Mazda MX-30: full UK prices and specs of brand's first EV
Marque’s first mass-production electric car is priced from £25,545, offers 130 miles of range and is intended to drive like other Mazdas
That headline price is for the base MX-30 SE-L Lux and includes the £3000 government grant. It features 18in alloys, LED headlights, a head-up display with traffic sign assistance, radar cruise control, an 8.8in touchscreen display with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mirroring, and a separate 7.0in climate touchscreen as standard.
Further kit includes a host of driver assistance tech such as rear cross traffic alert and emergency lane keeping with blind-spot assistance. All MX-30s come with a Type 2 AC charging cable and a socket for 50kW rapid charging.
Stepping up to First Edition, which is the only model currently available to pre-order, adds new colour options, adaptive LED headlights, different LED rear lights, an orange-and-stone leatherette interior and eight-way adjustable and heated front seats. Just 500 First Editions will come to the UK in the first wave of deliveries.
For just £50 more (presumably to fill the gap once the First Edition sells out), the £27,545 Sport Lux gets electric seats and the option of more colours, including a three-tone design combining three body colours.
Range-topping GT Sport Tech brings a power and tilt sunroof, a heated wheel, a 12-speaker Bose surround sound system and a 360deg rear-view camera. Customers can reserve a car for £800 for delivery, estimated to be before the first quarter of 2021 ends.
The MX-30 will shake up the EV market when it arrives, shunning typical characteristics, such as silent motoring and one-pedal driving, that are found in EVs.
The maker’s first electric model will deliver 141bhp and 195lb ft from an electric motor powered by a 35.5kWh battery, offering a range of 130 miles. This is far less than many rivals, such as the 279-mile Hyundai Kona Electric, but Mazda says it exceeds the 31-mile average daily drive of European customers.
Mazda added that it has chosen a smaller battery to achieve better emissions through the entire life cycle of the car. Its research has found that a 35.5kWh battery produces fewer life-cycle emissions overall than a petrol-powered Mazda 3 or an EV using a 95kWh battery (as the Audi E-tron) does.
Christian Schultze, Mazda Europe’s R&D boss, said: “We should not be excessive with battery size. We should consider how much range does a customer really need and how much battery [capacity] can we avoid to reduce CO2 substantially.”
There are no plans for a higher-powered or higher-range flagship MX-30, project manager Tomiko Takeuchi told Autocar.
Mazda has chosen to differentiate the MX-30 from other EVs in a number of driving characteristics. For example, it has less regenerative breaking than many EVs – eschewing the popular one-pedal driving style – and also more progressive acceleration.
Schultze says: “For strong deceleration, we think the brake is better because it moves in the direction of our body. It has the same efficiency as the one-pedal of other EVs but has human advantages.”
It has also introduced an artificial sound that is intended to imitate the sound variations heard in an internal-combustion-engined car as torque is applied. Mazda told Autocar it is still deciding whether to offer a silent option, which would be controllable by a switch in the car.
The crossover, unveiled at last year’s Tokyo motor show, sits on a platform derived from the new architecture used on the Mazda 3 and CX-30, but with increased ring structures around the battery and floor in order to achieve a “super stiff and fast-reacting body”, said Schultze.
It employs an enhanced version of Mazda’s G-Vectoring control system called e-GVC Plus, which “leverages the torque characteristics of the electric motor to optimise the front-rear load shift under an even wider range of usage scenarios,” said Mazda. The electric motor allows for more minute torque control than an engine, Schultze explained.
The MX-30 is almost the same length as the brand’s CX-30 and slightly taller, to accommodate the underfloor battery. It brings back the RX-8’s ‘suicide’ doors, which Mazda said “enhances functionality and opens up a wide range of new and creative uses for the MX-30”, such as providing easier access for buggies and wheelchairs.
Inside, there is a floating console that includes a new 7.0in touchscreen display. Air conditioning is controlled by the touch panel for the first time in a Mazda, “making operation safe and intuitive”, said the brand. Leather is replaced with a vegan alternative, while cork left over from the production of bottle stops is used for the car’s storage space and door grips.
The MX-30 is capable of 6.6kW domestic charging and 50kW rapid charging via a CCS connection, the latter of which will give 80% charge in 30 to 40 minutes, claims Mazda.
Explaining the MX-30 nomenclature, Mazda said the MX prefix has previously been used on products that “challenge assumptions”. For example, the MX-5 was a sporty roadster when this segment had been dismissed by other makers.
Mazda’s European boss, Yasuhiro Aoyama, commented: “As with all our products, our designers and engineers had a very clear goal for our first battery-electric vehicle. It had to have standout design, be great to drive, something we believe many manufacturers have forgotten in their rush to launch EV products, and most importantly, make a positive contribution to reducing emissions across the entire life cycle of the product.”
He added: “Alongside the electrification technologies we are introducing across our range, being a smaller manufacturer we focused all our efforts on creating an electric car that we anticipate will be a second car where the range of our vehicle will meet customers’ needs.”
Following the launch of the electric MX-30, a range-extender variant will be added to the model line-up, powered by Mazda’s famed rotary engine. The Japanese firm’s range hasn’t featured a rotary-engined road car since the RX-8 went out of production in 2012, but it has since remained interested in reintroducing the technology to production. The Mazda RX-Vision Concept, which was shown at the Tokyo motor show in 2015, used such a powertrain.
Talking about the variant, Schultze says: “With the rotary engine range extender, we can recharge during driving and the car becomes long distance. It is a multi-fuel engine, so in the future we could use with CNG, LPG, hydrogen. We think it’s important to have a global view.” The model could also offer plug-in hybrid and series hybrid variants.
Mazda UK boss Jeremy Thomson predicts the MX-30 will make up 3-5% of its overall volume in the first year, betting on EV sales growth beyond the current UK market share of just over 1%.