Release Date: Available now
Price: From $34,100
Battery Range: 100 miles
0 to 60mph: > 9 seconds
Smarts: 8.8" infotainment screen, MyMazda app
Mazda has been slow to transition over to EVs, but the Mazda MX-30 is here and is one of the cheapest electric cars on sale in the United States. Sadly that cheap price comes with a number of compromises that may not enjoy, least of all the fact is has some of the lowest electric car range on the market.
But it is still effectively a smoother version of the CX-30, just without the rear door handles. It's not the most powerful EV, nor does it have the best range, but it may be an ideal second car for anyone hoping to do some quick urban driving.
Here's everything you need to know about the 2022 Mazda MX-30.
2022 Mazda MX-30 price and availability
The Mazda MX-30 is currently only available to dealers in California, even though it's more widely available in Japan and Europe. It's not clear if and when the all-electric model will spread to other states at this time.
Pricing starts at $34,110 for the basic model, and $37,120 for the Premium Plus model. The latter adds a bunch of extra equipment, including blind-spot alerts, 360-degree cameras and other more luxurious and practical features.
2022 Mazda MX-30 design and interior
The design of the 2022 Mazda MX-30 will not turn heads. It looks very similar to the CX-30, albeit a bit smoother. For all intents and purposes, it looks like any other crossover.
Mazda, however, uses much more ornate language in describing the MX-30. The company calls its design "Human Modern," with "exterior proportions [to] give the crossover a feeling of strength and beauty, while the minimalist style offers a sense of sophistication similar to other Mazda vehicles."
The interior is unique, though. Being an environmentally sustainable vehicle, it forgoes leather for fabrics made of recycled plastic bottles and cork harvested from trees without felling. Actually, Mazda started off as a Japanese cork manufacturer before it ever got into cars, making the interior a cool callback.
Much like Tesla, Mazda has opted for a center touchscreen for controls. Unlike the Model 3, however, Mazda will keep important buttons and knobs within reach. Buyers will also be able to use the MyMazda app to turn on the MX-30 remotely, adjust climate or monitor the car from afar.
2022 Mazda MX-30 battery and range
One criticism of the Mazda MX-30 is its rather low range. At 35.5 kWh, it only gives it a range of 100 miles. That means the MX-30 gets outclassed in terms of range by the 40 kWh Nissan Leaf and the Mini Electric - both of which are noticeably cheaper.
Mazda has a justification for this, however.
"We should not be excessive with battery size," said Christian Schultze of Mazda Europe's R&D. "We should consider how much range does a customer really need and how much battery [capacity] can we avoid to reduce CO2 substantially."
As for charging, the MX-30 will be able to handle Level 2 and DC rapid charging stations. The battery can reach an 80% charge in 36 minutes using DC fast charging. Mazda is also partnering with ChargePoint to offer solutions around California.
2022 Mazda MX-30 performance
2022 Mazda MX-30 will not outrace a Tesla, unfortunately. But really, the MX-30 is designed to be a people-mover first, and a torque-mad party-trick second.
Apart from the small 35.5 kWh battery, the powertrain is embedded with Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, which will help with its driving dynamics. Skyactiv is Mazda's in-house technology development arm. Pretty much, if there's a new cool piece of engine tech or exterior design meant to enhance performance, it'll be given the Skyactiv moniker.
The MX-30 is a front-wheel drive EV with an output of 107 kW, or 144 horsepower. It has a maximum torque of 200 lb-ft, which is decently high compared to other FWD cars.
Either way, you won't be racing on track with the MX-30. It has a 0-60 time of over nine seconds according to Auto Express, and a top speed of 87 miles per hour. While 87 MPH might sound adequate, considering the speeds that California drivers drive at on the interstate, buyers might see themselves sticking to the right lane.
2022 Mazda MX-30 outlook
The 2022 Mazda MX-30 should be a good first-step into the U.S. EV market from the storied manufacturer. The brand, which has been associated with reliability, styling and good resale value, will have fans line up to give the MX-30 a go. But by limiting the car to California at launch, poor sales in that state may translate to a stunted nationwide release.
While this is pure speculation, considering the size of the U.S. and the need to go long distances, some upgraded version of the MX-30 might be in the works. Maybe not for all markets, but states that require long stretches of driving, such as Texas or Montana, would benefit from the added an additional larger battery option.
Only time will tell is Mazda can attract buyers interested in EVs, especially the ones that don't do a lot of long-distance driving or are unwilling a premium to pay for a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y. Still, we can't help but feel there are much better, and affordably priced, competitors to pick instead.
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Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.