Review: Mazda MX-30 R-EV
The MX-30 R-EV joins the fully electric version of the MX-30 which has been around since 2021. Although this was well received in some quarters at the time, the range of just 124 miles put a lot of people off.
Without getting too technical the battery in the MX-30 R-EV works in harmony with the 830cc single-rotor petrol engine. But, unlike other plug-in hybrids, the rotary engine doesn’t drive the wheels, it acts as a generator to keep the battery topped up and drive the electric motor. In pure electric mode it can travel for around 53 miles.
When charging up via AC it can be connected to Type 2 and CCS rapid charging systems - unlike many plug-in hybrids.
Using a 36kW charger the battery can be charged from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in just 25 minutes. If you use a three-phase 11kW AC charger the battery can be refilled in approximately 50 minutes, while even the single-phase 7.2kW charger will only take around one hour and 30 minutes.
Driving the MX-30 R-EV is a largely quiet affair but there is a strange whine from the engine that can be intrusive until you tune it out.
As well as the innovative drivetrain the other surprising feature in both MX-30 models are the rear ‘freestyle’ doors which are hinged at the back.
There is no centre pillar between the front and rear doors and the rear doors can only be opened once the front ones are.
It sounds quirky but if you consider how difficult it can be to scramble into the back seats of a three-door car and then compare it to the wide open space created in the MX-30 it makes complete sense. It took me a few days but I soon really liked the idea.
What I wasn’t so enamoured of was the small rear windows and thick door pillars which made the rear seats feel a little cramped and impeded visibility when reversing
No such problems in the front. The seats are comfortable and there is plenty of headroom.
There are three trim levels: Prime-Line, Exclusive-Line and Makoto. We drove the range-topping Makoto.
All models have a decent kit list with front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, seven-inch touchscreen for the climate control, radar cruise control, smartphone compatibility and a host of safety equipment including blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and a head- up display.
Makoto adds a front wiper de-icer, rear privacy glass, power tilt and slide sunroof, heated steering wheel and extra safety features such as cruising and traffic support
One other very clever feature of the Makota is the 1500W UK three-pin plug socket in the boot which can be used to power electrical items for camping trips or days out.
Operating the controls is intuitive with just the right mix of digital and physical functions for stress free motoring.
Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Price: £36,000 (£37,700 as tested)
Engine: e-Skyactiv R-EV
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Top speed: 87mph
0-62mph: 9.1 seconds
CO 2 emissions:21g/km
EV range: 53 miles