In the future of automotive and electronic poetry, it is a fact now recorded in the face of tightening standards set by manufacturers. While some are rushing to the capacity of the batteries on board, others are trying a more sensible approach. The Mazda is one of the latter with its MX-30, a low-cost SUV whose small array is enough to cause sharp criticism. With wealth in contrast, we took the MX-30 wheel to find out if, on the contrary, Mazda would not have understood everything by gambling on a cheap car without playing a cheap card?
Codes in DNA
Raised Coupe, SUV Coupe, it is difficult to classify this MX-30. One thing is for sure, the relationship with current or past brand models cannot be challenged.
The front section with its rear-mounted headlights reminds you of the Mazda 3 while the rear ones are similar to those of the MX-5. The attractive black protective plastic fits well with those of the CX-30, a small brand SUV.
But the unity of the MX-30 lies in its profile, in which Gran Turismo fans will no doubt be aware of the principle of opposing gates proposed in the RX-8 fire. Success guaranteed by investigators who will cross your path when the doors are open.
The style preferences whose daily value will depend on the frequency with which you have to handle these “freestyle” doors according to the official name. Because if access benefits from a wide opening in the absence of a central pillar, this means that you must open the front door first and then open the opposite one.
Another disadvantage, it is important to take the opportunity to have enough space to open it and with a width of two meters MX-30 is not always open in the areas of supermarkets or school parking lots. And if the installation of your cervix is much easier due to the absence of a central pillar, the latter may find fault with the small glass surfaces provided for the rear passengers. People over 1m70 will not agree to do more than a few kilometers because of the limited space in the legs (not to mention it does not exist when the front seats are pushed back three quarters).
Still, these considerations will only apply to those who need a back seat. Front, passenger and driver are much better. Space and brightness are more generous, a small solar roof is no stranger to the latter.
It is also an opportunity to appreciate some details, like this cone floating on a gear lever level or its cork entries. Respect for the past of the Mazda company, which was previously a cork manufacturer.
The finish is generally neat, with the added addition of a good mix of material, including this beautiful brown leather, to our high-end Industrial Harvest finish.
The remaining dashboard will be familiar to ordinary Japanese people. The 9-inch screen is certainly well defined and installed but not touching (because it is too far from the driver because of its location).
Therefore any interaction must pass through the wheel and buttons located at the level of the central cone. Not very ergonomic for infotainment system and even slow interaction with Car Play (or Android Auto).
In this case, your smartphone must be connected via a USB-A cable to one of the ports hidden under the gear lever. It is not very practical in everyday life, especially when trying to hide the cable.
Weather controls take place behind the gear elbow, on a large touch screen … with real buttons! An encouraging solution but there comes a question about the intention to provide a large touch screen if even the manufacturer does not seem to be convinced of its validity. Especially since if visually, the integration is pleasing, in use, the space is a little lower to be effective.
The steering wheel is more conservative with many function keys associated with travel controls and media controls. Limited accuracy, the presence of a battery temperature measurement on the right side of the dashboard. Finally, very discreet paddles are hidden behind the steering wheel. Their role is to adjust the braking power according to the power 5, from freewheeling to around “one pedal”, at least up to around 10 km / h.
180 km of freedom: then what?
If in terms of presentation the MX-30 has a solid argument, it is time to address the breaking point as soon as it is mentioned, i.e. its independence. In fact Mazda has opted for the lowest standard with a total capacity of only 35.5 kWh, or at least, 15 kWh less than competing city cars. The option however offers two advantages, weight reduction and a reasonable price (rare metal used in battery design to be very expensive). With its 1650 Kg – not too bad for the 4m40 SUV – and its price starting at € 34,650 (excluding the bonus) MX-30 performs quite well, it is satisfied with the 200 km range easily with WLTP standard.
In practice, during the week we spent in his company, the estimates did not exceed the 180 miles shown. But like internal combustion engines, this is a highly variable average depending on the routes taken, the driving style and, for the electric car, the ambient temperature. Because yes, cold is the enemy of the battery. The same goes for warm weather. They all have the added disadvantage of pushing residents to misuse the air conditioner, thus consuming energy.
In this regard, the monsoon weather at the end of April to be better, we took advantage of the profitable weather. We were even surprised by the average usage, between 16 and 18 kWh per 100 km. All without looking for environmental performance but without crushing the right pedal to accelerate even the slightest. For this, we did about 50 km on the highway, and the driving assistant stopped at 135 km / h. Again, a nice surprise, with an average of 20.5 kWh / 100.
It should be said that with its 145 hp, and 0 to 100 rated in the 10s, the MX-30 is far from competing with the acceleration of the sports car as is the case with the Volvo C40 Recharge Twin for example. Its 270 Nm torque also reaches through a very line and is not a metering alarm. The chassis, however, benefits from good and reassuring behavior and the added bonus of proper operation. But in order to achieve this result, Japanese engineers were clearly forced to play and be suspended. The MX-30 seems to be consistent, perhaps even a little too much for an urban (peripheral) SUV whose daily life will be illuminated by potholes and other speed bumps that then sound like a test.
Finally, let’s greet the excellent soundproofing. Fertility or aerodynamic noise is absent, even over 100 km / h. Just a small “generated” sound during steady acceleration will break the dominant stability within the Mazda electric SUV. Very smart, and not bad for all of that, the latter is a sensible combination of electric “sound” but with a small accent that reminds you of a heat engine.
Our comments on the Mazda MX-30
Test cars sometimes lead to comical exchanges where after hearing from family and digressing about the weather comes the inevitable question of the model that accompanies us at the moment. If it is a 100% electric car, one of the freestanding leads to the second and second, compared to that of our interlocutor heat car. 400, 300 or 200 km in the case of MX-30, independence will always be considered insufficient. Same sometimes, but often though the daily consumption of the people involved is reduced to an area of several tens and an additional bonus of two or even three cars within the household.
This is the goal of the Mazda and its MX-30, not to replace the main car, the holiday one, but rather the second car. That of daily trips, most of which are less than 50 miles. In this context, the freedom of the MX-30 is sufficient. Especially since burning it once in a household store is enough to fill an empty battery.
Mazda’s proposal therefore appears to be legitimate, even more so in terms of environmental and financial interests. At this point, the MX-30 is among the cheapest electric cars on the market with a price of € 28,650 times a € 6,000 bonus deducted for completing the entry level (around € 39,000 for our MX-30 Industrial Vintage).
Other alternatives are available at the same price range but are often more complex or have less sexual appeal.
Its friendly and unusual appearance is certainly its main material. But like freedom, it is hard to sum up a car in its own lines. Even more so when they have an impact on its daily performance. And if the heart has its own reasons for which the cause is unknown, the independence of this MX-30 risks becoming an insurmountable obstacle. At least in 2022 when the electric car is still a source of concern for many people. From the moment you realize that Mazda is five years ahead of the market demand, there is only one step …