For 2022, the Mazda MX-30 launches as the automaker’s first all-electric vehicle targeted at city dwellers with its compact size and 100-mile range.
The all-new Mazda MX-30 is the tip of the Japanese automaker’s spear into an electrified future. Nearly identical in size to the company’s compact CX-30 crossover, this new model is 100% electric-powered featuring a motor dubbed “e-Skyactiv” paired with a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It will be followed by a plug-in hybrid version that uses a rotary-powered generator as a nod to Mazda’s history of Wankel engine technology. From there, additional hybridized variants of the company’s lineup will continue to fill out their electrification strategy.
On a full charge, the new MX-30 will have a range of about 100 miles, which Is fairly low relative to the competition. However, Mazda notes that their new EV is “designed to meet the needs of most urban drivers” and that the typical American drives 30 miles per day. It’s also a small SUV in size and weight, at 3,655 pounds, that would be easier to maneuver in a city setting. So, in that context the lower range makes sense.
A Level 1 charging cable, compatible with household power, will be included with the Mazda MX-30 that can charge the battery from 20% to 80% capacity in a bit less than 14 hours. However, Level 2 charging that works on 240-volt power drops that time to about 3 hours. Mazda is partnering with ChargePoint on this process by offering a $500 credit towards the purchase of an in-home charging installation that will facilitate Level 2 functionality or the use of public charging stations.
Using Level 3 DC fast charging stations, the Mazda MX-30 can add 60% capacity to the battery in approximately 36 minutes. The company is touting the available federal tax credit of up to $7500 along with their ChargePoint incentive and an 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranty, which should help assuage buyer concerns about ownership costs. Another aspect to this strategy is the Elite Access Loaner plan. Exclusive to MX-30 owners, it allows for use of a gas-powered Mazda loaner vehicle for up to 10 days per year when the need for a longer drive arises.
Producing 143 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, the new powertrain will drive the front wheels only. Electric “G-Vectoring Control” will be standard equipment as part of Mazda’s stated intention for the MX-30 to contain the signature driving dynamics of the Zoom-Zoom brand. 18” wheels and a raked, coupe-ish profile give it the looks to back up that promise. There is also the “freestyle” doors on both sides that pay homage to the RX-8 while giving the MX-30 a fresh take on Mazda’s Kodo design language.
Mazda leans into the sustainability conversation, that so naturally accompanies a fossil fuel-free SUV, on the inside by incorporating cork accents, recycled threads for stitching, and the use of recycled plastic bottles for door trim. Faux leather, with fabric inserts, is the only upholstery option and it all comes together to give the new Mazda MX-30 a simple, modern interior that also houses a rather long list of features and amenities.
Base MX-30 trim, with an MSRP of $34,645, comes with adaptive LED headlights, heated side mirrors, and a moonroof. Automatic HVAC controls, a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, and heated front seats are all standard fare. The steering wheel features shifter paddles, but due to the 1-speed automatic transmission, they are designed to adjust the level of regenerative braking, not change gears. There is also what appears to be a traditional gear selector sitting in the floating center console as part of an effort to give consumers, new to the EV experience, a feeling of familiarity.
Being tech-forward, the new Mazda MX-30 has a heads-up-display and trio of screens made up of a 7” LCD gauge cluster, 8.8” infotainment display, and 7” touchscreen for HVAC control. The infotainment screen is nested into the upper dash and comes with Apple and Android integration software along with Wi-Fi, as part of the Mazda Connected Services 3-year trial subscription. “i-Activesense” is Mazda’s name for their grouping of driver-assistance tech that includes adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assist, driver attention monitoring, automatic high beams, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
With the top-spec Premium Plus model that stickers at $37,655, a blind spot assistance feature, 360° exterior camera view, and front cross-traffic alert are added to the list of safety nets. This higher-level model also features auto-dimming side mirrors, a Bose 12-speaker audio system, and access to additional paint colors.
Currently, the Mazda MX-30 is only on sale in California and comes with features specific to that state like eligibility for the High Occupancy Vehicle decal to lend a hand in traffic-jams. Plans to roll out availability nationwide remain to be seen.