Mazda’s first electric offering is an urban commuter that comes with stuff that will make you go ‘wow’, as well as ‘damn!’

Mazda is the latest entrant in the EV segment. The company has finally launched its first electric crossover in the form of an urban crossover. Moniker’d the MX-30, Mazda revealed the product at its home turf at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show. From the initial impressions, the MX-30 looks like a mixed bag. We’ll hold our verdict till Mazda releases all the details about the MX-30. The Tokyo Auto Show was lukewarm at best and it was the perfect time to launch the crossover with pomp and fare and garner all the attention. But, Mazda has still not revealed everything about it. Missed opportunity? I think yes.

What’s New for 2021?

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The MX-30 is an all-new model and will set a base for Mazda moving forward. As they say, the first impression lasts forever, this product will determine what people will perceive Mazda as an electric automaker.

The MX-30 is based on the CX-30 crossover and measures 4,395 mm in length, 1,795 mm in width, and 1,570 mm in height.

The wheelbase measures 2,655 mm, which is the same as the CX-30.

I’ve always loved the subtle designs that Mazda produces, and the MX-30, fortunately, looks quite good too. Automakers generally tend to go berserk by making electric vehicles look like weird unidentified objects. Although the general perception seems like it looks like the CX-30, I find the front end to have an uncanny resemblance to the Volvo XC40. The signature long-hood Mazda looks are carried over onto this electric-powered crossover as well. The sloping roofline with a blacked-out roof and pillars give it a sporty look. The MX-30 features plastic cladding all along the body at the bottom. The steeply raked rear-windshield comes with a spoiler. The charging port is located behind the right side rear door.

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Speaking of the doors, Mazda brought back rear-hinged ‘freestyle’ doors from the RX-8.

They open the other way round and are similar to suicide doors. Nice move by Mazda to introduce a little touch from the history in its first vehicle that marks the company’s new future. As for the clusters, Mazda has given it the same detailing as its combustion-engined alter ego. So, do we like the overall appearance? That’s a resounding yes!

Pricing and Which One to Buy

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Like I mentioned earlier, Mazda has still not revealed all the details, and the pricing is one of them. The company has not even announced the trims. If it plans to continue the same pattern as its combustion-engined counterparts, we can expect four trims – Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature. We speculate the pricing to start in the ballpark of $37,000 and go all the way up to $45,000.

MX-30 Engine Transmission, and Performance

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Mazda has decided to use the ‘Skyactiv’ moniker in its electric cars too. The MX-30 features a single motor mounted on the front axle. Mazda has dubbed this as the ‘e-Skyactiv’ powertrain.

This arrangement means that the MX-30 will be a front-wheel-drive crossover.

No other specs have been revealed, but Autocar has that the powertrain will churn out 141 horses and 195 pound-feet of torque. The e-Skyactiv basically includes the electric motor, battery pack, inverter, and DC-DC converter. To power the motors, direct current from the battery is converted to alternating current by the inverter, whereas Mazda has installed the DC-DC converter to step down the voltage and pass it on to auxiliary equipment of the crossover.

Mazda MX-30 specifications
Battery 35.5kWh lithium-ion
Horsepower 141 HP
Torque 195 LB-FT
Range 200 km (124 miles)

The specs are clearly not impressive on paper, but electric cars do surprise in real-world conditions. The lag-free powertrains sprint from the word ‘go’ and you won’t find it lethargic at any point, especially considering that this is mainly targeted at people looking for an efficient urban commuter.

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The Mazda MX-30 comes with "Electric G-Vectoring Control Plus" torque vectoring control.

This means that when the crossover is about to hit a corner, the system puts the weight load at the front, and then back to the rear as it exits.

This results in better ride and handling, and gives confidence when thrown around the corners. The ‘MX’ nomenclature could be a tribute to the MX-5 Miata as well. The little roadster is adored by people all over the globe, and it looks like Mazda wants to replicate the same sentiments on this crossover as well. But, if you read between the lines, this may mean that Mazda could have plans to bring out a performance-based trim on the crossover sometime in the future.

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

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The Mazda MX-30 comes packed with a 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the floor. The Japanese automaker says that the battery will deliver up to 124 miles on a single charge. In all honesty, this is a deal-breaker. Hyundai Kona, its primary rival, claims a range of 258 miles on a single charge, whereas the Chevy Bolt is rated at 238 miles. Even the Mini Electric is rated at 145 miles. The only consolation for Mazda here is that the Nissan Leaf is officially rated at 100 miles. According to Mazda, the battery is tied to the body in 20 locations to make it rigid and reduce road noise.

The battery also comes with a refrigerant cooling system.

In domestic conditions, it supports 6.6 kW charging and also supports fast DC charging via a CCS (Combined Charging System) connection. Mazda says that when connected via the 50 kW fast charging, the battery will charge to 80-percent in 30-40 minutes.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

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The EPA figures and the company claims have a lot of differences generally. For instance, Nissan claims 100 miles for the Leaf, but EPA rates it at 73 miles on a single charge. If that is the case with the MX-30 as well, we could be looking at a real-world range between 95-105 miles. Hopefully, the company will bring about a larger battery pack soon after the deliveries have begun.

Interior Comfort and Cargo

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Step into the driver’s seat and you will be welcomed to a rather pleasant, clutter-free cabin. There are a lot of sweet touches in here like a seven-inch touchscreen system to control the air conditioner. There is space behind this that can be used to stuff random knick-knacks. The floating center console design adds more storage spaces as well. To keep things closer to the combustion-engined cars, Mazda has carried over the gear selector lever along with a rotary knob.

In terms of space, the MX-40 seems to be compromised.

The front seems alright, but the rear looks congested. We’ll get a better idea when the car is seen in person, but it is definitely not a spacious cabin. Cargo space looks to be on the shorter side as well. We’ll wait for Mazda to reveal the actual specs. Being a zero-emission car, Mazda tried to implicate the same inside the cabin as well in the form of sustainable material. For instance, the breathable fabric upholstery is made from recycled plastic bottles, cork is used in the car’s center console, etc. Bits of this material can also be found in the median tunnel area between the center armrest cubby and the lower end of the dashboard.

Infotainment and Connectivity

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The exact specs, just like many other things, are not out yet. But, the MX-30 is rumored to come with the same infotainment system as the Mazda 3. This is an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Other than this, there’s the seven-inch touchscreen operator for the HVAC controls. You can expect things like a rear-view camera and navigation as well.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

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The two most trusted agencies - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) - have not ‘crashed’ the car yet.

So, the ratings are not out, but according to Car and Driver, the MX-30 could come with Mazda’s I-Activsense.

This is the company’s suite of safety features that includes collision-mitigation and lane-keeping features, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, to name a few. I hope this is offered as standard on all the trims.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

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Again, no word on this aspect too. Other cars like the CX brothers receive a three-year/36,000-mile warranty in general and a five-year/60,000-mile warranty on the powertrain. There could be a difference here and a longer warranty could be offered on the battery pack. This would instill a sense of faith amongst the customers and people might play a role in the decision making process for potential customers. The Mazda MX-30 is expected to hit the showrooms next year.

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