Mazda MX-30 long-term test: report 1

Mazda's first fully electric SUV aims to prove that less is more. Over the next few months, we'll be finding out if it succeeds...

MX-30 long-term happy snap car in profile

The car Mazda MX-30 145 Sport Lux Run by Louis Shaw, social media manager

Why it’s here To prove that it's both possible and preferable to run an electric car with a smaller range in the city without compromise.

Needs to be A comfortable commuter, with plenty of space for luggage and passengers, and provide minimal compromises compared with a combustion-engined car.

Mileage 523 List price £30,545 Target Price £30,164 Price as tested £32,045 Official range 124 miles (WLTP) Test range 117 miles Options fitted Polymetal Grey metallic paint with Brilliant Black roof (£1500)

13 September 2021 – Simple and effective? The MX-30 joins our fleet

A wise person once said: “If you don't look back at your car after you’ve parked it, you've bought the wrong model.” And one thing I can say about my new Mazda MX-30 at this early stage is that it's making me owl-neck more than the night-time predator itself.

It’s a stunning thing to behold and I’m reminded of that every time someone stops me to ask about it in the street, or at a car wash, rest stop or public park. Take note supercar owners – you don't need to spend big money to get the world starring.

MX-30 long-term interior

It doesn’t stop with the exterior, either. We’ve got used to Mazdas featuring high-quality interiors, but the MX-30’s is another step up. Behind the wheel you’re treated to lashings of high-quality leather, a standalone 7.0in infotainment screen with sophisticated graphics, and a sculptured centre console. It really does feel like a premium product.

So, what of the spec? Well, an entry-level SE-L Lux model will set you back £26,045 (after the Government’s £2500 electric vehicle grant is factored in), but I’ve opted for Sport Lux trim, which adds £2000 to the price, but brings plenty of useful extras.

For starters, you get more supportive seats, which are heated, and rear privacy glass for an added level of security when parked up with valuables. But most appealing of all to me is the keyless entry; in the past I wasn’t a fan, but having now had several cars with this feature, I’ve got used to the convenience of walking away with bags in hand and trusting the car to lock up behind me.

While my recently departed Renault Zoe was the first electric vehicle (EV) I'd spent a significant amount of time with, I now feel rather like an EV veteran, and took delivery of the MX-30 unafraid of the electric lifestyle. In fact, I'm relishing the opportunity to continue the romance.

MX-30 long-term rear glass and lines

All that being said, this is a very different car to the Zoe and I don’t just mean in terms of size or class. More than anything, the one thing most people worry about when running an EV is how far it can go, and in that department my new car is rather less impressive (on paper, at least) than the Zoe.

The MX-30 will officially cover 124 miles on a single charge, but I’ve yet to see anything more than 117 on my battery readout – a number supported by our recent EV Real Range megatest.

Mazda says the smaller battery is better for the environment and that larger ones are heavy and spoil the driving dynamics. They also say that for longer journeys, most people have a bigger second car. While that may be true, I fear they may have forgotten the merits of owning a single car, both for the environment and the wallet.

Early driving impressions are good. The MX-30 feels nicely tied down, turning in with a sense of urgency and balance. It’s also comfortable, proving especially forgiving on the nasty, pothole-strewn London streets near my home.

MX-30 long-term cornering

Refinement is another highlight. I’ve yet to get on the motorway proper, but on busy dual carriageways there’s hardly any road roar and, of course, no engine noise. At the end of every journey, I feel calm and refreshed.

Over the next few months, I aim to prove that the MX-30 isn’t just for those with a second car that runs on petrol or diesel. The range is unquestionably a concern, but as I have a relatively short commute, I’m hopeful that it won’t turn out to be a deal-breaker.

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