceleration. At higher speeds though the 143 BHP does feel a little underwhelming, especially when compared to other electric cars in this price range, some of which feel lightning quick.
As with all electric cars, we must talk about range. Mazda have gone with a 35.5kWh battery which is one of the smallest available in any electric car currently on sale. They say they have chosen to go with a small battery as this reduces the CO2 footprint at the manufacturing stage of the battery, which is exorbitantly high for the production of lithium-ion batteries, and a fact that many other manufacturers do not want to allude to. This will make a real difference to the overall lifetime carbon footprint of the car from production to disposal and I have to commend Mazda for this. Most people purchasing electric cars are fully aware now that they are not the best option for long range driving and anyone who regularly drives long distance will probably stick with their diesels for the foreseeable future, regardless of whether the range of an electric car is 200km or 400km.
Mazda have been quite generous with the standard equipment on the MX-30, with their usual suite of driver aids including front and rear park sensors, rear view camera, blind spot monitoring, smart brake support, radar cruise control and satellite navigation all coming as standard on the entry level GS-L trim. 18” alloy wheels and LED headlights are also standard on the entry level car with the higher spec cars getting the addition of vegan leather heated seats, auto dimming rear view mirror, a beefier Bose sound system and fancier adaptive LED headlights.
Pricing is good too, with the entry level GS-L trim on sale at €30,965 and the range topping First Edition and GT Sport trims coming in at €32,265, ex works, which makes the MX-30 competitive with similar sized electric cars out there.
I like it, I thought I wouldn’t, but I do. The MX-30 whirs around with its futuristic, manufactured, whirring noise, reminiscent of movies from the past predicting what the future would sound like. The range is small, but you know what you are getting, so stay away if it doesn’t suit your requirements. It charges quick, Mazda say it will charge from 20% – 80% in 36 minutes on a 50kW charger, 0% – 100% in 5 hours on a mode 3 cable or 15 hours on a domestic charger. It is involving to drive too, its torque vectoring technology ensure it is spritely through the corners and the regenerative braking can be adjusted to your own preference, giving the car a personalised feel. So, if you are in the market for a new car and do not need to travel more than 200km per journey i.e., the huge majority of drivers out there, then the MX-30 deserves to be given serious consideration.
Visit www.mazda.ie for further information.