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12 Jan 2023

What We Dislike
Lack of frunk space
Rear windows do not open
200km range may not be for everyone

The Mazda MX-30 is an all electric compact crossover that is easy to love and effortless to drive.


I like this Mazda MX-30. This all-electric compact crossover is like that little mischievous daughter you dote on very much even if she's the underdog. The sort that gets your attention even with the smallest things that she does. The sort that you give a big morning kiss to when she wakes up and an even bigger goodnight kiss before she goes to bed.

It feels wrong because you know she's not the best behaved kid at home, has a very unique character unlike any of her siblings and she just doesn't quite fit in. But therein lies her charm and amicability.

And that brings me to...

Freestyle doors make the MX-30 a unique car
The all-electric Mazda MX-30. This car is the brand's first production electric vehicle that comes with a compact footprint, a coupe-like roofline and rear-hinged freestyle doors - similar to what you'd find in the BMW i3 as well as the Mazda RX-8.

As such, it's a pleasant car to stare at, almost a breath of fresh air compared to the current models in Mazda's lineup where the grilles are large and are overall more aggressive-looking. The Mazda MX-30 takes that antagonistic look down a couple of notches, with a grille that's less blatantly provocative and headlamps that are more squinty then showy.

The charismatic design continues in the interior of the car as well. Here, the cabin utilises sustainable materials such as cork, denim-like fabric as well as breathing fibre - a soft touch material made from recycled PET bottles.

Sustainable materials such as cork, amongst others, is used in the cabin
But don't let these non-leather resources undermine your perception of the cabin's well-appointed disposition, considering how clean and commendable it looks. Having two separated screens - one for climate control and the other for infotainment features - neatly situated from the driver further enhances the MX-30's well thought out design. Space wise, the front two seats will swallow two Singaporean adults with no fuss, while the rear is best left for two rather than three adults.

That said, there are some complaints. For instance, the rear windows don't open, which means you could feel a tad claustrophobic if you're seated at the back. Also, unlike the usual EV suspects, the Mazda MX-30 doesn't come with a frunk, a feature that'll certainly be useful for a compact crossover.

It's easy to love...

The MX-30 holds its own very well around corners
Take the new Mazda out on the open road and all these small quibbles will start to diminish. Yes, the elephant in the room is the fact that the MX-30 only comes with a 200km range on a full charge (I started with 177km), no thanks to a rather small battery pack of 35.5kWh.

However, it's also because of such a small battery pack that the car feels agile and light on its feet. Unlike countless vague and numb steering that have plagued many EVs, Mazda's MX-30 maintains a steering wheel that's communicative and well-weighted.

Steering is communicative and well-weighted
Add a rather playful chassis into the mix and what you get is a car that's eager, fun and most certainly easy to love. Of course, realistically speaking, if performance is your utmost priority, you'd be better off looking somewhere else. With 143bhp and 271Nm of torque on tap, the Mazda MX-30 will cross the 100km/h mark from nought in 9.7 seconds, which isn't fast for an electric vehicle.

But in our books, fast doesn't necessarily equate to fun (think Suzuki Swift Sport or the MINI Clubman). In the case of the Mazda, it has a pace and grace that's more suited around town and even around corners. Drive over undulating roads and pockmarked surfaces and the car's well-modulated suspension and dampers will ensure little to no vibrations are sent to the cabin.

If you're thinking of this car...

It's not just the outside, but the inside as well that makes the MX-30 such a charming car
Needless to mention, there are several other EVs you can also consider. Cars such as the Honda E, Hyundai Kona Electric, MINI Electric and even the Peugeot e-2008 are just as capable. However, most of them do lack the charm and amicability that come with the Mazda MX-30.

Yes, the MX-30 doesn't quite offer the sort of sportiness its name suggests - even though it has a prefix that is shared only with the Mazda MX-5 sports car - but it has respectable cornering and handling traits, is light on its feet, and possesses looks like no other in Mazda's lineup, making it a rather unique offering.

And, yes, it also does have a paltry range that can be off-putting to many, but in reality the MX-30 will be able to last you for about five days before you juice the car up. To me, it's a compromise I'm willing to make if this is necessary to keep the weight of the car low.

It's not perfect, this MX-30, but I like it. I like it enough to compare it to my daughter.


Keen on exploring full-electric crossovers? Here are some cars that may interest you

The Honda-e is a pure joy machine

A sharper and smarter Hyundai Kona Electric

Going clean and green with the MINI Electric

Peugeot e-2008 is an easy-going Gallic crossover

The MG ZS EV makes the case for electric living
Car Information
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Mazda MX-30 Electric 35.5 kWh
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Price

: $184,888

Engine Type

:

e-SKYACTIV EV

Engine Cap

:

-

Horsepower

:

107kW (143 bhp) / 4500 rpm

Torque

:

271 Nm / 243 rpm

Transmission

:

Single-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

-

Top Speed

:

-

Energy consumption

:

n/a

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