2022 Mazda MX-30: Pros, Cons, and Considerations
As new regulations require automakers to phase out gasoline vehicles in some states, we’re starting to see more brands that haven’t yet built an electric car dip their toes into the market. Some articles refer to these EVs as “compliance cars.”
That’s where the Mazda MX-30 EV comes in. It isn’t trying to be the fastest electric car or the electric car with the longest range. It’s simply trying to meet its legal requirements in a way that will satisfy the needs of Mazda drivers.
The company is expected to launch an all-electric version of the MX-30 first, followed by a plug-in hybrid later in 2022. For now, it will only be available in California.
Here’s everything you need to know about the first Mazda electric car, and whether you should give it a test drive or consider another model.
Mazda MX-30 EV Overview
To get an idea of what the Mazda MX-30 is like, a good place to start is with the Mazda CX-30. Both cars are compact crossover SUVs with a similar shape and size, although the MX-30 swaps out the gas-powered engine for an electric motor.
Like most electric cars, it has a lithium-ion battery pack that needs to be plugged into a home charger or public charging station to get a full charge. It also uses regenerative braking to recharge the battery when you slow down or stop.
Since it’s a fully electric vehicle, you can’t rely on a gasoline engine as backup, but future models may include a hybrid version with a rotary engine that runs on gas.
For now, here’s the latest on the Mazda MX-30’s price, availability, and other specs:
Price and Availability
The Mazda MX-30 EV has a starting price of $33,470, while the Premium Plus edition starts at $36,480. There’s no difference in range, battery capacity, or powertrain. The main differences are in the interior stylings and safety features.
For example, the standard edition has an 8-speaker audio system, while the Premium Plus gets 12 speakers and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. It also has extra features like an auto-dimming side mirror, a heated steering wheel, and Blind Spot Assist.
Both trims are available for the 2022 model year, but only around 500 cars are expected to be produced, and they’ll only be available for sale in California.
Battery Capacity and Range
When it comes to performance, both trims have a 35.5-kWh battery that takes around 14 hours to charge on a standard power outlet. It can charge in three hours using a 240-volt charger or 36 minutes at a DC fast charging station.
The battery capacity is low for a 2022 EV, though, and MX-30 owners can expect to get only 100 miles of range on a single charge. That should be more than enough for daily commuting, but drivers who want to take their car on road trips will have to wait for a version with a hybrid engine or a range extender.
As for fuel economy, the MX-30 EV has MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent) of 98 city/highway combined, according to EPA estimates.
Aside from these basic specs, what can you expect from the MX-30? In short, it offers the same perks as other Mazda vehicles like the CX-30 and Mazda3, including a fun driving experience and a high-quality interior.
With a 143-horsepower motor and 100 lb-ft of torque, the MX-30 is no sports car, but its front-wheel drive and G-Vectoring Control provides smooth control and handling that’s well-suited for an electric crossover of its size.
The MX-30 doesn’t have the one-pedal-driving mode found in EVs like the Chevy Bolt and Nissan LEAF, but you can toggle between regenerative braking modes using the control paddles on the steering wheel.
The MX-30 gets high marks for interior design, with sustainable materials that give it a classier look than similar EVs in its price range.
Although it doesn’t have Tesla’s vegan leather seats, you’ll get comfortable front seats lined with recycled upholstery and a center console made with cork.
The MX-30 also has unique freestyle doors, which means the front and back doors open together with no column in between them. (This can be either a pro or a con depending on how often you use the rear seats for cargo space or passengers.)
Mazda has partnered with ChargePoint, an EV charging network, to offer several tools and incentives to MX-30 owners.
First, you’ll get access to the ChargePoint app, which you can use to find fast charging stations on the road and get notifications when your battery is low.
You’ll also be eligible for a $500 credit that you can use for public charging or to install a Level 2 charging station at home.
Some MX-30 owners may also benefit from the electric car tax credit and other rebates and incentives in the state of California.
In spite of these appealing features, there are a few limitations to the MX-30 compared to similar crossover SUVs like the Hyundai KONA and Kia Niro.
The main drawback to the Mazda MX-30 is its small battery pack and limited range. A few years ago, an electric car with 100 miles of range would have been a competitive model, but now, it’s at the lower end of the spectrum.
Hatchbacks like the Chevy Bolt and Nissan LEAF get well over 200 miles of range on a single charge, and some Tesla models get more than 400.
Of course, extra range isn’t necessary if you don’t plan to use it. The MX-30’s 100-mile range is plenty for local commuters who don’t take long-distance trips.
Plus, Mazda is offering a unique Elite Access Loaner Program for MX-30 owners: For up to three years after buying an MX-30, you can borrow a Miata or another gas-powered Mazda for free for up to 10 days per year.
As electric cars get more and more high tech with each new model year, the lack of a touchscreen in the MX-30 is pretty surprising.
True, you’ll get an 8.8-inch center display and a 7-inch LCD instrumentation dashboard, but you’ll have to control it with voice commands or a center console dial. The MX-30 also has Bluetooth compatibility and works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
While the interior stylings are impressive, the passenger volume and cargo space are a bit on the small side. You’ll get 21 cubic feet of cargo space when the seats are up, and 30 inches of legroom in the rear.
Combined with the low coupe-style roof and freestyle doors, the rear seats may feel a little cramped for some passengers.
Should You Buy Mazda’s First Electric Car?
At the end of the day, should you drive home with a Mazda MX-30 or wait for a different Mazda electric car? That depends on your driving habits — and where you live.
Mazda is a reliable Japanese car brand, so if you’re drawn to the unique features of this EV, then it’s likely to be a solid electric vehicle. However, it’s only available in the state of California, so drivers who live elsewhere will have to wait.
If you don’t live in California, or if you’re looking for something specific in an EV — such as range, performance, or battery capacity — then you may want to consider one of these other upcoming electric cars to get excited about instead.