Mazda MX-30 long-term test review
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...
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 £26,045 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 park it, you've bought the wrong car.” 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 an exciting 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 have to spend a lot to get the world staring.
Will Williams, What Car?’s senior photographer, described it perfectly when he said: “It’s pretty outstanding in person."
It doesn’t stop with the exterior, either. We know Mazda makes high-quality interiors, but this MX-30 is another step up. Behind the wheel you’re treated to lashings of high-quality leather, plenty of cubby holes, a standalone 7.0in infotainment touchscreen and a sculptured centre console. It really does feel like a premium product that would make many rivals blush.
So, what of the spec? Well, a standard MX-30 in our favourite SE-L Lux trim will set you back £26,045 (with the £2,500 government electric vehicle grant), but I’ve opted for the slightly more expensive Sport Lux trim, which adds £2000. My justification for straying from our recommendation is that the extras that come as standard on the more expensive trim are ones which I find useful.
For starters, there are more supportive seats for the time we city dwellers spend sitting in traffic, seat heating for those colder days ahead of us and rear privacy glass for an added level of security when parked up with valuables. I also wanted to make sure I had keyless entry on the MX-30. I used to be reluctant to add it (fearing a security risk) but having now had several cars with the 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 car (EV) I'd spent a significant amount of time in, 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.
All that being said, this is a very different car to the Renault Zoe and I don’t just mean in size or class. More than anything, the one thing most people worry about when running an electric vehicle is how far it can go, and in that department my new car is rather less impressive (on paper at least) than Renault’s small electric.
The MX-30 will officially do 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 EV Real Range megatest.
Mazda says the smaller battery is better for the environment and that larger lithium-ion 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 pretty 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 those nasty pothole-strewn London streets.
Refinement is another highlight, I’ve yet to get on the motorway proper, but on busy dual carriageways there’s hardly any road noise and, of course, no petrol or diesel engine noise. At the end of every journey, I feel calm and refreshed.
Over the next few months, I hope to be able to prove that it is possible to run the MX-30 unhindered by the limited range and show that we can justify the simplicity of this electric car package. The range is unquestionably a concern, but as I have a relatively short commute, it's a good option to continue my test of electric car ownership in a big city.
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