6 November 2020
With the Mazda MX-5, Mazda brought back the affordable roadster in 1989. Whether the very first electric car of the Japanese brand will become such a success story, the future will tell. When we tried this car, all we can say is: that future lookes promising!
Although it shares much of its DNA with the CX-30, Mazda's compact SUV, Mazda has christened its electric brother the MX-30, and that turns out to be no coincidence. In Mazda's range, the MX letter combination is of course reminiscent of the Mazda MX-5, which is now in its fourth generation. There are many winks to the MX-5, which is known as the ideal driver's car, whose mirror positioning is the most subtle but at the same time the most special.
From the outside, the MX-30 looks like a compact SUV. Don't be fooled however. At first it doesn't look much different from the CX-30, until you try to open the rear door. Then you come face to face with the so-called "suicide doors" that BMW recently introduced on the i3. Make no mistake, this type of door originally came from Japan and more specifically ... yes, from the Mazda RX-8. With the rear door opening in the opposite direction, the tone is immediately set: the MX-30 is not just an electric CX-30.
What immediately catches the eye inside is the use of cork. Where one manufacturer once started with pepper mills, Mazda was a cork manufacturer in the distant past. The result is very innovative and gives a fresh touch to the interior, which also highlights the "floating" middle tunnel. The chair upholstery is made from recycled PET bottles, and some special touches can also be found in the door.
It's not just visual hints. When we take a seat behind the wheel, we first experience electric driving, which Mazda does well. Just like the MX-5, it is not a "horsepower car", but that doesn't mean that it gives less driving pleasure. The MX-30 may not be a "traffic light sprinter" like a Tesla P100D or Jaguar iPace, but it doesn't have to be. The MX-30 is more than smooth enough to get around in traffic, and for many it doesn't need that much power at all.
The MX-30 lives up to its name when driving it. When you take a bendy road it immediately becomes clear why Mazda deliberately went for the letter combination "MX". The electric Mazda shares many characteristics with the world's most famous roadster. With a good weight distribution, the MX-30 is very easy to handle on bendy roads, although you wouldn't expect that when you see it from the outside. If we have to be critical, the driving range is the only drawback we can notice. With a battery pack of 35.5 kWh, the specified driving range is around 180 to 200 km. Not immense, but certainly more than enough for daily commuting. Moreover, the car is fully charged in just under an hour.
It is clear to us that Mazda has thought hard about the MX-30, and we do not just mean the name. The Japanese manufacturer has made many winks to its previous success stories on the MX-30, and the first electric Mazda seems to be a hit. Personally, I would venture to say that it is the ideal car for someone who has yet to get to know electric driving. Because it doesn't have huge power, such as a Jaguar iPace or Tesla Model S P100D, it is the ideal entry-level car. Although it may not have the same driving range as its competitors, it is perfect for daily use. The infotainment system is a bit of a challenge at first, but once you've mastered it, everything falls into place.
Whether it will be as big a success story as the MX-5, the future will tell. They are big shoes to fill, but based on our first experiences it looks promising!
Gregory Eyckmans caught the motor sports bug years ago. In the meantime, he has become a regular photographer on and around the track. And in 2013 he also started racing himself. Meanwhile, he has also become an avid electric driver. So he is the ideal person to test new electric models for VitaeMobility.
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