The new Mazda MX-30 on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Mazda MX-30 on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 Mazda MX-30!

Mazda is a brand that likes to do things differently. Now they bring their unique perspective to the world of electric cars. Mazda’s first battery electric vehicle has just gone on sale in Ireland. The new Mazda MX-30 joins Mazda’s already talented range of hatchbacks, saloons, and SUVs, flying the flag for electric power at a time when EVs have firmly moved from the fringes to the mainstream.

So, what’s the Mazda MX-30 got to offer this brave new world of EVs?

Pricing starts from €30,965 for the Mazda MX-30 rising to €35,565 for a top of the range model, including grants and VRT relief. Power comes from a 35.5 kWh battery, with a WLTP range of 200 km. More on that later.

Over the years, the Japanese brand has firmly established itself with one of the best-looking ranges of cars in the world. Icons like the Mazda MX-5 seem to live on forever, never dimming in popularity or sheer icon status despite ever changing market trends. Quality and driving appeal are also undoubtedly key strengths of the Japanese brand in Europe. And the brand’s growing range of SUVs like the CX-5 and CX-30 are still some of the best around.

The MX-30 goes on sale from €30,965 in Ireland
The MX-30 goes on sale from €30,965 in Ireland

Enter MX-30. The new Mazda MX-30 is quirky, no doubt about it. Mazda has had some fun with the design of this one. It is more of a crossover than an outright SUV, with an extraordinary cool urban coupé-like appearance and equally dramatic and divisive ‘freestyle’ doors.

But in a world of vanilla crossovers and SUVs, at Changing Lanes we appreciate the Mazda’s cool new perspective on an electric crossover for the 2020s. Plastic cladding around the lower bumpers and wheel arches are mandatory for any modern urban crossover, and the elevated ride height and driving position give the MX-30 some cache in the market too.

Inside the new MX-30

Inside the MX-30 there is an intriguing mix of convention and next generation Mazda interior. Switch gear is largely familiar Mazda territory. It’s good quality and easy to navigate. But the Mazda MX-30 deviates substantially with a new touchscreen operation for ventilation controls, which actually works okay, and some very interesting, tactile cabin materials. The MX-30 interior is true designer with real cork in the centre console, and lashings of soft touch materials that would not look out of place in a cool living room.

But all this design rigour has some trade-off. The freestyle doors are beautiful and quirky but are just not as practical for access. That will only really matter if this part of your vehicle is in regular use. Once you are seated back there you will realise that this crossover is on the small side considering the price point. And the rear windows are small and don’t open! But the boot has a capacity of 366 litres so it seems realistic for a car of this size.

The interior of the 2021 Mazda MX-30
The interior of the 2021 Mazda MX-30

What are my options?

In Ireland the new Mazda MX-30 will be available in four trim levels: First Edition, GS-L, GT and GT Sport. Standard equipment includes radar cruise control, windscreen projected head-up-display, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights and a rear camera. Higher grades such as the GT Sport add equipment like 12 speaker Bose sound system, sunroof and 360° view camera.

The MX-30 First Edition model on test for Changing Lanes features 8-way power driver seat with memory setting, adaptive LED signature headlights and a choice of dark or light leatherette and cloth interior. There’s also the latest MyMazda app that allows you to control charging using a timer, monitor charging progress, and see your range indicator. The MyMazda app also gives real-time information on charging point availability and location, and can send the destination directly to the navigation system.

What kind of battery and range does it have?

Mazda is defying convention by using a lower capacity battery than many rivals to power the Mazda MX-30. The MX-30’s 35.5 kWh battery has a 200 km range measured by WLTP on a combined cycle. But in real world driving 150 km is more realistic.

Naturally this means the Mazda MX-30 is not in the range race. In fact it does limit the car’s appeal as it doesn’t give the same amount of ‘freedom’ as some electric vehicles in the same ball park. There is rationale to it of course. Mazda is on a ‘right-sized’ battery approach to building electric vehicles. That means that they haven’t stuffed the MX-30 with a high capacity battery in a race to win range. Mazda cites this as more efficient electric motoring, avoiding the weight of a larger battery and reducing energy spend over the entire life cycle of the vehicle ‘from well to wheel’. This strategy also keeps overall vehicle weight lower for better handling and agility, which is currently not the case for many EVs.

With 145 PS and maximum torque output of 271 Nm, the front-wheel drive MX-30 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 9.7 seconds. But it’s not one you feel like flooring the throttle in.

Freestyle doors in the Mazda MX-30
Freestyle doors in the Mazda MX-30

Driving the Mazda MX-30

True this is a good electric vehicle to drive. Unique for the segment, the Japanese brand created the motor pedal, which gives a more natural feel behind the wheel. There is some lean in fast cornering but the Mazda MX-30 is largely fun and interesting to drive. A true statement car with some very sophisticated engineering with Mazda’s typical human centric approach that makes you the centre of the universe once behind the wheel!

To help the driver feel more connected to the car and driving process, aural feedback is provided via the audio system in sync with pressure applied to the accelerator. It’s very impressive and gives that impression of revving an engine and moving through gears. Technologies such as electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) ensure a natural feeling behind the wheel and stability while cornering.

The car is aimed at two-car households or those who live in cities or towns. But having the ability to charge at home will be essential for ownership of this car. Fast charging is available through a CCS charging adapter at 50 kW, giving 80% battery power in 36 minutes. It can be charged to full in as little as 5 hours at home.

Did you like it?

The Mazda MX-30 is a really interesting electric vehicle that makes a statement and stands out for its design and quality. Make no mistake, this car has been exceptionally well built and engineered. The cabin is comfortable and uniquely different with real attention to detail. We think it’s fair to say there are some compromises to practicality but the Mazda MX-30 is a more niche buy for buyers who value a more premium feeling electric vehicle. And Mazda Ireland have managed to keep the price of the car accessible here. So if you love Mazda, good design, and can charge at home, the MX-30 might be the one for you!

The Mazda MX-30 is a stylish addition to any urban driveway!
The Mazda MX-30 is a stylish addition to any urban driveway!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda MX-30 First Edition
Range (WLTP): 200 km
Power: 145 PS (107 kW)
Torque: 271 Nm
Top speed: 140 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.7 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
0 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year