The MX-30 features the latest evolution of Mazda’s Kodo design language, with sharp, clean styling that clearly differentiates it from its combustion-engined siblings, along with stylish three-tone paint options. That said, the crossover design doesn’t exactly shout EV, particularly with a long bonnet that looks designed to house a combustion engine more than an electric motor (largely because, for reasons we’ll get to, it is).
The interior also merges some of the spatial benefits of its dedicated EV architecture with some reassuringly conventional features. The clean dashboard creates a real sense of space, with the 8.8in infotainment screen set back in the dashboard. There’s also a 7.0in colour touchscreen to operate the climate control. But this isn’t a form-over-function touchscreen takeover: the climate control screen is surrounded by physical buttons, and the infotainment is operated via a rotary controller built into the ‘floating’ centre console.
Neat touches abound, with the use of stylish cork trim and environmentally friendly seat material, creating a classy, comfortable cabin. While our late pre-production test car was in the equivalent of top-spec GT Sport Tech trim, even entry-level SE-L Lux models feature a head-up display, an eight-speaker stereo, 18in alloy wheels and a reversing camera among other kit.
The MX-30’s party trick is its backwards-opening rear doors, a neat nod to the RX-8 and designed to ease access to the rear seats. That said, the rear doors only work when the front ones are also open, reducing their practicality somewhat. Space in the rear is also somewhat limited, and larger adults might struggle for leg room. The boot is a decent 366 litres, with 1171 litres of capacity with the rear seats folded.
The MX-30’s front-mounted electric motor sends its 143bhp to the front wheels, and also offers 199lb ft of torque. As with most electric cars, that power is available instantly, and the MX-30 is resultantly capable of making pleasingly brisk progress.
The car’s comparatively small underfloor batteries result in a kerb weight of 1645kg, relatively light for an EV of this size, and the MX-30 consequently feels relatively nimble and dynamic to drive. You’re not going to mistake it for an MX-5, clearly, but it’s certainly among the dynamically sharper of electric crossovers.
As with the Kia e-Niro, paddles behind the steering wheel can be used to adjust the energy recapture, with the heaviest of five settings allowing for near-one-pedal operation. On a mixed test loop of just over 40 miles, we used around 57 miles of the given range, and while we weren’t driving as conservatively as we might, that suggests the MX-30 might need plugging in (via either up to a 6.6kW AC or 50kW DC connection) more often than that official range of 124 miles already implies.