Published on January 1st, 2023 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mazda MX-30 Might Have A Short Driving Range
This MX-30 could be a best seller if it came with a 2.0L petrol engine.
If you are a car enthusiast who visits car news websites regularly, you will already know by now that all Japanese car manufacturers have not been pushing hard for electric powertrains until a couple of years ago.
The biggest reason is the large battery pack that brings added weight and the high cost of the technology.
Yes, the European car manufacturers and of course the Americans are the ones pushing for plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and full electric powertrains as they chase down emissions issues in their nations and not bother about the effects of battery mineral mining in third world nations.
Meanwhile Japanese car manufacturers like Mazda are only recently looking into electric vehicles and have not pushed hard, even for plug-in hybrids which have proven to be very expensive to build (because they have a petrol engine and also a battery powered powertrain working together) whilst still releasing emissions from its petrol engine and even worse providing very low reliability and lets not forget the plunging resale values after the warranty ends.
So, for Mazda engineers and management, the push has been towards more efficient petrol powered engines which will continue to be released with next generation petrol powered Skyactiv powertrains.
Despite what some of you might think, we are still interested to test drive new electric vehicles, to better understand the ever improving dynamics, battery management software and the use of recycled materials inside the cabin.
Yes, it is a well known feature that most new electric vehicles are coming with highly recyclable materials. Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Porsche and even the Chinese EV manufacturers are all moving in this direction.
This is why this Mazda MX-30 we are test driving, proudly shares information on its many recyclable parts inside this very classy cabin.
Recycling The Cabin
Fact. The idea of using cork in a car’s cabin may seem fanciful, but it actually makes perfect sense when trying to minimize the effects on the environment. Cork comes from the bark of cork oak trees, so it can be collected from the same trees again and again.
The environmental footprint of the cork Mazda uses is reduced further by using leftovers from the production of cork stoppers for wine bottles. By developing a special coating that accentuates cork’s natural characteristics, and creating a method for simultaneously molding a mixture of cork and base materials, the warmth and beauty of the material is complemented by an in-built durability.
Then there is plastic waste. Plastic waste is a global concern, but by using recycled bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET for short), Mazda has created “breathing” fabric that can be used in a car’s cabin.
The term “breathing” refers to the texture, like human breathing, it is uneven and warm and the fabric looks as though it is suffused with air. In some respects, it is similar to washi, Japanese paper, which is made from intertwined fibers.
Washi provides the design inspiration for this non-woven fabric, which can be intricately shaped while giving a unique look and feel for a classic, stylish finish.
Finally, Mazda is now challenging this way of thinking with a fresh approach. On its latest Premium Vintage Leatherette, top-quality vegan leather is used for the base of the material and printed with a classic vintage leather pattern.
This is then finished with a carefully measured silicon coating that gives it a sense of depth and texture, ensuring it is satisfying to touch.
This is where the biggest stumbling block is for this Mazda. The Mazda MX-30 is powered by a single 143hp electric motor with 271Nm of torque being sent to the front wheels. A refrigerant cooled 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery gives it only a 199km driving range.
With the ‘price rivals’ providing more than double the battery driving range, why buy this MX-30? At the RM198,780 asking price for this fully-imported from Japan electric car, the rivals from Korea, Japan and China offer longer driving range (some more than double) and with similar or bigger cabin space.
Meanwhile, AC Charging is done with a Type 2 plug and DC Fast Charging uses the CCS2 interface. DC Fast Charging of up to 40 kW is supported to recover usable range (80 percent battery) in 36 minutes.
So, owning this Mazda EV means, using it as a city commuter vehicle and charging the battery should be done overnight at home. For the wealthy, this is easily done as they could be having 5 to 6 cars in their garage and this Mazda serves as the inner city vehicle.
Or, for a retired person of ‘means’, this Mazda EV is a daily errand vehicle that might only need to be charged once a week. Then a second vehicle in the garage is used for long interstate drives or when necessary.
Driving The MX-30
Well, it is definitely right up there with the European rivals in terms of build quality and cabin features. Start the powertrain. Move the quality ‘feel’ gear shift into ‘D’ and it will glide into traffic with ease.
Interestingly, this Mazda feels planted and very stable at high speeds, with good handling and steering feel. Power delivery is good and ‘controlled’ to ensure good driving range and a very SUV-like drive feel.
Meanwhile, e-GVC Plus ensures the MX-30 drives like a true Mazda while an electronic shifter and multi-function commander knob, and 8.8″ Mazda Connect display give the driver his/her interface. The MX-30 comes with a 360-degree view monitor, power adjustable seats with 2-position memory function and 12-speaker Bose sound system.
This Mazda MX-30 comes with i-Activsense ADAS, meaning that features such as Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Attention Alert with Driver Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist, and more come as standard.
This car also comes with Adaptive LED Headlights, Front Cross Traffic Alert, as well as Cruising and Traffic Support features.
So, if you think the MX-30 electric car is not your ‘cup of tea’ just go and buy another EV that makes more sense for your budget.
We wonder, if Mazda engineers were to install a 2.0L petrol engine under the front hood, will it sell as well as all the other Mazda models?
Mazda MX-30 Specifications
Battery Capacity: 35.5kWh
Useable Battery: 30.0kWh
Efficiency: 176 Wh/km
Range NEDC: 199km
Max power: 143hp
Max torque: 271Nm
Top Speed: 140km/h
0-100 km/h: 9.7 seconds
Selling Price: RM198,780.