The Enjoyable Mazda MX 30
- Ella Patterson
The Mazda MX-30 is an enjoyable electric vehicle on numerous levels. It sports a smooth, eco-conscious interior and an attractive exterior design, it's packed with innovative technology, and it's engaging to drive as you discover its colleagues. Its ranking are negatively affected only because of the pricing. People are looking for bargains and bang for the buck. They have mouths too feed. Everything else is superb. Bottom line: The 114 miles of range don’t match the pricing in comparison. The 2022 Mazda MX-30 is kind of a big deal. Up to this point, Mazda has never had a fully electric vehicle in the marketplace. Now, the MX-30 represents the brand's first step into the world of EVs and what the company calls its "multi-solution electrification strategy." (Translation: "We've got more electric Mazda’s coming, but they are not on the market yet.'.") This simple statement affects its popularity among buyers. The MX-30 is a stylish introduction to Mazda's forthcoming EV lineup, and sales began in California during the fall of 2021 with expansion to other markets in 2022. As new EVs go, the MX-30, is based on Mazda's CX-30 small SUV, is modest in its offerings. Its electric motor produces 143 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque, making it significantly less powerful than rival EVs. The Chevrolet Bolt, for example, makes 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the MX-30's 35.5-kWh battery pack will only power about 100 miles of driving on a full charge. Even though 100-ish miles is enough for most commuters, it harks back to EVs built in 2015, not 2022. Most budget-friendly 2022 EVs crest 250 miles and are better suited for longer trips. There are some upsides here. Like most other Mazdas these days, the MX-30 has a classy cabin and sharp handling. Cargo space is decent, too. But considering the more capable competition, which includes the aforementioned Bolt and Bolt EUV. Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV, Mini Cooper SE and even the Tesla Model 3, we think the MX-30 will need some improvements before we can give it a full thumbs up. The ground is shifting beneath the auto industry as it rapidly moves toward electrification. Car companies that have tied their marketing to the sound and fury of internal combustion engines for decades—like Mazda with its “zoom zoom” tagline—now have to change up and catch-up. The MX-30 is based on the CX-30 crossover, and is Mazda’s first electric vehicle. A thumbs upfor the sharp and modern design, as well as its classy and cool interior. It’s also, importantly, fun to drive. But the vehicle’s EPA-estimated range of 100 miles on a full charge severely limits its utility. Because of this, as well as its substandard acceleration, the MX-30 is an inauspicious electric debut for Mazda.
How does the MX-30 drive? The driving experience is where Mazdas generally shine, and the MX-30 is no exception except for one area — it's a little slow for most seasoned drivers. Despite the inherent torque advantage afforded by an electric powertrain, the MX-30 is no quicker than a subcompact economy car. Our test MX-30 needed a full 9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. It doesn't feel as sluggish as the numbers say it is, but there's no escaping that the MX-30 is among the slowest vehicles in its class. For comparison, the Kona Electric covers 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds. Another downside: The regenerative braking isn't strong enough for one-pedal driving, where one can drive solely using the accelerator pedal. These are the only issues of this Mazda — it steers, handles and brakes with excellent poise and accuracy. The lack of power doesn’t shorten the MX-30’s easy and fun drive time. The electric powertrain is effortless and conventional.
How comfortable is the MX-30? For a small car, the MX-30 doesn't disappoint too much when it comes to comfort. The front seats strike a good balance between support and comfort, and the cloth upholstery is both aesthetically nice and breathable. The rear seat cushions are decent, too, even if the seatbacks are a little upright, and there's sufficient padding on all armrests. The MX-30 is also one of the quieter cars in the class, keeping most wind, road and ambient noise out of the cabin in most conditions.
The vehicle is available in two trims: Base ($33,470) and Premium Plus ($36,480). Both models come with a 35.5kWh battery pack that powers an 80.9kW electric motor, which drives the front wheels via a single-speed transmission. The all-electric drivetrain produces 143 horsepower and 200lb-ft of torque.
The MX-30’s charging port supports both AC and DC fast charging. You can charge the battery from 20% to 80% in a little over half an hour via a Level 3 DC fast charger. With a Level 2, 240-volt home charger, the same feat takes a little under three hours. And with the Level 1, 120-volt charging cable that comes with the vehicle, the process takes about 14 hours. We like that the 120-volt cable can top off the battery overnight, as that hasn’t been our experience with other EVs.