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Mazda is not one of the largest car companies in the world, but one which dares to be different, The Hiroshima based company has produced a variety of vehicles from its first venture into transport with a three wheel truck, through the rotary engine era, to cars for everyday use, to sports cars and now to the electric highway with the new MX-30- which too dares to be different!

In the autumn of last year, I previewed the MX-30 but there is nothing like the real thing and I spent a week behind the wheel recently. The new MX-30 is a battery electric compact SUV with the styling cues of a coupe, it is stylish, versatile and an EV that features an AC synchronous electric motor and a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers a range of 200km (124miles) plus and comes with AC charging up to 6.6kW and DC rapid charging designed to meet 125A Combo Charging standards.

Although the range quoted by Mazda is 200km (124m), my best was 188km (117m), not really far off the mark and I must admit; I would like a better range. The city range given is 265km (165m) which would suggest that the MX-30 could be described as a city car. I found it equally at ease in the town/city or on a challenging country road. Certainly, there is  no disappointment when it comes to standard equipment which includes LED headlights with daytime running lights, reversing camera, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Intelligent Speed Assist, navigation and head-up display. Also, there is a Type 2 AC charging cable and a socket for DC rapid charging, which allows for charging from 20 to 80 per cent battery in just 36 minutes.

There are a number of versions and my test MX-30 was in Sport Lux trim I have no doubt that this particular trim will prove popular, as it features 18 inch bright metallic alloy wheels and an increase in standard equipment with the addition of power seats, lumber support adjustment and smart keyless. There is the option to choose the optional three-tone design on Soul Red Crystal or Ceramic Metallic main body colours. In addition, Polymetal Grey Metallic can be matched to a Brilliant Black roof and Silver Metallic side panels.

Full marks to the Mazda designers, as the exterior is a rather unique expression of Kodo design; styling emphasises the cars beauty as a solid mass, while the freestyle doors (a flashback to the RX-8) and framed glasshouse hint at the open spaciousness of the cabin. The front doors open forward to an angle of 82 degrees, while the rear doors open backwards to an angle of 80 degrees to reveal the stylish and driver focused interior. Many may see this rear door arrangement as novel; I found it very practical, ease of entry to the rear seats.

The real test of any car is when you take the wheel and the MX-30 has been designed to deliver the intuitive responses, natural feedback and involving handling many have come to expect of a Mazda. Electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) enhances chassis performance by using motor torque to optimise the front-rear load shift for improved stability and the MX-30’s Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture is specifically tailored to complement the smooth power delivery of the e-Skyactiv drivetrain. This dynamic focus also extends to a throttle pedal that delivers a seamless transition between linear power delivery and smooth regeneration on lift off, equally, the braking system offers a seamless transfer between energy regeneration and hydraulic brake action. You could say that Mazda has come late to the EV, that maybe true, however much thought has been getting it right and the MX-30 is testament to that. I was very impressed by the build quality and just how easy the MX-30 drove, simply effortless, a totally rewarding drive. MX-30 has also introduced Connected Services via the MyMazda app which allows the ability to control charging, remote control air-conditioning along with additional remote vehicle commands such as door locking and vehicle finder.

On the subject of performance, judged when I took the wheel, rest to 100kph (62mph) takes 9.7 seconds. Okay, not at all earth shattering I will admit, but the quality of drive compensates and top speed- 140kph (87mph.) The version tested had a paint option and it has a three year/60,000 mile warranty with an eight year/100,000 mile battery warranty, the latter is reassuring.

Ian Lynas


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