Mazda MX-30 Review
If you don’t mind its very limited range per charge, the Mazda MX-30 is an interesting electric car that’s fun to drive
Strengths & weaknesses
The Mazda MX-30 is the brand’s first electric vehicle (EV) to go on sale in the UK. The most important thing you need to know about it is that it has a driving range of 124 miles on a single charge.
This is one of the lowest figures of any electric car at a similar price point, since models like the Kia Soul EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and Volkswagen ID.4 all have up to 300 miles of range available - more than twice as much as this small Mazda SUV.
It’s a result of Mazda fitting a small 36kWh battery to the car in a bid to keep weight low. This means it’s great to drive, though, which is a typical Mazda trait. In fact, the MX-30 follows many other characteristics of the brand, including its superb interior, comfortable ride, high-tech equipment and striking looks.
The low range figure means it’s a niche choice, but if you are looking for a second car to commute in, or simply need a city car that won’t ever do longer trips, then it could be an interesting choice. It’s not very practical, but its SUV looks do at least give it some appeal from a style perspective.
There is only one version, and the trim range is quite small, but we’ve gone through the car in detail below to help you decide which version is best for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know about buying a Mazda MX-30.
Should I get a Mazda MX-30?
✔ Fun to drive and comfy
✔ Upmarket cabin and well equipped
✔ Bold looks
✘ Extremely limited range
✘ Not very practical for an SUV
✘ Rear-hinged back doors not that useful
The Mazda MX-30 is likely to appeal to a very small number of buyers. Its range of just 124 miles before it needs to be recharged means that it will only work if you live close to work and never plan on travelling a long distance. This means it’s an ideal second car, where your first car is a petrol or diesel model (or an EV with a very long range).
It’s not a great family car either because it’s not practical enough. However, if those points aren’t an issue for you, the MX-30’s enjoyable handling, upmarket interior, stylish looks and ultra-quiet driving experience are all very impressive and could tempt you.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Batteries and range
- Best Mazda MX-30 for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
There’s only one version of the MX-30. It uses a 36kWh battery and has 145hp, thanks to an electric motor driving the front wheels only. It can be charged up at home using a wallbox in around five hours, or if you use a public rapid charger it can charge from 20% to 80% in less than 40 minutes.
It’s a small SUV with rear-hinged back doors. Access is a bit tight and it’s not the most spacious, so we’d think of it as an occasional five-door car that mostly feels like a three-door one. This is also because you can’t open the rear doors without also opening the fronts.
|SE-L Lux||Limited stock: When the MX-30 launched, there were only three trim levels available. Entry-level SE-L Lux comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lights, parking sensors, climate control, an 8.8-inch media system with smartphone connectivity and lots of safety kit including blind spot assist and autonomous emergency braking.|
|Prime-Line||Limited stock: Prime-Line replaced SE-L Lux, so expect the same equipment including 18-inch alloys, an 8.8-inch media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, and a head-up display.|
|Sport Lux||Limited stock: This mid-spec model comes with tinted windows, keyless entry and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. It’s probably not worth the extra cash over the base model.|
|Exclusive-Line||Limited stock: Exclusive-Line sits above Prime-Line, and shares much of its tech with the Sport Lux that it replaced, including keyless entry and an electrically adjustable driver's seat.|
|GT Sport Tech||Limited stock: This top-spec version gets extra safety kit such as driver monitoring, cross-traffic alert, braking support, a 360-degree parking camera and more. It also features a heated steering wheel and a sunroof.|
|Makoto||Limited stock: Like GT Sport Tech, top-spec Makoto gets a heated steering wheel and an opening sunroof, as well as a Bose surround sound system. This model also benefits from adaptive LED headlights.|
There is only one motor available with the MX-30. The 145hp electric motor powers the front wheels through a single-speed automatic gearbox. As with all electric cars, the 271Nm of muscle is available instantly which helps the MX-30 to feel sprightly around town, though it won't win any drag races taking nearly 10 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to 62mph.
Mazda claims an efficiency figure of 3.5mi/kWh, which is less than the 3.7mi/kWh of the much heavier Volkswagen ID.4. This means that the VW should cost you less per mile in electricity.
The small 35.5kWh battery provides a theoretical range of 124 miles per charge, though this could plummet to less than 100 miles in colder conditions, especially when travelling at higher speeds. Similarly, town driving in the summer months could potentially see drivers managing almost 150 miles.
Electric vehicle drivers looking for more range should consider the Volkswagen ID.4, which has a 52kWh or 77kWh battery, or the Hyundai Kona Electric which is available with 39kWh or 64kWh batteries.
A full charge from a standard three-pin domestic socket will take more than 15 hours. However, drivers looking to benefit from the reduced rates of an off-peak electricity tariff should consider charging at 7kW which reduces this time to 5 hours.
