This is the Mazda MX-30, and it is the company’s first, mass-production electric vehicle as well as the third addition to its new-generation model line-up, which currently includes the latest Mazda 3 and CX-30.

In terms of dimensions, the MX-30 is almost the same size as the CX-30, measuring 4,395 mm long, 1,795 mm wide, 1,570 mm tall, and with a wheelbase spanning 2,655 mm. The EV actually sits on the same SkyActiv-Vehicle Architecture used for the Mazda 3 and CX-30, albeit with increased ring structures around the battery and floor for increased stiffness. The underfloor-mounted lithium-ion battery is also the reason why the EV is 30 mm taller than the CX-30.

Mazda refers to its EV powertrain as e-SkyActiv, and on the MX-30, consists of an electric motor driving the front wheels rated at 141 hp (105 kW) and 264 Nm of torque. The EV also gets an enhanced version of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system dubbed e-GVC Plus, which “leverages the torque characteristics of the electric motor to optimise the front-rear load shift under an even wider range of usage scenario.”

The 35.5 kWh battery powering the e-motor uses prismatic cells and supports both AC and DC charging, with the former capable of accepting a maximum input of 6.6 kW via a Type 2 connection. Meanwhile, DC charging is accomplished via a CCS connection, and with a 50-kW input, a depleted battery can reach an 80% state of charge in around 30 to 40 minutes.

According to a report by Autocar UK, the MX-30 has an EV range of around 209 km, which might be less than some rivals, but Mazda says this exceeds 50-km average daily drive of European customers. If range anxiety is still a concern, a range-extender variant featuring a rotary engine will arrive later on.

We now arrive at what will likely be the most controversial aspect of the MX-30, its design. Notable cues on the vehicle’s face include a recessed grille that creates a chasm on the front end, with the headlamps tucked within. Further down, the lower apron sports a vertical bar to divide the intake into two, with slim fog lamps occupying the corners.

With the electric motor taking up less room at the front, the EV sports a low and rather long bonnet at the front, which leads to a coupe-esque roofline that is gently raked towards the rear. A two-tone paintjob and an off-coloured trim bearing the Mazda script help to highlight this design element even further, while black body cladding over 18-inch wheels reinforces the crossover look.

One of the most interesting aspects from this view are the MX-30’s doors, which hark back to the rear suicide doors on the RX-8. The company call these “freestyle doors,” and access to the rear is only possible by first opening the front doors.

Looking at the rear of the vehicle, we find circular taillights that are reminiscent of those found on the CX-30, albeit with shorter trailing “tails” that cut into the shapely tailgate. These meet with up with additional trim pieces that originate from the C-pillar, which form a “hoop” over the rear window with the tailgate spoiler. Being an EV, there are no exhaust outlets here, with the lower section of the bumper largely featureless aside from the reflectors and reverse cameras.

Inside, the MX-30 features a floating centre console – likely due to the positioning of the battery – that houses the Commander Control interface for the Mazda Connect infotainment system as well as a stubby gear lever. You’ll also spot a seven-inch touchscreen display to control the car’s climate controls, which is a first for the brand.

This is placed just below the centre air vents and start button, with the top dash largely devoid of items aside from a sunken space for the infotainment display. Other items include a steering wheel that is similar to those used in current Mazda models, and a digital instrument cluster.

If you see cork trim in certain parts of the cabin, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Dubbed as Heritage Cork, the material is made from cork left over from the production of bottle stops, and is one of the company’s initiatives to be kinder to the environment, with a vegan alternative to leather being another for the MX-30.

Sales of the EV will start in the United Kingdom in 2021, with pricing said to be below 30,000 British pounds, inclusive of incentives offered there.


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