Getting Started - Mazda MX-30: original premiere

Mazda does nothing like the others. As a result, there will be no downsizing or 100 percent digital instrumentation at the Japanese company. 

The same can be said for the electrification program, which includes a tiny SUV with barely 200 kilometers of range. Nearly six months before its launch, we drove a prototype of Mazda's first electric model.

Getting Started - Mazda MX-30: original premiere

 Mazda luxury car

Nowadays, all or almost all manufacturers are electrifying their range, due in particular to the sanctions introduced by the European Union. After its counterpart Honda, it is now the Hiroshima firm’s turn to embark on the adventure

While most of the brands have developed city cars, Mazda is embarking on the adventure with a 4.40 m long SUV, the size of a Peugeot 3008. Aesthetically, the MX-30, as it is called, stands out easily from the competition and from the other SUVs of the brand, especially the CX-30 with which it shares its platform.

How do you start a Mazda MX-30?

Thus, its calendar is smaller and there is a break between the cover and the latter. But it is the profile that is the most surprising, with a very pronounced flag drop and, above all, opposing doors close to those of the RX-8. At the rear, the cylindrical lights close to those of the MX-5 are of the best effect. Finally, Mazda adds a unique touch with three shades for the body: one for the roof, one for the arches (red or gray), and another for the bottom of the bodywork.

Once you open the doors, you will discover a very pleasant cabin with attention-grabbing details, such as the floating cork-covered console (Mazda’s first activity even before the automobile in 1920 was the manufacture of cork stoppers) that houses a touch screen used to control air conditioning.

The instrumentation is partially digital, relayed by a head-up display and a multimedia screen. Beyond the 100% electric powertrain, the Japanese manufacturer has opted for environmentally friendly materials, such as recycled fibers on the back doors or the vegetable leather of the seats. It is a pity, however, that the quality of the plastics on the model before our eyes is very average.

Finally, we asked about the rear habitability, which we were not able to test but which seems to be reduced. No information for the load volume either.

Place to drive

After this presentation, it is high time to get behind the wheel of this first electric Mazda. As usual, Mazda installed the batteries on the floor. As more and more builders race to the highest capacity, Mazda is taking everyone off course with a battery of only 35.5 kW/h. 

For comparison, a smaller Peugeot e-2008 offers 50 kW/h and Tesla models are not even mentioned with their 100 kW/h battery. This battery drives a 105 kW motor that provides a torque of 265 Nm. These are relatively basic characteristics that Mazda justifies today by explaining its desire to reduce the ecological footprint of batteries.

After the theory, it was high time to get the first idea, and it was in the suburbs of Frankfurt in Germany that we did this test. However, we were able to drive a prototype very close to a CX-30. As with all-electric vehicles, the torque arrives immediately. 

Is the MX-30 all wheel drive?

Although the thrust is straightforward, it is not exceptional, but the most surprising thing is the absence of a significant degenerative brake as it exists on most electric vehicles. Mazda announces that the MX-30 will have pallets behind the wheel to choose one of the five regeneration modes, which was not the case with our test model, only in normal « mode ». In use, our prototype behaved a bit like a gasoline model. 

In short, everything is done smoothly, whether for acceleration or braking. This was confirmed by the engineers on-site, who told us that customers should not adapt their driving to electric power. This normality also goes through a maximum speed restricted to 140 km/h.

As expected from Mazda, the MX-30 offers a very pleasant behavior with a good dose of dynamism due in particular to a low center of gravity and a convincing comfort on our test route. To support its considerable weight - not yet official - the electric SUV receives specific shock absorbers and springs. The same is true of the recalibrated direction for the occasion.

  • Surprising in style, the MX-30 is also in its driving style. 
  • We will be able to get a more definitive idea during the first tests carried out in April.
  •  In any case, if there is a consensus on the design, the same will not be true of the autonomy, which will certainly be much criticized. 
  • But Mazda has already thought of everything, since a version with autonomy extension is already in the cards. 
  • It will be a rotary gasoline engine that will recharge the battery.

The Mazda MX-30 will be available next September. He will face him in particular the Kia e-Niro with its 39.2 kW/h battery. All prices are not known, but it is already known that the launch edition called « First Edition », equivalent to a high-end edition, will be sold for €34,400 (not including a €6,000 bonus). First customers will be offered a 7.4 kW/h Walbox with a value of €800.

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