Mazda MX-30 interior & comfort
The first thing you'll notice when getting into the Mazda MX-30 is that it uses the same 'missing B-pillar plus rear-hinged doors' approach as the BMW i3. And with it comes the same frustrations experienced in the BMW: you can't access the rear seats without moving the driver or front-seat passenger out of the way first, and the rear seats feel quite dark and claustrophobic, especially given the windows can't be opened.
Mazda had a keen eye on the ecological impact of the MX-30's battery when it designed the car and there's further evidence of this school of thinking in the make-up of the interior. The door panels are made from recycled plastic bottles and the centre console uses cork-tree bark in a nod to the brand's past life as a cork manufacturer.
Mazda isn't the first electric-car manufacturer to do this kind of thing – both the latest Renault ZOE and the Polestar 2 make use of sustainable materials – but it's clearly committed to the approach. The MX-30 is comfortable, too – firm yet supportive seats pair well with the car's supple suspension that strikes a good balance between pliancy and body control.
Mazda MX-30 dashboard
There's good news for front-seat occupants, who get a pair of very comfortable chairs to sit on, and an elegant touchscreen interface for both the climate control and infotainment functions. It uses the Mazda Connect operating system and will pair easily with your smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The other piece of tech you'll instantly notice is the head-up display, which helps keep the driver's focus on the road.
Equipment, options & accessories
There are four trim levels: SE-L Lux, Sport Lux, GT Sport Tech and First Edition. Standard kit includes a seven-inch screen for climate control settings plus a seven-inch driver's display and an 8.8-inch infotainment system with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cloth seats and 18-inch alloys.
Sport Lux trim adds keyless entry, an auto-dimming mirror and interior trim changes including part-leatherette upholstery, while GT Sport Tech cars add a sunroof, an interior three-pin socket and a heated steering wheel, plus a 360-degree camera. First Edition models aren't quite as well equipped as GT Sport cars, but get some additional stylish and trim change, plus light grey cloth/leatherette upholstery and three-tone exterior paint.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
An 8.8-inch infotainment display sits atop the dash and is operated with a rotary control on the centre console, as per other models. The system is fit-for-purpose, but it's nice that the sat nav can be bypassed using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay to access the superior Google Maps. The smaller driver's display is clear, but we'd rather the climate control worked with conventional controls as opposed to its own dedicated touchscreen.
As has become the norm for electric vehicles, Mazda offers its MyMazda app for smartphones. This can be used to control charging, climate control settings and other settings remotely. The app will also send you notifications if you forget to charge your MX-30 – a handy feature.