Mazda MX-30 long-term test: report 7

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...

Mazda MX-30 long term static

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 1127 List price £30,545 Target Price £29,686 Price as tested £32,045 Test range 122 miles

11 January 2022 – There’s nothing wrong with a classic

Frank Sinatra, Rolex watches and Apple Macs with removable battery packs. There’s nothing wrong with looking back at a great classic – especially when it can inform the future.

You see, while car manufacturers continue to push touchscreen information systems, many of which are either riddled with bugs or are difficult to operate on the move, Mazda has instead decided to stick with the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ motto and keep things as traditional as possible.

Mazda MX-30 infotainment screen crop

The 8.8in infotainment screen is brilliant, albeit fairly rudimentary by 2022 standards. It won’t let you operate the system with your fingers, nor will it let you play the latest video games (like you can in a Tesla Model 3) but it’s sharp and the icons are colourful and clear. I’m also able to find all the key features in seconds aided by simple menus that make navigation even easier.

On first appearance, I did half wonder why it’s been cropped by the horizon line of the dash, but that’s just an illusion. I find it’s perfectly placed in my eye line, but not so much that I’m seeing half a tablet while I’m merging lanes.

Fan’s of BMW’s rival iDrive system (that’s all of us here at What Car?) will be right at home in my MX-30. For starters, everything is operated by a fairly unassuming rotary dial. Using it may not feel as futuristic as prodding a screen, but I’m thankful for its simple and effective functionality, especially when on the move. With no hint of delay between turning the screen and the dial responding, it’s definitely a welcome relief from the slightly laggy touch-based system in my previous Renault Zoe.

Mazda MX-30 lower screen LT

The climate control and heated seat controls have their own separate touchscreen lower down on the dashboard, and Mazda has provided shortcut buttons to make activating the various functions on the move as easy as possible. While the touchscreen works well enough and impresses those friends of mine who expect the MX-30's futuristic exterior to inform its interior, from a driver’s perspective I’m grateful for the shortcuts; I can adjust the temperature with a few simple clicks and turn everything off completely with a single button.

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