AUTOMATIC REVIEW: 2022 Mazda MX-30’s Puny lineup makes automaker’s first EV unimportant

(Detroit Free Press / TNS) –

The 2022 Mazda MX-30 electric subcompact SUV. (Mark Phelan / Detroit Free Press / TNS)

Mazda’s new MX-30 2022 electric vehicle is incredibly uncompetitive, but don’t worry, you’ll probably never see one anyway.

The automaker plans to sell just 560 during the 2022 calendar, exclusively in California.

This would make the MX-30 slightly more common than the California condor, which the US Fish & Wildlife Service estimates to be 504.

The EV’s range of just 100 miles on fully charged batteries, however, makes the MX-30 a more likely candidate for extinction than the majestic carrion eaters. Condors enjoy federal protection status. All the MX-30 gets is a federal tax credit of $ 7,500, plus anything your state can put on the table to encourage sales of electric vehicles.

For field spotting purposes, the MX-30 is a subcompact SUV that rivals electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, and Nissan Leaf. Like them, Mazda’s small sedan has an SUV-like profile, but only offers front-wheel drive.

The MX-30 is Mazda’s first electric vehicle. A plug-in hybrid version with a gasoline engine to allow longer journeys is expected to go on sale in the course of 2022.

Mazda MX-30 price

Based: $ 33,140

Premium Plus: $ 36,470

Prices do not include destination charges ($ 1,175)

Range of electric vehicles 2011… in 2021

The MX-30’s exterior styling is good-looking and modern, but its 100-mile battery range is exceeded by 10 years, comparable to the 73 miles in a 2011 Nissan Leaf, when the little Nissan made the news like the one of the first affordable electric vehicles.

EV technology has come a long way since then, although the MX-30’s specs might not make you think so. Among contemporary electric vehicles comparable to the MX-30, the Leaf 2022 has driven 215 miles in EPA testing. 2022 Kia Niro EV raises the bar to 239 miles; the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, 247; and the Hyundai Kona EV, 258.

The MX-30’s base price of $ 33,470 is lower than its competitors, but not enough.

I tested a Premium Plus model, starting at $ 36,480, plus $ 495 for a glossy “machine gray” metallic paint. All prices exclude the destination charge of $ 1,175.

Mazda rightly points out that most Americans drive considerably less than 100 miles per day, but longer trips are too frequent to ignore, and the carrying capacity of the United States is not enough to rely on research. from a nearby 240v – or better yet, a fast DC charger – when you arrive at Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. A full charge at 240v takes 5.3 hours, according to the EPA. Mazda says that a DC fast charger takes the MX-30 from 20% to 80% in 36 minutes. But public chargers – especially DC fast chargers – are not yet common enough, and even if they were, the MX-30’s range would still be a significant downside.

Enough about the battery. Why beat a dead horse? In fact, dead horses are good food for California condors, who have no problem riding thermals over 100 miles at a time.

Driver assistance and safety features

– Adaptive cruise control

– Blind spot and cross traffic alerts

—Low speed forward cross traffic alert

—Front and rear automatic braking

– Lane keeping aid

—Driver attention alert

—Automatic main beam headlights

—Head-up display

Driving impressions, features, prices

At 173.3 inches long, the MX-30 is longer than a Bolt EUV, Kona or Niro, shorter than the Leaf.

It has a low roofline, flared fenders and quick rear styling. Appearance is consistent with other Mazda SUVs, but distinctive. A chrome strip above the rear fender-mounted charging port declares that this is a Mazda, while a sticker on the neighboring window says it is electric.

The interior emphasizes durable materials with cork and fabric trim.

The MX-30 has the smallest passenger cabin and a reasonably accommodating luggage compartment. The rear legroom is very limited. Two rear-hinged suicidal doors provide access.

The front seat has plenty of room, but limited access to features, including hard-to-reach USB and 12v ports and cell phone tray. The back seat has very little legroom. Rear hinged rear doors provide usable access to the rear seat.

The MX-30 uses a multi-function rotary controller for audio, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and other features. I found it cumbersome for common tasks such as navigating audio tracks or stations and accessing smartphone functions.

A screen mounted on top of the dashboard displays navigation, audio, smartphone screens, and more, but does not have touch capability. Neither wireless charging nor wireless CarPlay / Android Auto is available. The flat-screen climate controls also require more driver attention than the dials and buttons.

The acceleration is adequate. The MX-30’s 3,655 pounds curb weight, 143 horsepower, and 200 pound-feet of torque result in a lower power-to-weight ratio than its competitors. The steering requires quite a bit of effort, but doesn’t provide much feedback, unlike the sporty tuning characteristic of most Mazdas.

The driver can increase regenerative braking to recover energy when slowing down, but the MX-30 lacks the “one-pedal driving” feature offered by many other electric vehicles. One-pedal driving essentially increases the amount of energy returned to the battery when you slow down so much that the driver rarely has to touch the brake pedal.

Wait until next year … for the PHEV

Mazda would have been better off launching the MX-30 – a sleek and distinctive little vehicle – with the plug-in hybrid which the automaker says will go on sale in 2022. The PHEV will use a small Wankel rotary engine – the type manufactured by Mazda famous in its RX sports cars – to generate electricity for longer journeys.

No details are available yet. You can expect a smaller battery than the EV, but literally infinitely longer range, as the rotary motor generates more electricity when the battery is depleted.

We don’t know what the range of the PHEV battery will be.

PHEV can be lighter. Its battery will almost certainly be smaller, but we don’t know how much or how much weight the Wankel engine and gas tank will add. Mazda has not said whether it plans to offer the MX-30 PHEV nationwide, but based on the practices of other automakers, sales will likely be concentrated in California and states that share its policy. of emissions encouraging electric vehicles.

Mazda MX-30 2022 at a glance

Electric SUV four-door subcompact with five front wheels

Base price: $ 34,470 (excluding destination fees of $ 1,175)

On sale late now

Model tested: 2022 MX-30 EV with premium plus package

Price tested: $ 36,975; $ 38,150, including destination.

Drive unit: 80.9 kW electric motor

To go out: 107 kW / 143 hp: 200 lb-ft of torque

Transmission: Direct drive at one speed

Drums: 35.5 kWh lithium-ion

EPA Fuel Consumption Rating Estimate: 100 mile range, 98 mpge city / 85 highway / 92 combined

Annual fuel cost estimated by the EPA: $ 700 (at current prices)

Wheelbase: 104.4 inch

Length: 173.3 inch

Width: 70.7 inch

Height: 61.5 inch

Unloaded weight : 3,655 lb

Passenger volume: 89.9 cubic feet

Cargo space behind the rear seat: 21 cubic feet

Assembled in Hiroshima, Japan

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