Everything We Look for in a Mazda
The list of car makers without a full battery electric in their lineup is getting shorter by the day. Well, it’s time to cross another one off the list as Mazda is plugging into the game with this affordable MX-30 crossover. Let’s find out what it has to offer the first-time EV buyer.
So, Mazda is entering the EV pond and doing it with the sub-compact 2022 MX-30 EV hatchback. And for all intents and purposes, it’s more of a toe in first approach rather than making a big splash.
We say that because their first EV delivers only 100–miles of range from its 35.5-kWh battery; which for better or worse automatically limits its appeal in a time where most EVs are now hitting the 250-300-mile range.
But, with that out of the way, let’s look at what the MX-30 does offer and why you might want to consider it for an EV purchase.
First of all, it doesn’t look like your typical eco warrior electric vehicle; Mazda’s “Kodo” design theme is in full here; along with a pseudo-rugged SUV vibe. Meaning there’s an updated take on their traditional signature wing grille, as airflow for engine cooling is no longer necessary.
Yet, if you pop the hood, it sure looks like there’s something missing, as instead of using under-hood space for storage like many EVs, Mazda keeps a fairly traditional looking engine compartment to showcase the 80.9-kW electric motor with lots of space around it.
Output is 143-horsepower and 200 lb-ft. of torque and, of course, Mazda insists on using Skyactiv phraseology, so it’s dubbed the e-Skyactiv EV; front-wheel-drive only for the time being.
Batteries, however, are mounted underneath the floor; and their relatively small size helps give the MX-30 the light and lively feel we’re accustomed to from Mazda.
Regen braking can be adjusted with steering wheel-mounted paddles, and they claim the 100-mile range is adequate to meet the needs of most commuters. Plus, less battery to charge means quicker charging times; as little as 36-minutes with DC fast charging, just 2-hours 50-minutes on the typical 240-volt home Level 2 charger, and you can even fully charge overnight on just 120.
The interior is another thing that current Mazda owners will be very familiar with. The horizontal dash design, with a scooped-out housing for the standard 8.8-inch info screen, and most controls are the same as other Mazdas, but the floating center console with 7-inch touch panel are new.
As are the “freestyle” back doors which swing to the rear, requiring you to have the fronts open first; throwing it back to the early 2000s when barn doors were a bit of a trend, including on Mazda’s own RX-8.
Door trim is made of recycled plastic, and sustainable cork is also used; which not only adds to the eco cred, but, little-known fact, the Mazda corporation actually began as a cork manufacturer in the 1920s. So, it allows them to pay homage to their roots as well.
7-inch digital gauge display, moon roof, power driver’s seat, 18-inch wheels, and gloss black trim are all standard.
21.0 cubic-ft. of storage space in back, with 60/40 split-folding rear seats for max flexibility.
Almost all of Mazda’s I-Activesense safety features are standard, with just Blind Spot Assist and Front Cross Traffic Alert requiring the Premium Plus Package upgrade.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 98-City, 85-Highway, and 92-Combined MPGe. That’s an efficiency rating of 37-kWhs per 100-miles.
Mazda is aware that the range limits spontaneous weekend getaways, and potential summer vacations; so, included with your MX-30 purchase, is membership in an Elite Access Loaner Program which allows you up to 10-days of yearly use of another Mazda vehicle.
Right now, the MX-30 is only available in California, but those lucky west coasters will have two versions to choose from; standard and Premium Plus, starting at just $34,695 before tax rebates.
The 2022 Mazda MX-30 is everything we look for in a Mazda; fun, stylish feature-packed, and affordable. But unfortunately, not everything most people look for in an EV, with range that harkens back to the dawn of modern electric vehicles. That doesn’t make it a disappointing effort, just one with limited appeal. Every journey requires a first step, and Mazda is now well on their way, as we look forward to their bigger and better battery-powered designs.
Battery: 35.5 kWh
Range: 100 miles
Efficiency: 37 kWh/100 mi