Review - Mazda MX-30

AF By Alexi Falson October 28, 2021

image for Review - Mazda MX-30 The Mazda MX-30 is a hugely important car for a manufacturer that has been somewhat slow to get the hybrid and electric-powered ball rolling.

For years, as the competition adopted hybrid powertrains, Mazda stuck to its lineup of extremely efficient engines and didn’t give buyers a hybrid option… until now. With the introduction of the MX-30 platform, Mazda is jumping in the deep end of the hybrid-engined pool, offering customers the choice of a petrol-electric hybrid and pure electric vehicle. 

The problem with coming in fairly late to the game, though, is that the MX-30 faces some pretty stiff and already established competition. In the hybrid-powered compact SUV range, the MX-30 M Hybrid comes up against the likes of the Toyota CH-R Hybrid and Subaru XV Hybrid and the Kia Niro Hybrid. With that in mind, how well does the Mazda MX-30 perform against its competition and stack up as an overall value for money proposition for your next car? Let’s find out. 

Starting Price: $33,990

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Mazda MX-30 (221kW) Specifications

Make MAZDA
Model MX-30
Series M30A
Variant G20E ASTINA MHEV
Body 4D WAGON
Fuel type UNLEADED PETROL/ELECTRIC
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine DIRFI
Engine capacity 1998
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 400
Cylinders 4
Torque 200
KW 114
Fuel tank size 51.0
Fuel usage specs 6.4 / 0.0
CO2 150
ANCAP security rating 5

How Much Does It Cost?

The Mazda MX-30 range kicks off from $33,990 for the entry-level G20e Evolve, which rises to $36,490 for the G20 Touring variant. The range then moves to the MX-30 G20e Astina variant which is priced from $40,990. If you’re after a pure electric MX-30, it’s available in the top-spec Astina grade only, otherwise known as the E35 Astina, which is priced from $65,490. 

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What Features Does the Mazda MX-30 M Hybrid and Electric Have?

Mazda’s entry-level MX-30, the G20e Evolve comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels and is fitted with key features like automatic LED headlights, an 8.8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio and satellite navigation, a 7.0-inch instrument screen, dual-zone climate control, folding mirrors, automatic wipers, adaptive cruise control, reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wheel-mounted paddle shifters, eight speaker sound system, as well as a host of active safety equipment that we’ll cover later in this review. 

Stepping up to the G20e Touring variant adds a Maztek interior upholstery with leatherette, cork and recycled textiles, keyless entry, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and auto-dimming rear-view mirror and illuminated mirrors. 

Moving to the range-topping MX-30 Astina adds special set of 18-inch alloys, as well as adaptive LED headlights, heated front seats and steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, 12-speaker sound system from BOSE, vintage brown seats, heated mirrors as well as front-mounted parking sensors, front-cross traffic alerts, surround-view camera and driver attention alerts. The MX-30 electric is offered as an Astina-only trim-level, meaning you get the full host of Mazda’s features.

Range Features: 

  • 18-inch alloy wheels 

  • Automatic LED headlights 

  • 8.8-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Reversing camera with rear-mounted parking sensors 

  • Leather steering wheel 

  • Wheel-mounted paddle shifters 

  • Keyless entry (G20e Touring)

  • Leatherette Maztek seat upholstery (G20e Touring) 

  • Surround-view camera (G20e & E35 Astina)

  • Adaptive LED headlights (G20e & E35 Astina)

  • 12-speaker BOSE sound system (G20e & E35 Astina)

  • Panoramic sunroof (G20e & E35 Astina)

  • Heated seats & steering wheel (G20e & E35 Astina)

  • Front-mounted parking sensors (G20e & E35 Astina)

Mazda MX-30 Colours

Ceramic 3-Tone Polymetal Grey 3-Tone
Soul Red Crystal 3-Tone Arctic White
Polymetal Grey Ceramic Metallic
Machine Grey Metallic Jet Black Mica

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The Mazda MX-30 is a very close relative to the CX-30, which means that if you’ve had experience behind the wheel of one of Mazda’s 2.0-litre crossovers, the MX-30 will feel extremely familiar. In terms of driving, the MX-30 positions itself within the lineup as a comfortable daily driver, with the added bonus of a hybrid powertrain that can gather energy lost during braking and redeploy it as you pick up speed again. The engine offers enough power to get you up to speed, although there’s no sense of urgency on offer, even with that electrical boost. Power is sent to the front wheels via Mazda’s clever six-speed automatic transmission, which offers extremely smooth shifts. 

Mazda’s steering is surprisingly heavy at low speeds, which can make the process of parking and low-speed manoeuvres a bit of a workout compared to its competitors, but overall, it remains a simple and straightforward car to pilot through the city. On longer journeys, the steering is weighted perfectly at speed, offering the driver some nice feedback. As a daily driver, the MX-30 hybrid lineup is every bit as accessible and simple as you’d expect from a Mazda, and would comfortably fit into anyone’s needs for a comfortable, relaxing commuter or holiday cruiser. 

