MAZDA MX-30 R-EV: choice is yours with this small and smart SUV

LOVE them or not quite made up your mind, electric cars are here to stay and not surprisingly the focus is on what the battery can achieve.

With current mutterings of some being capable of over 600 miles on a charge and new research hinting of the possibility of them being made without highly expensive lithium (cobalt has already been ditched by BYD), let’s get back to the real world and sample Mazda’s first toe in what are becoming very muddy waters.
The MX-30 is a small electric SUV that comes in two guises – pure electric with a fairly limited range, or the R-EV variant with its small petrol powered rotary engine and plug-in hybrid battery which equates to a significantly enhanced range.

It’s got tidy looks – in common with most Mazdas – and you could be forgiven for thinking it’s just a three door. That’s because it has a couple of unusual rear hinged doors that can’t be used unless the driver or passenger door is open.

When they are, the access is tight and only really suitable for smaller humans. And as they effectively form a fat B pillar in the car’s structure, they do nothing for your over the shoulder vision when manoeuvring or parking. Good job it has a good rear camera and 360 degree vision on the central screen.

That lack of space in the rear will put families off but as a fashionable city car for couples it maybe makes a bit more sense.Mazda have gone their own way on this one, using the logic that some owners don’t drive very far with their small electric cars. Hence the MX-30 with the firm’s own e-Skyactiv electric drive system and a modest 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery has a range of just 124 miles. The  plug-in hybrid R-EV model uses a combination of a rotary engine powered by petrol from a 50-litre tank, and an electric motor using a 17.8kWh battery pack to give a total driving range of up to 400 miles.
The cabin features a very real contrast in materials with the use of cork lining the storage areas in the centre console. It’s a reference to the company’s origin as the Toyo Kogyo cork company in 1920. And the grey door cappings use fibres from recycled bottles. Soft touch leather effect trim features elsewhere for a neat, upmarket feel in the main.

Mazda have a reputation for producing cars that are good to drive, and the MX-30 is no deviation from the norm. It rides very smoothly and it has a good comfortable driving position even if the three quarter rear view isn’t the best. It has a stable feel on the road and the overall experience is rewarding.
The steering is on the light side at low speeds, which helps when parking.

The sense of space inside is highlighted by the floating centre console that sits independently from the dashboard,

There are three trim levels – Prime-Line, Exclusive-Line and Makoto, and standard equipment on all includes LED headlights with daytime running lights, reversing camera, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Intelligent Speed Assist, navigation and head-up display.

Each MX-30 has a Type 2 AC charging cable and a socket for DC rapid charging, which lets you charge from 20 to 80 per cent battery in just 36 minutes. 


Mazda MX-30 R-EV

Price: £36,000 (£36,870 as tested)
Engine: 830cc single rotor, petrol, 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery
Power: 167bhp
Torque: 192lb/ft
Transmission: automatic
Top speed: 87mph
0-62mph: 9.1 seconds
Economy: 37.2
CO2 emissions: 21g/km

© 2024