On the face of it… no.
Only a single MX-30 Electric grade is available for now, the E35 Astina, and it kicks off – wait for it –from $65,490 plus on-road costs. That’s nearly $25,000 more than the visually identical MX-30 G25 M Mild Hybrid petrol-powered version with virtually the same equipment levels.
We’ll go into why a little later on, but you need to know that the MX-30 Electric has one of the smallest lithium-ion battery packs available in any EV today, with a capacity of just 35.5kWh. This means just 224km of range before recharging is required.
It seems almost like self-sabotage on Mazda’s behalf, when the 2021 Hyundai Kona EV Elite starts from $62,000, boasts a 64kWh battery and offers an official range of 484km. Other big-battery alternatives around that price point include the world’s best-ever selling EV, the Tesla Model 3, Kia Niro EV and Nissan Leaf e+.
Only a single MX-30 Electric grade is available for now, the E35 Astina.
But it isn’t game over for MX-30 Electric because Mazda hopes you buy into this car’s unique philosophy of offering a so-called ‘right sized’ approach to EV motoring. It basically encompasses well-to-wheel sustainability in terms of battery size, the resources used for production and total energy consumption over the car’s lifespan… or, in other words, the EV’s impact on natural resources. If you’re going green, such factors are probably of significant value to you…
Then there’s how the MX-30 Electric is used. Aimed primarily at Europe, where distances are shorter, charging stations more plentiful, government support stronger and EV user incentives better than in Australia, the Mazda’s range makes sense over there. Yet even over here, most of the urban consumers that this car is aimed at can commute many days without exceeding 200km, while solar energy helps make electricity cheaper for those with panels facing our hot sun.
Thus, the company can only call this a ‘metro’ EV – though obviously Mazda doesn't have a choice otherwise, does it?
At least the E35 Astina isn’t found wanting when it comes to equipment levels compared to rival SUV EVs.
Among the usual array of luxury, functionality and multimedia features, you’ll find adaptive cruise control with full stop/go functionality, glossy 18-inch alloy wheels, a 360-degree view monitor, an electric sunroof, heated and powered front seats, a heated steering wheel and a leather-like synthetic upholstery dubbed “Vintage Brown Maztex”. Owners of '80s 929s rejoice!
No competing EV this side of the ageing BMW i3 offers such unique design and packaging.
Fans of 2020s cars will appreciate an 8.8-inch widescreen colour display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, a Bose premium audio system with 12 speakers, digital radio, satellite navigation and even a 220V domestic plug outlet (perhaps for a hair dryer?), while an elegant head-up display for speed and GPS info is reflected on the windscreen.
Throw in a full suite of driver-assist safety kit for a five-star crash-test rating – see more below – and the MX-30 E35 almost includes everything.
What’s missing? How about a wireless smartphone charger and no electric tailgate (motion sensor activated or otherwise)? The climate control is single-zone only. And there’s no spare tyre – just a puncture repair kit.
Still, no competing EV this side of the ageing BMW i3 offers such unique design and packaging.