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New Mazda MX-30 R-EV (Rotary Petrol Engine Plug-in Hybrid) is a Great ‘Range-Extender’.

New Mazda MX-30 R-EV is a Great ‘Range-Extender’.

The MX-30 proudly carried the title of ‘Mazda’s first all-electric production vehicle’ when it was launched by the iconic Japanese vehicle manufacturer in 2021, and in keeping with market trends that applied then, as well as now, it adopts a practical Crossover body style. Although based on the handsome Mazda CX-30 and Mazda3, the MX-30 has a design language all of its own, with its sleek body tasked with providing enhanced aerodynamic efficiency. The MX-30 model range has expanded to now include a range-extender plug-in hybrid version with a novel rotary engine, which is badged MX-30 R-EV. This unique model combines EV innovation with a rotary engine that acts solely as a power generator, extending the electric experience for any journey. The R-EV is only available in high-spec ‘Edition R’ trim, with Maroon Rouge Multitone Black being the only colour option.

Distinctive Design Remains.

The MX-30 R-EV retains the distinctive design of its pure-electric stablemate, with the only distinguishing exterior features being a rotary-shaped badge on the front wings, unique 18” diamond-cut alloy wheels, and its exclusive Maroon Rouge Multitone Black metallic paintwork. In order to add a sense of occasion to every journey, the cabin features exclusive two-tone dark grey cloth trim with black leatherette trim elements with R-EV embossed headrests. The seat fabrics are made from recycled materials, and they provide occupants with supreme comfort and terrific support. A unique design feature of the MX-30 is the inclusion of ‘freestyle doors’ – essentially rear doors which open in an opposite fashion to traditional rear doors – a feature which graced the wonderful rotary-engine Mazda RX-8 coupé from 2003-2012. The front doors open to an angle of 82-degrees, while the rear doors open backwards to an angle of 80-degrees, thereby allowing easy access to the rear of the car. The ‘freestyle doors’ made sense on the RX-8 coupé and they make even more sense on the upright, front-wheel drive crossover body of the MX-30.

High-Quality, Modern Cabin.

The cabin is built to traditional Mazda high-quality standards, with physical buttons for the climate controls and radio controls. Most of the other functions are controlled via the modern and intuitive infotainment system, which can be easily accessed by way of a centre console-mounted rotary dial. Integrating natural cork into the storage tray and cup-holder lids is a nod to Mazda’s humble beginnings as a manufacturer of cork products, while the use of recycled plastic bottles for the door trims helps to reduce its environmental impact. The boot floor is long and shallow, and the standard 332 litre cargo space can be expanded to a generous 1.155 litres when the rear seats are folded down. The tapered rear roofline of the car does somewhat restrict the amount of headroom available for back seat passengers, but the space available for front seat occupants is impressive.

Test Car Details.

My MX-30 R-EV ‘Edition R’ test car attracted lots of attention during my time with it, with its ‘freestyle’ rear doors proving to be a strong talking point. The R-EV’s 830cc rotary engine never drives the wheels directly, but it is given the job of topping-up the 17.8kWh battery that powers the electric motor. It can travel for up to 94km in pure-electric mode, and the engine will only kick-in when the battery is empty, or when the accelerator pedal is pressed sharply. On the road the MX-30 R-EV is a smooth operator when in EV mode, and its overall refinement is impressive. The engine runs from 2300-4500rpm, so when you reach an approximate speed of between 32-48km/h, the rotary unit spins away in the background, but it does settle down once you are up to speed. The comfortable suspension is nicely tuned to cope with demanding back roads as easily as smooth motorway surfaces, and its handling characteristics are second-to-none. Just like the regular MX-30 EV, it is good fun to drive, and it is easy to get comfortable behind the multi-function steering wheel due to the reach and rake-adjustable wheel, and 8-way electric seat adjustment. The R-EV is 131kg heavier than the EV, and this extra weight translates into even greater road-holding ability. The car rides comfortably and sits relatively flat in corners, with the car benefitting from a similar sporty feel as its Mazda3 and CX-30 siblings. In addition to exclusive R-EV features mentioned above, key standard equipment includes Adaptive LED Headlights with front Signature Lights, Rear Signature Lights, BOSE™ 12 Speaker System, 360-degree View Monitor, Integrated Mazda Navigation with an 8.8” TFT Colour Centre Display, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Glass Sunroof, Traffic Jam Assist, Rear Smart Brake Support, Front Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Monitor System, Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist, Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™, DAB Radio, Black Rear Spoiler, Radar Cruise Control, Emergency Call, Traffic Sign Recognition, and a Post-Crash Fuel Cut Safety System, along with a host of additional comfort, convenience, safety and security features. The MX-30’s charging ability is up to 50kW DC, so a 20-80% charge in both the EV and R-EV models will take just 25 minutes. The R-EV can achieve a full 0-100% charge via a domestic wall-box charger in around 2h 30m, or via a domestic three-pin socket in around 7h 30m.

Verdict & Price.

The Mazda MX-30 is a unique Crossover/Compact SUV that catches the eye due to its beautiful proportions and intriguing design. Now, for the first time, buyers can choose a pure-electric (EV) or range-extender plug-in hybrid (R-EV) to suit their commute or lifestyle. With practical remote features, finest entertainment and maximum comfort, the connected services and next-generation infotainment provided by MAZDA CONNECT will enable  owners to step into a new digital era. The new Mazda MX-30 R-EV ‘Edition R’ is priced at €50,638 and it comes with a comprehensive 6 Year/150,000km manufacturer’s warranty for total peace of mind.

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