Review: 2021 Mazda MX-30

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

The MX-30 is Mazda's first venture into the world of hybrid and electric vehicles. Whether you take a small step or a big leap, both versions are going to surprise you in a good way. Let's see why.

Initial Impression

Unmistakably, the first thing you'll notice with the Mazda MX-30 are its doors. Not used since the RX-8 sports car went out of production almost a decade ago, Mazda's version of 'suicide doors' (a rear door that opens backwards) have made their comeback. They fit perfectly with the extraordinary lines on the MX-30, with it's sharp nose and bold rear end. It's a design you'll either hate or love, but either way it will grow on you. Quirky is the right word for the MX-30, proven by the unusual choice of materials inside (felt and cork for example) with a classic brown interior contrasting the modern dashboard and mid-console.

Driveability

The driving experience is a little different between the hybrid and electric version of the MX-30 of course, but the handling and dynamics are identical. The hybrid is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol four cylinder engine putting out 114kW and 200Nm, paired with hybrid technology for improved fuel efficiency and that instant power from the batteries. Obviously the electric version does away with the petrol engine all together.

Happy with 6.4L/100km fuel consumption? How about no need for petrol at all? The all-electric MX-30 is equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack that boosts 35.5kWh, translating to a 224km range before recharging is required. The power output is 107kW, which makes both the hybrid and electric versions of the MX-30 by no means slow, but also not sporty. Both are front wheel drive and the hybrid is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission (the electric doesn't shift gears as power is equal across the board) and both handle exceptionally well.

An important thing to note is the charging times of the MX-30, because you can get the bulk (between 20 and 80 percent) done overnight in only 9 hours when using a wall socket. If you invest in a Wallbox (dedicated charging station that require an electrician) for a few thousand dollars, and this can be done in 3 hours. At a DC fast-charger along the highway, you can be recharged in just over half an hour.

Liveability

Safety is paramount in the all-new MX-30.  The Safety features are extensive & includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), lane-keep warning and assist, front and rear cross-traffic alert, forward object warning, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with stop/go and speed limiter, auto high beams, traffic-sign recognition, tyre-pressure warnings, driver attention monitor and front and rear parking sensors.  Add in the 10 airbags, stability and traction controls, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake-assist and a 360-degree surround-view camera... that's safety feature overload!

Also standard is an 8.8-inch screen that supports Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, auto-folding side mirrors, digital radio, satellite navigation, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, and four one-touch windows - all making just being inside that bit more comfortable & easier. You can also opt for the Heads Up Display in the hybrid model, and it comes standard in the electric version.

Because the front doors open a massive 82 degrees (almost square) and the rear up to 80 degrees, entry to the MX-30 is easy for both front and rear passengers. There isn't a lot of space for adults in the back, but carrying your kids around won't be a problem at all. You'll have to open the front door to open the back anyway, so that makes it perfect for their safety. Inside the MX-30 you'll feel that the combination of luxury and functionality is very well executed. 

The climate controls are no traditional buttons but a touch screen as well, with the dashboard being fully digital. In the electric and higher trim levels of the hybrid, you'll also get a Bose premium audio system with 12 speakers, an electric sunroof, heated and powered front seats, a heated steering wheel and a leather-like synthetic upholstery dubbed “Vintage Brown Maztex”.

Cost

If you're after the electric Mazda MX-30 the choice is simple: there is only one. The MX-30 E35 Astina that costs around $65k.

We have to admit that this is quite a step up (almost $25k) from the visually identical MX-30 G20e Astina - the top-of-the-range hybrid model - at just over $40k.

You can save a bit more by doing away with the power sliding roof, premium audio and heads-up display; choose the G20e Touring for around $36k.

The cheapest MX-30 Hybrid is the G20e Evolve, that doesn't have keyless entry, power adjusted seats and a few other options, and comes in at just under $34k.

Every MX-30 comes with maximum service prices (at intervals of 12 months or 15,000km) and includes Mazda's 5 year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assistance. The battery in the electric version is covered by an eight-year/160,000km assurance period.

Conclusion

With the MX-30 Mazda has entered the world of hybrid and electric vehicles with a bang. It's a quirky small SUV like no other, especially thanks to the unique doors.

The whole styling is something to behold and together with the different materials inside, it's a package that you have to see, feel & drive - it is undeniably a unique car.

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