Mazda

Review: 2022 Mazda MX-30

The 2022 Mazda MX-30 (not to be confused with the CX-30) is the first all-electric vehicle from the Japanese brand. But with a range of only 161 km (100 miles), who is it for and does it have a hope among other EVs?

Performance

Motor – Under the hood of the Mazda MX-30 you will not find a trunk like in the Ford Mach-E. Instead you will find an electric motor along with a lot of empty space. Soon, the MX-30 will be available with a rotary gas engine that is used as a range extender. Think Chevrolet Volt but with a rotary. 

Anyway, the 2022 Mazda MX-30 has an 80.9 kW electric motor that produces 143 hp & 200 lb-ft of torque (107 kW / 271 Nm). In a car that weighs 1,658 kg (3,655 lbs), it’s not going to provide blisteringly quick acceleration. 0-100 km/h takes somewhere around the 9 second mark. But straight line acceleration is not what this car is about. The power of the motor is enough for everyday city driving needs with the top speed being at around 150 km/h. 

When it comes to energy efficiency, the MX-30 is rated for 2.6 Le/100km (90.5 MPGe) or 22.8 kWh/100km. During my time with the MX-30, I averaged 20.5 kWh/100km.

Battery & Charging – The 2022 MX-30 has a liquid cooled 35.5 kWh battery. One of the reasons why this battery is not larger is because the MX-30 has the same chassis as the Mazda CX-30. This is not a bespoke electric vehicle like the Chevrolet Bolt. Officially it is rated for 161 km (100 miles) with that number dropping if you rely heavily on the climate control. The infotainment system will tell you how much of an impact the climate system has on the overall range. 

On the flip side because the battery is relatively small, charging it takes less time than in other battery electric vehicles (BEV). Mazda rates the recharge times from 20% to 80% battery states so from near 0% to 100% will take a little longer. Mazda claims that the MX-30 will recharge in approximately 14 hours from a 120-Volt / 15-Amp wall outlet. A level 2, 30-Amp charger will do it in almost 3 hours and a level 3, 50 kW, DC fast charger will recharge the MX-30 from 20% to 80% in 36 minutes. 

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Braking – The 2022 Mazda MX-30 has brake-by-wire brakes. What this means is that the brake pedal is more like a variable switch that tells the brakes how much pressure to apply rather than being connected by hydraulics directly from the brake pedal. Strangely, the system works well because the brake pedal actuation feels natural. 

The car also has regenerative braking that can be adjusted via paddles on the steering wheel. There are 5 levels of regen braking that vary from almost no energy being recuperated to a strong regen braking mode that is almost one-pedal driving. The MX-30 unfortunately does not have a full one-pedal drive mode because you still need to press the brake pedal to arrive at a complete stop.

Handling – From behind the steering wheel, the 2022 Mazda MX-30 feels almost like any other Mazda crossover SUV. The steering is sharp with just enough feedback when you’re on a winding road. However, you do feel that extra weight of the batteries through the corners. They do make the MX-30 feel planted but there is a tiny bit more body roll than in the Mazda CX-30 for example.

The MX-30 is equipped with a system called Electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus). It is similar to the G-Vectoring control in gasoline powered Mazda vehicles that momentarily limits engine/motor torque by a slight amount to shift the weight transfer of the car for better traction and handling performance. You do not feel this system in operation because the torque limit is so subtle but it gives the MX-30 the driving characteristic that other similarly sized Mazda vehicles are known for. 

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Comfort

Ride Comfort – The MX-30 is not that different from the CX-30 of which it’s based on. The suspension is well balanced to provide a smooth ride but also a pretty decent driving experience. Bumps don’t shake the car too much and you don’t have to play “Minesweeper” when driving over a rougher road.

The seats are supportive and have a generous amount of padding for longer journeys. The driver gets a power adjustable seat but unfortunately the passenger has to make due with a manually adjustable seat even on this top spec trim.

Interior Space – The front seats offer enough space for tall adults. The driver has enough adjustability for a good driving position. Visibility out the front and rear view mirror are good but over the shoulder visibility is hampered a bit by the thick B-pillar for the suicide rear doors. Thankfully blind spot sensors are standard. 

