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Article from TNU MAY 2024

MOTORING MAY: Mazda MX-30 Prime-Line EV

George Loveridge Driving Around for Travel News Update.

Now, we have all heard of the Mazda MX-5. The late 1980s saw a legendary revolution of the small convertible sports car. However, now in the mid-2020s, Mazda still makes the humble MX-5, but we have also got the MX-30 to play with. What does Mazda’s first fully electric vehicle have to offer? Let’s find out…

Before we begin, the hybrid equivalent of the MX-30 was crowned plug-in hybrid of the year at the What Car? awards. What is so good about that? Well, for us petrol heads, the MX-30 R-EV uses an electric motor, along with an 830cc rotary engine! Famed for compression issues and a high rev limit in the RX8, it is nice to see a rotary engine back in production. With our MX-30 EV however, nods to the RX8 do not stop there. Overall, this appears to be a three-door hatchback. Although, we have got split rear doors like you would have found on the old RX8. Compromising rear access somewhat, but it is nice to see nevertheless. Other visuals include a striking front end housing daytime LED running lights, the Mazda emblem, and a black grille.

This black grille signifies that we are looking at the Prime-Line specification, the entry-level version of Mazda’s new EV. Despite being around as a petrol car since 2021, this is the first time I have ever seen one on the road. Prime-line models are distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels, black body accents, and a single-tone paint scheme. Of these, only five colours are available. As tested, we have got the serious-looking Machine Grey. The MX-30 Exclusive-Line promises to be a popular model in the range, it sees an increase in standard equipment with the addition of power seats, lumber support adjustment and smart keyless entry.

Utilising that keyless entry, you find yourself in an open and airy cabin. Thanks to EVs not needing a traditional gearbox tunnel, you gain quite a lot of space inside. A black headliner does make you feel somewhat boxed in, but the combination of light and soft materials more than makes up for this. You get a de-cluttered centre console, housing a 7-inch colour infotainment screen just above the gear selector. Annoyingly and confusingly, the infotainment screen sits on top of the dashboard and is actually smaller than the climate control settings. From the photo, it could look like we have got wood on the inside of this MX-30.

Being committed to sustainability, the interior of this car is made from a lot of recycled materials. For instance, the seats are made from recycled jeans, and the centre console accents are made from recycled cork. It looks odd but feels soft and should be durable. Being a larger hatchback, rear-seat passengers should benefit from 1058mm of legroom, but this all depends on who is sitting in the front of the vehicle. I really like the small triangular windows in the back, in addition to regular side windows – makes the rear feel less claustrophobic. Boot space is admirable, but you do have to retain your charging cables in here. It would have been nice to see a dedicated home for these.

On the road, the MX-30 feels just fine. Unlike other Mazda models that I have driven recently, it does not feel as driver-focused. Which is exactly what this car is about. It is a real-world, practical solution for commuting. The 35kWh battery is enough to propel the MX-30 along nicely. Power is sent to the front wheels via a single-speed electric transmission. Being an EV, it is heavy and therefore the suspension feel is well dampened. Rear visibility is not the best, but what hatchback today does have good rear visibility? Thankfully, there is a full 360-degree camera system to assist with parking. Along with an accompaniment of various bongs and beeps!

The George Loveridge Verdict

Honestly, the MX-30 is a good car. Having been put off electric cars by the Mercedes eCitan that we featured recently, this MX-30 feels like a refreshing step in the right direction. Furthermore, Mazda are working really hard to try and shift these out of the showroom! Your dealer will offer very good  terms. The Prime-Line starts at £27,995, and this includes a £3,000 discount.

Overall, I have to commend Mazda on the amount of standard equipment. Considering that this example is the entry-level version, it never felt cheap or lacking by any stretch of the imagination.

However, the brake feel was very alarming. You can tell that the pedal is not physically connected to the disks. This is not anything new. Although, I am used to driving 40, 50 and even 60-year-old cars on drum brakes that have more feel than this. Stopping for a junction, you do not have the confidence that you will come to a stop…

Price as tested: £27,995
Lead in price: £27,995
Average fuel consumption:  3.5 miles /kWh
Range (electric): 124 Miles
Engine size: 35 kWh Battery
0-60: 9.7 seconds

Performance 7
Handling 6
Transmission 10
Noise 8
Economy 8
Ride and Comfort 8
Accommodation 6
Styling 9
Brakes 2
Finish 9
TOTAL= 73%


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