Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld
Mazda MX-30 GT
This week we are reviewing the Mazda MX-30 GT. Our vehicle was assembled at the Hiroshima Plant in Japan and has an MSRP of CAD 47,150.00. (Before incentives)
The MX-30 might be one of the coolest vehicles currently offered; it's different and quirky at the same time. The fact that Mazda kept the suicide doors on the production model is formidable. We got to test it during one of the coldest weeks, making this test quite daunting for an EV with a small battery. But this begs the question, are 35.5 kWh enough for daily commutes?
Fun Factor: 6
How does the MX-30 drive? It doesn't drive as eccentric as it looks. Being shaped like an SUV, AWD would have been an interesting option. Part of this layout kind of reduces the enjoyment of driving it. With such a low production vehicle, it would have been interesting to use a rear-wheel layout, similar to other EV manufacturers. It would have added some flair to the driving dynamics that we have gotten accustomed to over the years with Mazda. In reality, the vehicle gets off the line quickly, with a touch of torque steer and squealing from the tires to gain traction. Yes, all of this doesn't scream driving enjoyment; however, the driving experience on a daily basis is very relaxing, and that's all you need for a commuter vehicle.
Can it Family: 7
Our family of 5 found enough space inside the MX-30; the suicide doors make it easier for rear passengers to take place in the compact interior. Surprisingly it did not add complexity for our children to open the door from the outside. Inside is a different story; they can't escape as the front door needs to be opened first, then this person may open the back door so the rear passenger can jump out of the vehicle. The strongest point of the MX-30 is the interior finish; all materials feel high quality and elevate the driving experience. They used cork, and imitation leather, which shows that Mazda wants to join the trendy party. The cork also hints at their heritage, as they started as a cork manufacturer.
Fuel-Friendly: 10 (EVs automatically get 10 in this category)
The announced range of the MX-30 is 161 km; during our winter test, the most we saw was 125km. And the lowest we saw was 99km with a full battery during a winter storm. Seeing these numbers would make some people cringe over the range. In reality, for daily commutes, this was more than enough. If your commute is less than 80km without the option to charge at your mid-point, the MX-30 can be an excellent option. We see the MX-30 as a fantastic commuter vehicle; however, 2 points are hurting it from gaining more interest. The first one is its starting price; people could get over the range if the price would match the range. The second is the speed it charges during the winter on DC/Fast chargers. During a 20 minutes session, we barely got an additional 5kWh added to our battery. (Charging from 31% to 44%) with an electric consumption of 25.2 kWh/100km, that additional 5kWh didn't bring us far.
During our Hwy test, we were amazed by the electric consumption of the MX-30 to situate itself at 32.5 kWh. Naturally, we didn't use our regular test route of 100km with the cold weather, and the round trip was just 50km, which means our battery never really got a chance to get to temperatures to work as effectively as possible.
Karaoke Friendly: 6
Our GT version received the enhanced Bose sound system with 12 speakers, an upgrade over the base version that gets an eight-speaker system. As a surprise, the Mazda does make the Bose system work inside their vehicles. Often Bose systems of other brands lack the richness of sound, which is not lacking in the MX-30. Inside EVs, we find having a good sound system is vital as it elevates the overall driving experience. We are not disappointed with the MX-30 on this point. Now the infotainment can use both Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The screen might not be as big as other EVs. And it might not have a million gadgets, but it works as intended even if we would like it to respond faster. Finally, the climate controls are on a separate screen that's almost bigger than the infotainment; it looks nice, but in our option, Mazda could have used that space differently. On the other hand, it opens up the storage under the central console.
Car seat installation will bring two hurdles. The first one will come with the door opening. While this helps kids get into the vehicles faster and more comfortably than a 2-seater. Getting a large car seat requires some gymnastics as the opening isn't that big. Once you've juggled the car seat within the vehicle, the ISOFIX (latches) ports are hidden by plastic covers that are easily accessible. If you need to install a large car seat, we suggest putting it in the middle seat to give your toddler the most legroom.
City Cruising: 10
The MX-30 works delightfully well in the city. It's astonishing that the footprint is small but can still pack a family of 5. In town, the small battery is more than enough capacity for short commutes; it will get you from one point to another, take care of the kid's school run and work and pick them up, drive them to their afternoon activities and finish up with groceries. Yes, in most cases, the 161km range will be enough to get you through your daily activities. Most will tell me what about when I do need to drive further? That's the beauty of it all; with all the fuel savings, you'll be able to rent a vehicle if the necessity arises.
Why would we buy the Mazda MX-30 or what we like?
The suicide doors make this car look so cool, the fact that even though this is an EV, Mazda didn't make it over-complicated. It has generous cargo room for a vehicle this size. With the small battery, the car has a lower ecological footprint.
Why would we not buy the Mazda MX-30, or what did we not like about it?
The low range makes it uninteresting for some buyers looking to replace their ICE vehicles. In reality, for most, this will be a secondary vehicle or a vehicle used mainly in the city. Not as fast as the EVs and not as sporty as other EVs. The ventilation fans are placed strangely; they would not defrost the windows properly as they're too low.
Mazda has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Mazda Canada. The above reflects our personal opinion of the car referred above.