Mazda MX-30 long-term test: report 4

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 termer detail

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 minimal compromises compared with a combustion-engined car

Mileage 823 List price £30,545 Target Price £29,588 Price as tested £32,045 Test range 110 miles

13 November 2021 – Style with compromise 

When almost everyone does a particular thing the same way, it’s generally because it’s the best way. And yet, I still tend to find myself falling for things that are a bit different, even knowing they’ll probably make my life more difficult.

In the case of my Mazda MX-30, it’s the quirky, rear-hinged back doors that have me questioning my own sense of logic. You see, I really like them.

Mazda MX-30 rear doors

I think they're a wonderfully unique feature that helps distinguish the MX-30 from almost everything else on sale. I get a kick out of them every time I squeeze their tactile mechanical latches to release them. And as a big fan of the old Mazda RX-8 sports car, I love the fact they so clearly take inspiration from that model.

I’m not oblivious to the glaring practicality issues that they bring, though. To ensure they don’t fly open on the move, they can only be opened if the front doors are already open. This means that if you’re parked alongside another car and space is tight you get out and find yourself trapped between the front and rear doors.

Then there’s the fact that the front seatbelts are tethered to the back doors, so someone in the front has to unbuckle before you try to grab something from the rear seat behind them – or risk being pulled along for the ride.

MX-30 seat belt long-termer

I spend the majority of my time with no more than one passenger, which probably explains why none of this has put me off, but anyone hoping to use the MX-30 as they would any other comparable small SUV might well find its back doors just frustrate.

It’s only when you compare with three-door cars that they bring any practical advantages, because they mean the front door doesn’t have to be as long, and consequently it’s easier to get out of the front of the car in tight spaces. However, when trying to get to the rear you’re still left with a distinctly narrow gap to clamber through.

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