The rear seats are not so comfortable for tall adults. It is very tight behind my driving position in terms of legroom. Headroom is Ok in the back thanks to the indentation in the roof. Getting into those back seats is easy if you have to go back there but annoying if you’re in the front. Just like the RX-8, the front door has to be opened first before the rear door can be opened. What’s more, the front occupants have to unbuckle their seat belts otherwise someone could be getting strangled by the seat belt. The anchor for it is in the B-pillar which opens with the door.

In the trunk, the Mazda CX-30 has 405 L (14.3 cu-ft) of space with the rear seats up and 1,028 L (36.3 cu-ft) with the rear seats folded. These numbers are for this GT trim with the sunroof. Without the sunroof, the cargo capacity increases to 431 L & 1,053 L (15.2 cu-ft / 37.1 cu-ft) respectively.

Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – There is a little bit of humming coming from the electric motors as well as some simulated noises form the stereo system when you put your foot down. Wind and road noise are well subdued on highways.

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Odds and Ends

Pricing – For a vehicle with only 161 km of driving range, the price is quite high. It starts at $42,150 CAD ($33,470 USD) and goes up to $47,150 CAD ($36,480 USD) for this GT trim. Worse yet, it’s not available everywhere. In Canada, it’s only available in British Columbia and Quebec while in the United States, it’s only available in California. With time, Mazda could expand the regions of availability. 

However to entice potential customers, the 2022 Mazda MX-30 also comes with a $500 charge credit, a no charge 2-year scheduled maintenance plan (in Canada), and is eligible for Government rebates and tax credits. 

Gadgets – While it has a starting price that is more expensive than the Chevrolet Bolt, it comes pretty much fully loaded. It has heated seats, heated steering wheel (in Canadian market), an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto integration, blind spot sensors, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and LED headlights to name a few. Upgrade to the GT trim and it adds surround view cameras, sunroof, head-up display, all of Mazda’s advanced driver and safety aids, Bose audio, and adaptive headlights to name a few.

Interior Design – The interior of the 2022 MX-30 EV is lined with recycled and sustainable materials. It has cork for some of the trimmings, leatherette for the seat backs, a denim-like material for the seat surface, and a fuzzy feeling material on top of the door panels next to the window. Of course it does also use hard plastics for the lower portion of the cabin and soft plastics with stitching for the dashboard. 

The center console has a floating design and thankfully it does not have a gigantic tablet style touchscreen to control every aspect of the car like how a Tesla does. It does, however, have a small touchscreen for some climate and heated seats / heated steering wheel controls. But there are physical buttons flanking the screen for redundancy so I don’t understand why not just leave it as physical buttons and save some money by not having the touchscreen. All of the buttons in the MX-30 feel high quality with a satisfying click when you press them.

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Exterior Design – The outside has a few similarities to the CX-30 of which it’s based on. The large, plastic mouldings around the wheels are supposed to make it look rugged but it just ends up making it look cheap. The front grille is instantly recognizable as a Mazda but it’s different from the current “Kodo” design language because the MX-30 does not require a large grille for cooling. The back sees unique round taillights with integrated turn signals that have a fade effect as they turn off. Finally on the C-pillar, there’s an embossed “MX-30” logo and next to it is a little sticker that says “Electric”. That sticker seems like an afterthought because I can easily peel it off. 

Warranty – The MX-30 is covered by a 3 year / unlimited mileage new vehicle warranty in Canada. Unfortunately this unlimited mileage warranty is not available in the United States. There, it is 3 years / 60,000 miles. The battery warranty is 8 years / 160,000 km (100,000 miles in USA). For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For information on USA warranty, click here.

So is the Mazda MX-30 worth it? Well it’s not for everyone. Actually it’s not for a lot of people. Mazda knows this. You can look at it as a technological showcase and a way for the brand to lower their average fuel economy ratings for government regulations. This car is a stepping stone for Mazda and a preview of their future electric vehicles. Right now, the MX-30 only has one real competitor; the Mini Cooper SE. Between the two, the MX-30 is better as it offers more interior space with better materials for roughly the same price. But both of them are strictly city dwellers. 

Thank you to Mazda Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Mazda.ca

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