Usual different

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Usual different

The first test drive in the all-electric Mazda MX-30. The Japanese also do a few things differently with the Stromer.

At a quick charging station, the battery is charged to 80% again in just under 40 minutes.

Cars are becoming more and more similar. In large corporations, several models are built on identical platforms, share drive components and numerous components.

This inevitably leads to vehicles that may differ in design, fine-tuning or certain details, but are essentially identical.

Mazda does not belong to any large car company – and uses this independence again and again. The Japanese manufacturer thinks differently in many respects – and also brings this to the street. This is also shown by the brand’s latest model, Mazda’s first electric car, the MX-30. Here, too, Mazda tries to stand out from the competition. Mazda, for example, is deliberately not getting into the arms race for more and more range with ever larger batteries. With a battery capacity of 35.5 kWh and a range of 200 kilometers according to the realistic WLTP standard, the electric crossover is modestly equipped compared to the competition. But with good reason, as Mazda Europe Head of Development Christian Schultze explains. “Long range and the associated large battery always have a negative impact on the CO2 balance. However, this is not necessary for the daily driving profile of most customers.” In principle, that is correct, after all, the average European car driver hardly covers more than 30 kilometers per day. But what about frequent drivers who sometimes want or have to drive several hundred kilometers? “An e-car is not the right solution for everyone. For example, if you cannot charge at home, you will not buy an electric car. So we shouldn’t pretend that the e-car is right for every purpose,” says Schultze. The electric car is part of the future plans for the brand. In addition, there is research, for example for synthetic fuels, which Schultze makes sense not only in cars. “We won’t see any big batteries that can fly us to New York.”

But back to the present – and thus to the MX-30, which wants to stand out from other electric cars at first glance.

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Mazda MX-30

Space for people and technology

The doors of the Stromer, which is made in Japan, provide the greatest aha effect. They open in opposite directions, so the rear doors swing backwards. According to Schultze, the space in the rear can be better used. “Because we’re doing without a B-pillar, it’s more spacious to get in. For example, it is easier to install a child seat.” The rear door can also only be opened when the front one is open. A disadvantage if you want to let someone board for a moment, but an advantage if you are traveling with children. In this way, they cannot get out uncontrolled – and, for example, end up on a busy road.

Due to this construction, the rear door is rather solid, which means that you sit in the rear seats in the dark; the view from the driver’s seat to the rear is also somewhat limited. Otherwise there is nothing wrong with the interior. The workmanship is impeccable, upgraded with pretty cork inserts on request. The seating position is comfortable and can be adjusted in a variety of ways, and it is operated via the usual simple Mazda multimedia system.

The space available is suitable for travel at the front and rear, the same applies to the trunk, which is not huge at 366 to 1171 liters, but is absolutely suitable for everyday use. However, you will look in vain for a second storage compartment under the front hood, although there would still be enough space next to the compact electric motor. On the one hand, according to Schultze, the space under the front hood is often not practical in everyday life because you have to unlock the hood – and this often gets your fingers dirty. Above all, this space will be used for other purposes in the future: “After the market launch in September, we will probably submit a version with a petrol-powered range extender in 2021.” This will most likely mean the return of the brand’s legendary Wankel engine. The petrol engine acts exclusively as a generator, so it never drives the wheels directly. If the battery is empty, the motor can generate electricity and drive the electric motor. This is expected to double the range – and provide more flexibility, since the MX-30 can also fill up at a normal gas station if necessary.

Unexcited on the go

For the time being, however, the MX-30 has to do without the petrol emergency reserve, which hardly means doing without in everyday life. The specified range of 200 kilometers turns out to be quite realistic on the first test drive and the on-board computer helps with planning with a reliable range forecast. The drive is typically e-car confident and powerful, which goes well with the comfortably tuned chassis and makes the MX-30 a pleasant everyday companion for daily commuting.

Another advantage of the relatively small battery is also reflected in the price: the Mazda MX-30 is available from CHF 36,990 – an unrivaled price for an electric car of this size.

Mazda MX-30

Engine: electric motor, perm. synchronous

Power: 145 hp/271 Nm

Drive: front, auto 1 gear

L×W×H: 4395×1795×1570mm

trunk volume: 366-1171l

Weight: 1645kg

0-100km/h: 9.7 sec.

Vmax: 140km/h

Consumption: 17.3kWh/100km

Range WLTP: 200 km

Price: from 36990 francs

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