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Mazda MX-30 review: We test drive the cool new electric car that’s spot on for driving around busy cities

Mazda’s first electric vehicle is sporty, stylish and sustainable too

mazda review
30 June 2021
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Mazda's first electric car (or EV, electric vehicle, as they're known) looks like nothing else on the road. Not only does it sport distinctive coupe-crossover styling, but dinky rear-opening back doors.

With a range of 124 miles, it’s very much aimed at city drivers and it competes against the likes of the MG ZS, MINI Electric and Honda e. Its smaller battery can be charged using a home wallbox in less than six hours, or topped up from 0-80% in 30-40 minutes using a 50kW fast-charger.

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Plus, the MX-30 isn't as heavy as some long-range rivals, meaning it retains the enjoyable driving characteristics we've come to expect from a Mazda.

mazda driving

The new Mazda MX-30 is the first electric vehicle from the brand

What the Mazda MX-30 is like to drive

It certainly feels nimble, the steering is sharp and it's composed even when pushed, yet (just like other EVs) it's also smooth, quiet and accelerates rapidly. On paper, it can sprint from 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds, but it feels quicker (helped by instant oomph and fake engine noise subtly pumped into the cabin).

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You can use the paddles behind the steering wheel to choose from various levels of brake regeneration (a system which converts energy otherwise lost when coasting or braking back into electricity to recharge the battery). Go for the hardest settings and you can make life easy for yourself with one-pedal driving, because easing off the accelerator has a braking effect on the car.

What the Mazda MX-30 is like inside and out

The MX-30 isn't just a zero emissions car, it contains plenty of sustainable materials. Inside the modern, minimalist cabin there's breathable fabric upholstery made from recycled plastic bottles; and cork in the floating centre console (Mazda started life as a cork-making company in 1920).

mazda interior

Inside, it's made from sustainable materials

It's generously equipped too - 18-inch alloy wheels, LED lights and an 8.8-inch touchscreen are standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Spend more, and you can add extras like a 12-speaker Bose stereo, a 360-degree parking camera and a sunroof are available.

Top marks to Mazda the climate control system (located in a small touchscreen on the lower dash) which thankfully retains physical buttons for the temperature and fan speed to make it easier and safer to use on the move.

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No car is perfect and the MX-30 is no exception. In short, rear passengers get the rough end of the stick. Legroom isn't exactly generous, so the seats are best suited to children. Also, the back windows don't wind down, the view is restricted and you can only open the rear doors if the front ones are opened first (they do not open independently).

Finally the narrow rear doors make entry and exit from the back seats a challenge, especially for larger passengers. On a plus note the boot is a useful 366 litres, extending to 1,171 litres with the rear seats folded.

mazda boot

The boot of the Mazda MX-30 is roomy for a compact car

Safety score: Awarded a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing (with impressive scores of 91% and 87% in the adult and child occupant protection categories respectively) the MX-30 is fitted with the latest safety features including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keep assist.

HELLO!'s verdict: The funky Mazda MX-30 is an affordable electric crossover that stands out from the crowd. If you can live with its design quirks and modest range, it’s a class act - sporty, safe, fun and refined. Price: from £26,045 (including the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant or PiCG).

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