It’s October 21st and the country is preparing for yet another lockdown. Mazda have invited us to a first look at some pre-production left hand drive MX-30’s behind closed doors. What is the MX-30 I hear you ask? Well, its Mazda’s first all-electric production vehicle and part of the bigger picture for the brand to show its intentions in the EV segment. This stylish and versatile crossover features an AC synchronous electric motor powered by a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers a range of roughly 200km. This might not sound like a lot on paper but the approach is different here and after factoring in distance travelled by most on a daily basis the smaller battery makes a lot more sense. With AC charging up to 6.6Kw and DC rapid charging designed to meet 125A Combo Charging standards this battery can be kept topped up with ease. Mazda are confident that it’s a real world range also and some claim that’s impossible to achieve.
So what’s behind the striking design and are those suicide doors we see? Yes not since the cool Mazda RX-8 have we seen a setup like this. The front doors open forward to an angle of 82 degrees, while the rear doors open backwards to an angle of 80 degrees to reveal a trendy and functional interior. When you jump in the sense of space is enhanced thanks to the floating centre console that sits independently from the dashboard, while the use of eco friendly materials give it a quality finish. Most notable is the cork lined centre console trays and door-cards. Harvested from the bark of trees the use of cork and door trim materials incorporates fibres from recycled plastic bottles and although it looks soft it’s actually incredibly hard wearing. The lower console houses the 7-inch colour touch-screen air conditioning control panel and everything is within easy reach of the driver.
Mazda’s standard interior equipment includes Adaptive LED signature headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, 8-way electric adjustable drivers’ seat, head-up display, a leather wrapped steering wheel and chrome trim accents. As you’d expect the MX-30 First Edition comes with Mazda Connect, navigation, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the technology tally also includes Mazda Radar Cruise. On the exterior the Soul Red Crystal paintwork against the black roof and grey side panels make it look modern and somewhat futuristic.
Mazda’s launch edition MX-30 will be powered by a synchronous AC electric motor, fed by a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The powertrain has an output of 141bhp and 265Nm of torque, which is good for 0-100km/h in about 10 seconds. More options will follow in 2021.
The Mazda MX-30 has been awarded the maximum five-star rating by Euro NCAP in its latest series of tests, with 91% and 87% scores in its respective adult and child occupancy categories. 91% is the best Adult Occupant Protection result yet registered amongst all vehicles tested in the latest 2020 Euro NCAP ratings. Despite the MX-30 adopting Mazda’s center-pillar-less doors, excellent collision safety performance has been achieved through the rigid body and structures that essentially absorb crash energy. In addition, the frame structures provide excellent protection to the high-voltage battery.
This debut Mazda MX-30 First Edition is limited to early customer orders only at the price of €42,295 or €32,295 inclusive of the SEAI grant and VRT rebate. If you are keen to order an Mazda MX-30 First Edition you will also qualify for the €600 wall box home charger SEAI grant. The MX-30 does come with both a Type 2 mode 2 charge cable for 3-pin plug charging and a Type 2 mode 3 charge cable for AC charging via home or public charge points. It’s worth noting that the DC socket allows for rapid charging up to 50Kw also. If you have access to one of these chargers you can get backup to 80% of your battery in just 30 to 40 minutes.
After our indoor briefing we were let loose for an hour-long test-drive in the MX-30. I opted for the coast road south bound from Dun Laoghaire enjoying the twisting roads keeping the sea to my left. Chassis performance is enhanced by Electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus), which uses the motor torque to optimise the front-rear load shift for improved stability. Gone is that electric car launch in favour of a planted pleasant take off with smooth power delivery. On the brakes you get a seamless transfer between energy regeneration and hydraulic brake action, which again makes it so pleasant to drive. My 40 kilometers route used up about 55 kilometers of battery range but I was driving rather spirited to get a feel for the car. Soon a right hand drive press car will go on the fleet and I look forward to spending a week with the MX-30 and giving a real world evaluation. For now though, I must say, its yet another mighty impressive offering from Mazda.
A little pricey
Range if you are a rural dweller.