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12 APRIL 2021

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Article from BTNews 12 APRIL 2021

APRIL ROAD TEST Mazda MX-30

The Mazda MX-30 is an exceptional trend-setting car but its chances of being remembered in the years to come are slim.  Firstly it is fully electric and secondly only 350 are to be imported.

Business Travel News
was amongst a small group of media invited to try the car on a 50-mile tour, mostly rural Essex backwaters, based at Great Notley, just outside Braintree.  Say what you like about the car, the 90min run was a real eyeopener into some delightful countryside, plenty of pubs, but none open due to the pandemic.  It is a good place to come back to – with perhaps someone else driving!

Let BTN start by saying we were impressed by the quality of the Mazda, its handing and ride, less so by the performance, whilst quicker than some conventional styled petrol-driven SUV rivals, it does not have the woosh factor of most electric models.

The problem with a short appraisal of any car is that there is just not enough time to ask all the questions that crop up after it has been returned.  Mazda has always gone for what some might say is quirky entrance modes (remember the Mazda 5 with its sliding doors, perfect for tight parking – but it never really caught on) but why the reverse opening of the rear doors, not possible unless the front ones are open too?  Getting into the back is not that easy.  It is a car for children in the rear, not Grandma.  

Charging the MX-30 is simple.  It comes with a three-pin adaptor suitable for an overnight refresh outside your home, or you can use one of the public service points that are emerging all over the country.  Lock the car, plug it in, and it should be ready for you to drive away in the morning.

The cars are priced from £26,045 to the range-topping GT Sport Tech at £31,545.  The GT equipment tally includes a front wiper de-icer and a power and tilt sunroof, while inside a heated steering wheel and 12-speaker Bose surround sound complements what in any event is a very generous standard specification.  Paddles on the steering wheel too, but why bother?  A strong right foot does the same job.  The pricing is important – the MX30 fits nicely into the scheme with the Treasury providing grants of up to £2,500 for electric vehicles on cars priced under £35,000.

Getting into the MX-30 driving seat was very easy and all the controls fell to hand.  It is tall once inside.  Mazda PR had set up a route to use, clearly reconnoitred, giving a nice balance of country lanes and the occasional dual carriageway.  What was very impressive was the satnav with one of the best head-up displays yet seen.  It is strange to think that some manufacturers (Toyota being one on certain models) have dropped the system, which must be a strong safety feature.

Eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat and chrome interior details, plus heated front seats complement the stylish interior. Mazda have come a long way and this is really a mid-class product.

Standard equipment on all UK MX-30s includes LED headlights with daytime running lights, reversing camera, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Intelligent Speed Assist.  Each MX-30 comes as standard with a Type 2 AC charging cable and a socket for DC rapid charging, allowing for charging from 20-80% battery in just 36min.

In a nod to Mazda’s founding as the Toyo Kogyo Cork Company in 1920, the Mazda MX-30 features cork-lined centre console trays and inner side door handles. Harvested from the bark of trees without felling, the use of cork and door trim materials that incorporate fibres from recycled plastic bottles, are perfectly suited to Mazda’s first pure electric production car. Benefiting passengers and drivers alike, the sense of space is enhanced with a central console that sits independently from the dashboard, while the use of environmentally-friendly materials has been carefully matched to the quality and finish.

The dynamic focus also extends to a throttle pedal that delivers a seamless transition between linear power delivery and smooth regeneration on lift off, equally, the braking system offers a seamless transfer between energy regeneration and hydraulic brake action.

The boot is reasonably sized, and the door goes up and down electrically, but with the powertrain beneath, not as deep as it could be.  Its 366-litre capacity makes it about the same size as a Ford Focus which matches the MX-30’s dimensions.

Would I buy a MX-30?   

It has everything going for it in these environmental times, except for one thing.  The MX-30 range is just 125 miles, made very clear as you start out with a fully charged car.  London Edgware to Bournemouth Manor Road is 116 miles according to Google.  Slowing down does not reduce fuel consumption.  And what happens with a flat battery?  The margin is just not there!

In terms of product the MX-30 easily outclasses the Tesla 30 except for range.  Next year the LR (in airline terms) is available.  All the same the 350 now on sale will go very quickly.  It is a good car.

BTN has a conventional CX due on loan shortly. We look forward do experiencing it followed by the all-electric Kia e-Niro.  

See also in the issue ON TOUR: Gridserve - electric vehicle charging

Performance 6
Handling 7
Transmission 8
Noise 9
Economy 8 (but not easy to compare with another electric)
Ride and Comfort 7
Accommodation 7
Styling 7
Brakes 8
Finish 8
TOTAL 75%

www.mazda.co.uk/cars/mazda-mx-30

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