Driving the Mazda MX-30 EV | Hands-on Car Review
This is the first electric vehicle from mazda and initially it was supposed to have a rotary range extender. It was supposed to herald the return of the rotary engine. However, things have changed and it is here in the united states well in california, for a starting price of just over 33 thousand dollars, but it only has a hundred miles of range. Is that enough to be competitive in todays marketplace, or is it just a compliance car were here to find out Music up front mazda maintains its most traditional design, though it is a bit more aggressive, it does have angel eye headlights and a much more pronounced headlight Than on previous models, including the cx30, those led headlights have automatic high beams as standard along with a full suite of safety features, including lane keep assist. Adaptive cruise control and an excellent 360 degree surround view camera. The rear three quarter angle is the most aggressive styling on the mx 30, including the silver roof, contrasting this fantastic red paints. One downside to this extremely stylish roof, however, is the rear three quarter view out the side when youre checking your blind spots, its nearly impossible to do it by eyes. You have to rely on the blind spot monitoring of the vehicle and, as we know, sometimes that can false. The mx30 is a five door crossover. However, if you look at the side, youll notice that theres only two doors that seem to be there.
Where are the other two you might ask? Well, the front door is open like a traditional crossover or sedan or literally any other car. However, the rear doors are very reminiscent of the rx 8 as they open rearwards. That means that its easier for people to get in and out of the rear seats, because there is no b pillar in the way obstructing obstructing usability. However, it does mean that the front doors have to be open first. So if you do have a child in the back seat, who might have to use the restroom theyre going to have to wait for the front passenger to climb out of the vehicle before they can run inside and use the facilities so its an interesting trade off. For space, however, it does mean that you do have to be a little more cautious of when you open the doors, because if you shut the front door first, the rear door wont shut. Now were going to experience the mx 30, where mazda claims is its home. Turf, which is out on the canyon roads surrounding the los angeles area, this vehicle is a front wheel, drive based crossover, which front wheel, drive, rear wheel drive. You would definitely think that, like mazda would would like to go for wheel, wheel, drive in an electric car, so its a little weird to see it front in front wheel drive. But if you check out our polestar 2 front wheel, drive right up in video youll find that really it doesnt matter quite as much in one of these vehicles.
That being said, acceleration is fine. I actually think the leaf probably accelerates a tiny bit quicker um. The more high end vehicles, the the polestar. Definitely a tesla single motor is much quicker 260 miles an hour than what than what this mazda is and will be um, but that doesnt mean its necessarily bad. I mean its enough speed to kind of get out of its own way. It is very easy on the highway to hit the cars top speed, possibly if you were in mexico or in a place that doesnt have a speed limit, um, but its it is fairly quiet at highway speeds um. It is fairly quiet sort of here on this. This back road im, not sure if the microphone is picking it up its kind of hard to tell but mazda actually pumps in some dynamic engine noise, uh similar to like what ford does with the maki um and some of the other electrics they try to. They try to synthesize its, not really an engine note per se, but they try to synthesize something to kind of add to the the sensation of speed. Objectively, this isnt a bad car uh, the 100 miles of range means they only have to fit a 33 in odd number, 33. Thirty, three eight um well have the exact number below the screen right now for you um, but thats the the kilowatt hour battery pack. So because they can do that, they can actually keep the weight down in the car, which does mean this car feels lighter than its competition.
When you start to give it a little bit of a hustle, it also means that they dont have to make the suspension as stiff, and they dont have to focus as much on lugging around all of the extra weight that the battery brings brings to the table. So between that and some other light weighting methods, uh the car is not too bad um. I dont know if somebody buying this car is gon na hustle up a canyon road uh. If theyre gon na stick with the mazda to do that, theyre still gon na buy the gas powered miata um there are better sort of hustling cars too. I think you know, i think the pole star is a great example um, even though thats priced at with the dual motor and the performance version nearly double what this vehicle costs, so yeah thats a lot of money but um in this sort of 33 to 35 000 range uh, pre tax incentive, the mini cooper se comes comes to mind, which has um when we first tested it. It had 110 miles of range 115 miles of range theyve since upped that to about 130 miles of range, so realistically that 130 miles of range is a little bit more than what this mazda offers. But if you want an inexpensive, very fun, very fun to drive electric, i think the mini is a good way to go. But if you need a little bit more space, this dynamically is pretty good im, really im really happy with the way that it handles.
Given the front wheel, drive architecture, given the lower horsepower numbers uh, given sort of some of the trade offs that come with the car um, some things that i really like just through the general through the general driving uh. When i first climbed the car, all the driver assist functions were turned on. There is one massive sort of like button in the corner that you press. It turns all the driver aids off so that its not bugging you for lane, centering and stuff like that, but it does come with all of mazdas advanced driving functions, so itll do lane. Centering itll do adaptive cruise control uh. The the forward and rear camera systems are extremely high resolution very crisp and clear to see the actual infotainment screen, which i cant show you right now, because im driving um is is bright, its colorful its a little tiny. They they take this sort of like landscape approach and they kind of push it a little bit farther up on the um on the cluster, so its not a touchscreen. So you got ta use kind of a little bit of a wonky steering kind of drive. Control thing for it its its okay, like the system itself, works well, its its quick to respond, supports android, auto and apple carplay um. The stereo sounds fine, um, its not a high end premium unit, but sounds pretty good through a lot of the trash music that i like to listen to um, and i mean some of the materials.