As for the all-electric MX-30 E35, Mazda has fitted a single electric motor pushing out 107kW/271Nm of torque, which offers a more immediate sense of acceleration in the real-world compared to its petrol-hybrid siblings. Around town, the MX-30 electric is a pleasure to drive, with suspension that is perfectly suited to Australian roads that offers a stable yet comfortable driving dynamic.The all-electric E35 also receives the same weighty-steering dynamic which makes it feel a lot more engaging when you’re pushing it through corners. 

As a package, then, the MX-30 lineup more than meets the standard and expectations of a smooth, comfortable and family-friendly crossover SUV, and while it might lack in excitement, you could argue that a car like this doesn’t need to excite. Instead, they should perform effortlessly, and consistently, which are two boxes that the MX-30 range more than ticks. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

The MX-30’s cabin features a new, next-generation design from Mazda, who has already cemented itself a reputation when it comes to great interiors. Depending on which variant you opt for, the interior features recycled textiles and the company’s Maztek vegan-friendly leather that looks and feels great. There’s two screens in the centre of the cabin, as well as a functional centre console that features cup holders, space for your smartphone, and bins either side of the transmission tunnel for storing loose items. The front of the cabin is a great place to sit, with a heap of adjustment for the driver to get comfortable and a huge amount of leg and headroom for those seated in the front of the cabin. 

For the rear passengers, there’s a new door design, reaching back to Mazda’s ‘freestyle,’ or ‘suicide’ doors, which are mounted to the rear of the C-pillar and open up from the rear, offering a large, unobstructed view into the cabin. While they look great, they can make the process of stepping inside the MX-30 more of a task than perhaps it should be. Once passengers are aboard, most will find the rear seats comfortable and spacious, although taller passengers will struggle when it comes to legroom on longer trips, and headroom is less than adequate for those above 180cm. Once you’re inside, there’s easily-accessible ISOFIX mounts and top tether points, although the freestyle door design means that you might have to adjust the driver or front passenger’s seat to fit a child seat, as the rear door can be intrusive. In the rear of the MX-30, there is 311L of cargo storage on offer in the boot, which is slightly smaller than the CX-30, and lacking compared to its key rivals in terms of boot space. 

All up, the MX-30 lineup is the perfect car for young families or those without the need to squeeze large bodies into the rear of the cabin, and benefits from an extremely fresh and personable interior design. While it can’t out-perform its competitors in terms of sheer practicality, the MX-30 evens the scorecard when it comes to the design of its latest-generation Mazda cabin. 

Is it Safe? 

Mazda’s MX-30 range has been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP, scoring 91% for adult occupant protection and 87% for child occupant protection. As standard, all MX-30 variants are fitted with blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, a rear view camera with parking sensors, rear cross-traffic assistance, adaptive cruise control and 10 airbags. Opting for Mazda’s optional Vision Technology package, or the more expensive Astina variant adds a surround-view camera, adaptive LED headlights, front-mounted parking sensors and front cross-traffic alerts. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Mazda is a manufacturer renowned for its lineup of economic SKYACTIV engines, so with the release of its first hybrid model, you might expect to see one of the most economical vehicles on the market. Sadly, the MX-30 lineup fails to impress when it comes to fuel economy, largely down to a fairly simple mild hybrid powertrain which captures energy lost during braking, rather than a more traditional hybrid system that uses a larger battery and adds more power during driving. The MX-30 M Hybrid is rated at 6.4L per 100km on a combined cycle, which means that in spite of its hybrid powertrain, it barely offers an economy bonus over the CX-30 range. 

Mazda has, however, confirmed that the MX-30 range is set to gain a range-extended hybrid variant next year which will receive a more conventional hybrid engine design, set to offer significantly improved economy figures. 

How Far Can the Mazda MX-30 E35 Travel on a Single Charge? 

Mazda says that the MX-30 E35 can travel up to 200km on a single charge, on the stringent WLTP standard, and up to 224km on more lenient ADR tests. For comparison, this range figure sits below key rivals like the MG ZS EV (263km), the Hyundai Kona Electric (484km) and the Nissan Leaf (315km). 

Our Verdict: Is the Mazda MX-30 Worth it?

As Mazda’s first foray into the world of hybrid and electric vehicles, the MX-30 is an extremely impressive car that shows promising signs of what is to come from one of the world’s leading manufacturers. In its first generation, the MX-30 electric has laid down such a solid platform to build upon that we expect future generations to potentially set the pace for the segment. 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty 

  2. Five-year capped price servicing package available 

  3. 6.4L per 100km range 

  4. 200km range for pure electric 

  5. 311L of boot space 

Pros 

  • Great interior design

  • Smooth powertrain and transmission combination 

  • Ride quality and agility at speed 

Cons

  • Limited practicality in the rear seats and boot 

  • Steep prices and short range for all-electric variant 

  • Underwhelming economy figures for a brand-new hybrid vehicle 

Mazda MX-30 Competition




Mazda MX-30



VS
Chevrolet Trax
Ford Ecosport
Hyundai Venue
Subaru Crosstrek
Nissan Kicks

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