There’s a lot of promising electric vehicles set to grace local dealerships throughout the next few years with respectable range and performance numbers. However, there are also a few that tend to be perplexing due to their discouraging numbers on paper, such as the coming Mazda MX-30 EV, which touts a short driving range of just 100 miles.
To add insult to injury, the new Mazda MX-30 EV not only has a relatively short electric driving range, but it has just 143 horsepower from its front axle-mounted electric motor. What is probably even more discerning is the starting price of the short range but attractive small EV crossover at $34,645 before any fees, destination charges, or discounts. Even though the price of the MX-30 EV is low in comparison to many other newly-announced EVs, it’s still a bit much for having a short 100-mile range with a full charge. Even the Nissan Leaf with a price just under $30K had a range of at least 149 miles and the Chevy Bolt gets 259 miles at a starting price of $31,995.
Where the Mazda MX-30 EV looks to be promising, is in the looks department despite its sub-compact size. Mazda has been known in the past several years for having some good-looking vehicles that stand out in the mainstream segments and add a near-luxurious appeal without the luxury tax. Here, the MX-30 EV seems to fit the expected premium mold and even more so in the upper Premium Plus trim level that adds a 360-degree camera system, premium audio system, specialized paint colors, and other welcomed luxury-themed amenities. There’s also the earth-friendly use of natural and sustainable material throughout the interior, such as cork and breathable fabric upholstery made from recycled plastic bottles. California is sure to like this one! A 7-inch digital gauge cluster and an 8.8-inch infotainment screen with a lower touchscreen will handle the interactive duties along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The suicide doors are also a nice touch.
Other aspects that may keep the MX-30 EV relevant is the idea of Mazda offering a plug-in hybrid version that utilizes a rotary engine in conjunction with the electric motor and the possibility that they may add all-wheel-drive. The smallish 32-kWh battery pack may still be used in the plug-in hybrid version, which may naturally expand the range greatly through the help of the gas-burning rotary engine.
There are several standard active safety features to round up the bevy of equipment to help justify the MX-30 EV’s price, such as automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
A $500 charging credit for ChargePoint is a benefit of purchasing a new Mazda MX-30 EV, which can be applied to public charging stations or the installation of a home charging station. Additionally, Mazda will include a loaner program for MX-30 buyers that allows them to borrow a gas-powered Mazda from a local dealership for up to 10 days per year during the first three years of ownership.
Having several unique benefits for ownership of the upcoming Mazda MX-30 EV sounds great. However, considering the short driving range, power output, and pricing, we’re not so sure this is a new EV that will do much shaking up to the forthcoming EV automotive market.
The 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV will go on sale in October of this year in California and potentially on sale in other markets in the months thereafter.
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