I mean ill kind of walk you through a little bit of the materials sort of as were driving um just sort of as we sort of experience i like theres, some padding sort of where my right knee would normally rest. I like that its padded there ive been in some uvs, where that is not padded as a way to sort of save a little bit of money um. So i like that its padded there uh theres some materials that feel great. I mean the steering wheel feels feels great um. The instrument cluster is very mazda, which means its clear, relatively easy to see. Understand, use um, not a lot of extra information, not a lot of customization same with the heads up display. It gives you the information you want without too much extra fuss or you know, moss um, some materials im, not quite sure about such as this sort of this sort of material over here on the door panel um. It is soft to the touch, but it kind of almost feels like packaging material that you would get from like inside an ipad box or or something like that, its its weird im kind of curious on where they sourced that its not bad it. Just it feels like some material thats used in some tech products, kind of thing, which is maybe what theyre going for um the all the climate control functions are controlled through a center touch screen a higher end audi porsche uh.
It works okay, its responsive enough, though it does kind of take a real, solid button press to adjust the climate settings if youre, not quite if you just like brush your finger across it its not going to pick it up. Sometimes you got to hit it. You know give it a good, solid job, um drive modes, its theres various levels of regen that you can control through the paddles on the steering wheel. I do like customization in regen uh. There are cars that only offer sort of like one one region, kind of mode or two, i mean thats fine for most people, but one thing that we experience with our tesla sort of long term is in the standard regen mode in the winter in snow. Sometimes that can be a little too much regen and itll actually kind of almost break traction um so but then theres like its either that or theres like very little regen. I like something in between so hyundai does a good job, its sort of giving you multiple levels of regen. This mazda gives you like four settings, so there is um a lot of customization there, though even in the full regen setting, which i can put it in now it does a lot of regen, but it wont necessarily bring the car to a complete stop. So its not truly a one pedal driving experience, the way that nissans one pedal is, or some of the other, some of the other systems out there.
One last thing that id like to kind of hit on is the actual braking so because its an electric car i mean everythings electric, including the actual brake assist system. So it is a brake by wire system, so theres, just a spring kind of a button. Kind of determines and the computer sorts everything out. The computer is also constantly mixing the amounts of regenerative, braking power and friction braking power, so there isnt necessarily a set. Oh you push the pedal this much youre into the friction brakes. You press it a little bit harder um. You know youre really hitting the friction brakes or, if you press it light. Oh its just going to do regen computers, kind of sorting that out as you go along and they in mazda claims. It gives you a bit more of a natural experience and it can vary from what sort of drive mode youre. In now, i dont necessarily like the idea of the braking system constantly changing, because i actually dont feel like that would be too linear, but in practice sort of down these, this particular canyon, road that were on um, it does feel pretty progressive. It feels pretty natural its really hard to tell through your foot, where it switches from just regen to the friction. Brakes and part of that, though, is just because there isnt actually a brake cable attached. So the computer doesnt articulate that weird feel that weird pedal feeling from the transition from regen to friction brakes.
So it actually ends up feeling a bit more natural and the computer does a fairly good job of sorting that out, probably more information than you ever wanted to know about. Braking but um the car handles it pretty well uh its its a little disappointing that this is going to be in its first model year, a one state only car and theres only gon na make so many of them and and theres a little bit of a Shame because i think that if they sold more of them, you know they would be able to possibly even lower the price them quantities of quantities of scale and stuff like that um. So you really wont see too many of these out here on the road uh. But if you do see one out on a canyon, um know the guys having fun or the girl or whoever is driving is really is really probably enjoying themselves. Youll probably be able to keep up with them because there isnt a lot of straight line, but in the handling department it does pretty well so um. Is it a mazda? I would argue that it is very much a modern day. Interpretation of of what mazda is trying to do the cx 5 drives pretty well. The cx 3 is known to also handle pretty well. Um cx30 is kind of a good little mix of that sort of crossover that smaller crossover but get sporty kind of drive.
This really feels a lot like a cx30. They do share a platform uh just with some extra batteries and stuff added in it. One big thing, though, to kind of take away in the driving experience is i like that? Theres safety features the blind spot monitoring the passenger. The driver passenger mirrors are pretty good size. Um. All the driver, assist cameras and stuff takes up a good amount of windshield space, which is a little bit annoying because they have to actually put the center or the rear view mirror a little bit lower um. Actually, when i had to mount this camera, i had to mount it a little bit farther away just because there isnt enough real estate to do it, but when it comes to visibility, the biggest complaint i have – and it is pretty noticeable – is the rear. Three quarter view out like if youre checking, if you, if youre turning your head to check your blind spot, its all just dark and its because the way the roof is raked, with sort of some design elements that you use to make this vehicle look different than The cx 30 um, i think, is actually a little bit of a poor choice because it is, it is very difficult to check your blind spot. You have to rely too much on the blind spot sensors which work pretty well, but if youve ever driven a car with glidespot monitoring, you know that sometimes itll falls, or sometimes it wont pick it up so um.
I would like. I would really like a little bit more rear three quarter: visibility: sort of over each shoulder the view out the back, its actually great thats, a fairly good size window, much bigger than something you get out of the pull star um and more in line with. So you would should get out of like a tesla model y, so um a little bit of mix. That would be my biggest takeaway. My biggest change would be find some way to give me some more visibility there, but otherwise its a solid mazda driving experience um. I think it delivers what its supposed to do on the tin uh and i look forward to seeing where mazda goes with electrification. Are they gon na focus more on driving dynamics overall and make range sort of an afterthoughts to keep weight and stuff down, or is this just sort of like hey lets test the waters and see how were doing the mazda mx30 handles exactly the way you would Expect because it handles like a modern mazda, unfortunately, with only 100 miles of real world range, it has to be relegated to commuter car status. Are you interested in one of the 560 that are going to be going on sale in california only theyre available for pre order? Now, though, mazda assures us in the next coming year or two, this model, as well as several other electric models, will come to the united states and be sold nationwide, hopefully with a little bit more usable range for some of us that have longer commutes.
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