Mazda claims in its marketing materials that instead of going for versatile range, they chose to pack the MX-30 with a weak electric motor and short-range battery because that’s all the typical driver needs. I am skeptical. That sounds like a justification for underinvesting in EV technology all these years. It doesn’t matter that most trips in the car are under 100 miles. Cumulatively, all the short trips add up quickly. Trying to fit a day of commuting to and from work plus errands in the MX-30 means playing a never-ending game of range anxiety that involves starting each trip with a maximum (or 80 percent) charge and carefully planning where to top up. and wondering if you will have enough power left at the end of the day to get home.
The MX-30 can only charge up to 50kW on a fast charger. That pales in comparison to the 115-150kW available in the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the astonishing Kia EV6, which can reach over 200kW at top speed. Still, it has such a small battery that it doesn’t take that long to charge from 20 to 80 percent. I managed the task in about 40 minutes on a fast charger that didn’t quite reach its peak of 50kW throughout the charging time.
However, the MX-30’s remaining range estimator on the dashboard was the most accurate of any EV I’ve driven. Since it said I had 60 miles of range, I knew that 40 miles down the road I would have about 20 miles of range left, even if I was swinging between bumper-to-bumper traffic and freeway cruising. At least that’s a consolation prize for having such a short range.
That said, road trips in the MX-30 would be boring beyond comprehension if you have to stop every 50 to 75 miles to plug in, and it’s downright impossible across many stretches of the country where there are few charging stations. . Not to mention that lithium-ion EV batteries behave just like lithium-ion batteries in other consumer products, such as phones. If you charge it to full every time, you will degrade the battery much faster than if you only charge it to 80 percent. Charge the MX-30 to 80 percent, though, and you’re just getting started 80 miles range.
Beautiful interior, bland screen
The MX-30 mounts an 8.8-inch touchscreen atop the dash and a separate 7-inch climate control touchscreen below the shifter. The dash itself divides the space between the two screens, so there’s no one-of-a-kind giant tablet that handles all functions like the Tesla, Polestar 2, Mustang Mach-E and, well, most electric cars these days.