2022 Mazda MX-30 GT

2022 Mazda MX-30 GT

Underpinned by scalable architecture that will undoubtedly spawn more electrified products.

Mazda has been one of the only automakers holding out on the electric vehicle movement, with no real “green” offerings in the North American market. Rumours of some sort of rotary hybrid have been floating for years, and up until now, there wasn’t even a traditional hybrid in their lineup. This is the all-new 2022 Mazda MX-30 GT, and it is the brand’s first official foray into the green car market.

The MX-30 is a little crossover that’s most easily described as a BMW i3 rival. It’s taller than the regular Mazda3 hatchback, and has tiny rear-hinged back doors that will remind diehards of the rotary RX-8. It’s a handsome thing, and one that got a decent amount of attention throughout our test week. There are resemblances to the Volvo XC40, though the MX-30 looks very obviously designed and produced by Mazda, which is a compliment considering the brand hasn’t let out an ugly car in many moons.

Powered by an electric motor that’s good for 143 horsepower at 4,500RPM and 200 lb-ft. of torque, the MX-30 feels lively and quick on its feet. It has nowhere near as much “wow-speed” as a Tesla Model S or Porsche Taycan, but it doesn’t feel slow by any means and makes child’s play of urban commuting. As with other Mazda models, the chassis feels stiff and the MX-30 is chuckable into a corner, and responds rewardingly. Mazda claims the structure is 45 percent stiffer than that of the CX-30, which already feels great.

The steering is tight and sends a decent amount of feedback to the driver’s fingertips, another area where most other EVs fall short. The MX-30 is crisp, responsive, and confidence inspiring. This model is front-drive only, with no all-wheel-drive available, but with a good set of winter tires, we expect it to be more than sufficient to get drivers through colder climates. Long story short – the MX-30 drives impressively and does provide a level of engagement that is often lost in the quest for sustainability and efficiency.

Here’s the elephant in the room: the MX-30 only has a usable range of about 160 kilometers, which is about on par with the electric MINI Cooper. There’s a reason for this – the MX-30 is built on a versatile platform to offer a conventional EV, a plug-in hybrid, as well as a conventional hybrid. The advantage is the ability to squeeze all of these configurations into one platform, but on the other hand, 160 kilometers is actually abysmal.

With a Level 3 50-kW fast charger, the 35.5-kWh battery can charge from 20 to 80 percent in as little as 35 minutes. On our home Level 2 charger, we observed charge time of about three hours from nearly empty. And with the MX-30’s range, if you do any sort of driving, you’ll be suffering from range anxiety on a regular basis. Those wanting to charge using a standard household outlet will need to be patient, but it’s doable in a pinch if no other charge points are available.

Everything inside the greenest Mazda is eco-friendly, and does nothing to hide it. As a result unfortunately, things feel cheap and appear to be easily breakable. Finishings is “sustainable”, with recycled fabrics and materials used throughout. The seats feel a bit thin and unsupportive, and some flip-up panels that cover the cupholders look and feel flimsy. Neat touches do include cork inserts on the door panels that are a cool throwback to the brand’s history of producing cork. Cargo capacity is 431-liters behind the rear seats, or 1,053-liters with the seats folded down.

On the plus side, the standard-fare Mazda 8.8-inch infotainment system is responsive and offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We’d like to see wireless support for these systems, so hopefully that’s implemented soon. A second 7.5-inch touchscreen on the dashboard houses the climate controls, and looks quite sharp as well. Unfortunately, this screen is prone to fingerprints, which are very obvious in direct sunlight.

As of this writing, the MX-30 is only available in two Canadian provinces – Québec and British Columbia. Pricing starts at $42,150 for the GS model before taxes and fees, while our GT tester came in at $47,150. Notable features on the GT include a 12-speaker Bose stereo, two-tone leatherette upholstery, power driver’s seat, and a series of active safety features.

The 2022 Mazda MX-30 GT is underpinned by scalable architecture that will undoubtedly spawn more electrified products in coming years. Mazda Canada promises that a plug-in hybrid version is on its way next year, with a rotary range extender. For now the MX-30’s short range will push buyers toward EV rivals like the Chevrolet Bolt and Kia Soul, but knowing how passionate Mazda is about driver engagement, we’re excited to see what’s to come after they’ve gotten their feet wet.

See Also:

2022 MINI Cooper SE

2021 Kia Soul EV

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge P8

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