the electric car that dares to be different

the electric car that dares to be different

The Mazda is a lovely little EV, nice to drive, different in many ways, with real driver appeal, but the range is parlous.

Until we get a range extender version, the MX-30 is only suitable as a second car/urban runabout – provided you don’t fancy a visit to the seaside.

THE FACTS

Mazda MX-30

TESTED AC synchronous electric motor and 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery with step-down gearing, front-wheel drive

PRICE/ON SALE without £3,000 Government PIGG, from £28,545, to £33,045 (£30,495 as tested in First Edition trim)/spring 2021

POWER/TORQUE 143bhp/160lb ft

TOP SPEED 87mph

ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 9.7sec

RANGE 124 miles (WLTP high) 

EFFICIENCY 3.49 miles per kWh

CO2 EMISSIONS zero at tailpipe, well-to-wheels 41.35/km

VED £0 

VERDICT Nice to look at and drive, and genuinely different, Mazda’s MX-30 only lacks one thing to make it a credible contender in the market and that’s a better battery range (until a range-extender version arrives).

TELEGRAPH RATING Three stars out of five

THE RIVALS

Prices don’t include the £3,000 Government grant

Mini Cooper SE, from £27,900

The result of a research programme of various experimental electric Minis, the new SE is unashamedly a city car, but its range of 142 miles makes it (just) possible to consider longer journeys. Nice pointy handling, although the ride on 17-inch wheels and tyres is harsh over bumps.

Honda e, from £29,160

City slicker with a limited range (136 miles) and quite expensive for what it is. Honda’s take on this is like Mazda’s (and Smart’s), viz a city car doesn’t need a big range. The Honda’s design, refinement and charm are beguiling, but the rear seats are super small, and it won’t travel far on a charge.

Peugeot e-2008, from £38,915 in GT Line form

Jacked-up crossover version of the e-208 supermini, not that it’s a bad thing. The 136bhp/192lb ft motor and 50kWh battery gives decent performance and a WLTP range of 206 miles. It’s smooth to drive and easy to own, with a lovely interior and a large boot, but this version is expensive, the touchscreens are fiddly and the rear seats are small.

Kia Niro 4 plus, from £39,145

The 64kWh battery models made an impressive debut; practical driving and the normalisation of EV motoring at affordable prices. The 201bhp/291lb ft drivetrain drives the front wheels and offers a range of 282miles. Can be quite hard to get hold of.

Volkswagen ID.3, from £38,880

A smaller car with a smaller 58kWh battery, but much better efficiency. Rear-drive only, but a four-wheel-drive SUV version is planned. The cabin isn’t totally convincing, but the 265-mile range, brisk performance and the price certainly are.

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