Rapid charging is limited to 40kW, unlike many rivals that support 100kW or more. However, due to the small size of the battery, a 20-80% charge should still take just 36 minutes.
Since there are only three versions of the MX-30, you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Even the difference in the amount of kit you get is minimal, so we’d argue that there’s really no reason to choose anything other than the entry-level model. Nevertheless, here are some options for some different types of driver.
|Mazda MX-30 SE-L Lux: Simply choose the base model for the best value. It comes with everything you need, and even has 18-inch alloy wheels just like the higher-spec versions, so it looks just as stylish.|
|Mazda MX-30 Sport Lux: The Sport Lux model comes with tinted windows and keyless entry, both of which are useful for family life. The MX-30 is not a very good family car in general, though.|
|Mazda MX-30 GT Sport Tech: The GT Sport Tech version is exactly as fast as other models in the range. However, it comes with more safety kit, which might be useful.|
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There are a few electric cars to consider if you are thinking about the Mazda MX-30. It’s a city car primarily, so even small cars such as the Mini Electric and Fiat 500 Electric might have some appeal, but we’ll focus more on electric SUVs because of the way the Mazda looks.
The Hyundai Kona EV is a key rival especially as a used car, because it’s a similar size. It’s far more practical than the MX-30, though, and some versions can travel for nearly 300 miles on a single charge. It’s the same story for the Kia Soul EV and Kia e-Niro, too.
There’s also the Volkswagen ID.4, which is larger than the Mazda but not as upmarket inside, nor as good to drive. However it’s far more practical and has more driving range, so it rights some of the MX-30’s wrongs for certain buyers.
Mazda MX-30 practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Mazda MX-30 is 4.4m long, 1.55m tall and 1.8m wide (with the mirrors folded), so it’s pretty much exactly the same size as Mazda’s petrol SUV, the CX-30. You can read more about the MX-30’s dimensions by clicking on the link below.
As mentioned above, the MX-30 isn’t very spacious inside despite its exterior size. It’s about as big as a family SUV but doesn’t have as much space inside, plus the rear-hinged back doors mean that it’s a pain to get in and out of. It’s best thought of as a three-door car with better access to the back seats than a proper five-door SUV.
|Length 4,395mm||Width 1,795mm|
|Height 1,555mm||Weight 1,675kg|
There’s 366 litres of boot space in lower-spec versions of the MX-30 but the stereo system in high-spec cars reduces this to 341 litres. This is a decent enough space for an urban car but given that many smaller cars are able to offer far more boot space than this, it’s on the small side for an SUV.
However, next to certain electric rivals, it’s a decent amount. For example, there’s 332 litres of boot space in the Hyundai Kona EV, so the Mazda is roomier than that car, though the Kona is a much smaller car. Despite this, the Hyundai has more space for passengers.
|Seats up 341-366 litres||Seats down 1,146-1,171 litres|
The Mazda MX-30 is still a very new model, and since it’s not that closely related to other Mazda models - it’s the brand’s first and currently only electric car on sale - there’s very little data to go on to make a call on its reliability.
However, as electric cars have fewer moving parts than petrol- and diesel-powered models, and Mazda has a good reputation for reliability in general, we’d expect the MX-30 to be a very reliable choice. Mazda even came in fourth in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey in the manufacturer section.
The Mazda MX-30 has a normal three-year or 60,000-mile warranty, which is the bare minimum car makers offer in the UK. There aren’t all that many manufacturers that offer more, although Hyundai covers its Kona EV for five years and Kia’s Soul EV and e-Niro are covered for seven years.
However, the Mazda’s battery is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles against loss of range, which gives plenty of peace of mind for used buyers.
|3 years||60,000 miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £617
The Mazda MX-30 is an excellent car in many ways. It’s great to drive, comfortable, ultra-quiet, has a fantastic interior and is really well equipped even in entry-level form. It’s also interesting to look at, has some innovative features, is likely to be reliable and has a long list of excellent high-tech safety kit.
However, its range figure of 124 miles is very lacking in the modern world of electric cars. There are plenty of other options that can travel twice as far on a single charge - if not more - and combined with the slightly poor practicality in the MX-30, this means the car isn’t as appealing as it ought to be. It makes sense as a second car for commuting, but not as a family car - despite its SUV-like shape.
Best Mazda MX-30 deals
The SE-L Lux model is the best value model in the MX-30 range. It comes with the same exterior trim and wheels as the higher-spec models, so it looks the part, but it costs less and has almost as much equipment. All versions have the same battery too.
The Sport Lux model adds keyless entry and a few other bits, but it’s perhaps not worth the extra cash it costs. If you want the added equipment, it’s not too much more, but at that point you might as well move up to the top-spec version.
GT Sport Tech gets a big package of added safety kit including cross-traffic assist, which could save you from a crash when at a blind junction. It’s a really useful bit of kit, so might be worth paying the extra for this top-spec model.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.