Mazda MX-30 in the test: small battery, big compromise?

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If you don't need a range of hundreds of kilometers, the MX-30 isn't bad

Mazda MX-30 in the test: small battery, big compromise?-test

As a small independent automaker, Mazda has defied many trends over the past few years. Downsizing and turbocharging, for example. There is the compact Mazda 3 with a two-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine, while the competition uses turbo engines with half of this displacement.

And Mazda jumped on the electrification bandwagon only recently, with the MX-30 as the first real electric car.

The Mazda MX-30 is a great looking crossover that has a lot going for it. But it has one major disadvantage: the battery is small for a vehicle of its size and the range is correspondingly short. The WLTP range is given as 200 km, and if you drive like me in winter, you won't even get anywhere near this value.

The acceleration is also rather poor. The engine on the front axle doesn't have a lot of power, and the 100 km / h sprint value of 9.7 seconds doesn't knock you out either. Still, I really enjoyed my time with this Mazda.

The lithium-ion battery has a gross capacity of 35.5 kWh, the usable capacity is 30.5 kWh. The battery pack has liquid cooling and the MX-30 has a heat pump for air conditioning as standard.

Mazda MX-30 in the test: small battery, big compromise?-test


In order to have a chance with this model at all, Mazda pulled out all the stops in terms of design. And this is where the manufacturer really delivered – the MX-30 is really chic. As with most newer Mazdas, the front end is a little longer than necessary. A long front hood is apparently the hallmark of a premium vehicle for Mazda because it is reminiscent of a six- or eight-cylinder installed lengthways. This is how the MX-30 manages to look a bit like a small luxury vehicle.

Two things stand out from the side: first, the coupe-like silhouette with the roofline sloping down significantly towards the rear. And the car looks like a two-door. Only when you take a closer look you can see the two (smaller) rear doors. As with a BMW i3 or Mazda RX-8, these open against the direction of travel. The taillights look like Ferrari, but without looking inappropriate. All in all, the MX-30 is one of the best-looking crossover models for me, regardless of whether it has a combustion or electric drive.


On the long haul, the MX-30 is a surprisingly pleasant companion. The front seats offer a lot of comfort and allow a good, low driving position. The car is one of the few crossover models I've driven where you feel like you're actually sitting in the car and not high up.

The handling in the curve is more than admirable, the body tilts only minimally outwards. The chassis offers good driving comfort and you don't notice the fact that only a twist beam axle is installed at the rear – Mazda's twist beam axles are some of the best on the market when it comes to comfort.

Technology and connectivity

The infotainment system called Mazda Connect is in no way special, but it is easy and intuitive to use. It doesn't offer as much as other infotainment solutions on the market, but it doesn't really lack anything either. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also supported, and wirelessly.

Mazda also offers an app called MyMazda, which provides information on the charge status and range and enables pre-air conditioning and locking and unlocking of the vehicle.

One of the highlights was the head-up display (HUD) on my test car. Not one of those cheap-looking plastic-based HUDs, but a real HUD that projects information onto the windshield. The graphics are very sharp and clear, and it's also bright enough that the displays can be seen even when the brightness is high.

Performance and handling

The Mazda MX-30 was much more comfortable to drive than I thought. Sure, he's a pretty big crossover. But thanks to the relatively low weight (for an electric vehicle of this size) of 1,720 kilos, it is surprisingly manoeuvrable and agile. As with all electric vehicles, the center of gravity is low because the heavy battery is deep down in the vehicle. As a result, the vehicle feels tight in the corners, even when the pace is accelerated.

The car is much more fun in curves than on a straight road. This is because, with just 107 kW (145 PS) and 270 Newton meters, it takes 9.7 seconds to reach 100 km / h. That makes the MX-30 one of the slower electric vehicles on the market. Still, it doesn't feel like an underpowered car. When you hear the artificial sound as you accelerate, you get the feeling that you are advancing faster than you are.


In the EuroNCAP crash test, the MX-30 received the top rating of five stars. He received 91 percent for the safety of adult occupants, 87 percent for the protection of children and 73 percent for the assistance systems. The MX-30 has a knee airbag, even if only on the driver's seat, and it also has an emergency braking system and a cruise control system with lane keeping function.

Power consumption, range and charging

During my ride with the MX-30, the power consumption averaged 21.4 kWh / 100 km. That is significantly more than the 17.3 kWh / 100 km from the data sheet. The low temperatures, which were not far above freezing point, probably also contributed to the high power consumption.

In addition, a large part of the route consisted of a range test on the motorway. I managed a distance of around 135 kilometers at around 110 km / h. That's pretty far from the officially stated range, but it's a reasonable result given the small battery size.

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When I first plugged the car into a 50kW charging station, it only charged quickly for about a minute, then the charging speed slowed down. I stopped charging and restarted. I did that dozen of times and finally switched to a slow charging station, where the battery then reached 100 percent.

The very next day I returned to the same charging point and easily got the car from 18 to 100 percent in just over 30 minutes. This corresponds roughly to the information provided by the manufacturer, which indicates that it was charged with almost 50 kW.

If you charge the MX-30 on a wallbox, you have to reckon with a charging time of around eight hours for a complete charging process. At a household socket with 230 volts, it takes 14 to 15 hours to reach 100 percent.

Photo gallery: Mazda MX-30 (2021) in the test

Mazda MX-30 in the test: small battery, big compromise?-small


Prices and conclusion

Before testing the Mazda MX-30, I thought I had to be careful not to over-evaluate it and not to ruin my relationship with Mazda. But I'm not glossing over anything when I say that the MX-30 is a great car aside from its limited range.

The look is chic and the interior is just as unique (even if the space for the rear passengers is cramped). The car drives really well, it has all the technical functions you could want. And I don't think that the car will be very common, so that you also benefit from the exclusivity.

The MX-30 is available in Germany from 34,490 euros. You can deduct the funding of 9,570 euros from this, so that you end up with 24,920 euros. That's still not cheap, but the vehicle has a certain premium aura, especially inside.

[Note from the translator: The English original text has been carefully shortened and, especially in terms of price, adapted to the conditions in Germany.]

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