With rivals offering 250+ mile ranges in cars with similar price tags, it’s a bit of a shock to find Mazda’s electric car effort is only capable of going 124 miles between charges. After trying it on UK roads, we’d guesstimate that equates to an average of 100-110 miles in the real world. But like MINI, Mazda has decided to keep the cost and weight of the MX-30 low with a smaller power pack which, in reality, will be perfectly adequate for drivers who drive the national average of 20 miles a day. We'd like just a little more though to give a 'comfort buffer' on occasional longer trips. The range anxiety isn't helped because the car warns you of a 'low battery' when you have around a third of the battery charge left. You soon learn to ignore it though.
With a comparatively small 35.5kWh capacity, the MX-30 has an identical battery size to the Honda e and sneaks ahead of the MINI Electric. But it’s smaller than all of its other main rivals, with a Hyundai Kona offering 64kWh and an MG ZS having 72kWh, for example. The advantage of the smaller battery is a lower cost and weight, which means the Mazda is more affordable and better to drive too. The MG4 and BYD Dolphin blow it out of the water though, on both cost and range.
As with all electric modern electric cars, the battery is comprised of Lithium Ion and is mounted under the floor to keep the centre of gravity low and improve handling. It is covered by an eight year or 100,000 mile warranty.
With a range which falls into double digits in colder weather, charging is going to be more of an issue with an MX-30 than it would be for some rivals with bigger batteries. Mazda will provide a dedicated home wallbox as part of the package, which makes charging more convenient as it has a cable ‘tethered’ to the point and you’ll only need to plug in at the car’s end.
Charging is via an inexplicably large flap on the right side of the car, and it will only accept current at a maximum of 6.6kW, compared to the 11 or even 22kWh which is becoming normal in cars like the Peugeot e-208 and Jeep Avenger.
The Mazda also has the ability to be rapid charged at an appropriate DC point, such as those found in motorway service stations and close to major roads. But it is slow compared to rivals, with an 80% charge taking around 40 minutes even though the battery is small. We've experienced it taking substantially longer than that too, so this isn't a car you'll want to use for regular long journeys,