Mazda MX-30 review

Taking a slightly different approach to many electric cars, the MX-30 focuses on low weight, a modest range and an engaging driving experience

£25,545 - £29,845
Electric

Pros

  • Engaging to drive
  • Interesting styling
  • Sustainable materials

Cons

  • Impractical door layout
  • Quite short driving range
  • Not fast as electric cars go
Car type Range Wallbox charge time Rapid charge time
Electric 124 miles 5hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW) 31mins (10-80%, 50kW)

This is the Mazda MX-30, the Japanese brand’s first production electric car. Like many other Mazda products, it takes a somewhat leftfield and unconventional approach to the more mainstream competition, and judging by our first impression, this could be a gamble that pays off.

There's a big focus on the sustainability of materials used to build the car – something that customers love to see on electric cars. Additionally, Mazda has avoided the temptation to get caught up in a 'range war' with its rivals. It reckons a comparatively small 35.5kWh battery, giving an estimated range of just under 125 miles, will be more than sufficient for most buyers, while also helping to reduce the car's impact on the environment. It should be possible to get close to 100 miles out of it in real-world driving conditions.

That puts the MX-30 in the same category as cars like the MINI Electric and Honda e, as well as the original 'urban electric car', the BMW i3. They're intended as stylish, high-tech companions for the daily commute, school run or shopping trip. Most drivers will charge their cars at home overnight, rather than use them as regular long-distance cruisers.

As such, the MX-30 is best considered as a larger urban car rather than a full-blown family SUV – it's most at home on shorter trips (at least in outright range terms – comfort and refinement are good) and can't carry a huge amount of luggage, nor offer passengers in the back the most comfortable experience around. 

Initially, the MX-30 range was limited to 500 'First Edition' models, but this has been joined by a small range of other trim levels: SE-L Lux, Sport Lux and GT Sport Tech. The First Edition costs from £27,495, including the government’s plug-in car grant, with orders being taken now for early 2021 delivery, while the most affordable SE-L is a shade over £25,545. The car will arrive in showrooms in early 2021 for test drives. 

The MX-30 makes most sense in its cheaper guises, especially when compared to rivals like the MG ZS EV and smaller contenders like the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e. It's a high-quality, well designed car with plenty of surprise-and-delight features – novel interior materials, a complete lack of a B-pillar thanks to rear-hinged rear doors and a chassis that doesn't forget to let the driver have fun.

We wouldn't be opposed to a larger battery for better range – and we wouldn't mind seeing a bit more space in the rear seats – but otherwise the Mazda MX-30 is a strong first effort at an electric car by one of the world's most innovative car companies.

For a more in-depth look at the Mazda MX-30, check out the rest of our detailed review...