100-mile electric car will start at $34,645

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by Kivi

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08.24.2021


Mazda is carrying the natural, sporty driving experience that its lineup of gasoline vehicles already has to its upcoming MX-30 EV, it says. However with an EPA estimated range of just 100 miles, many of the MX-30’s California owners might end up spending a lot of that drive time more concerned about where they’re going to charge next.  

The 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV has been priced at $34,645, the automaker announced Tuesday, as it also confirmed an EPA-estimated range for the first time. 

That’s more than the 110 EPA-rated range for the Mini Cooper SE electric car, at a $30,750 base price, and significantly more than a base-model 2022 Nissan Leaf, which goes 149 miles in base form and was given a big price cut to $27,375 for the 2022 model year.

Mazda buyers, like those of Mini and Nissan, are eligible for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit, which lets you drop that amount off your annual tax bill—should you owe so much for the year. That could drop the effective price of the MX-30 EV to $27,145. California also has state and regional rebates that may apply. 

No dual motor long range here. But fun, perhaps

The MX-30 EV is powered by a 80.9-kw electric motor that will deliver an output of 143 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque, according to Mazda. Its battery pack stores 35.5 kwh and is mounted flat on the floor, in a modular arrangement, with a thin liquid cooling system that should help keep range steady across weather conditions. European versions of the MX-30 EV come with a heat pump, but Mazda hasn’t yet noted whether or not the U.S. version has it. 

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

The MX-30’s single-motor drive system has a system that, as in the Nissan Leaf, helps keep vehicle loading and steering even and consistent by making small motor-torque adjustments. Steering-wheel paddles can adjust the level of regenerative braking, and Mazda notes that a generated EV sound changes with each level of regen. 

Three-hour charging in the garage

With a 50-kw, CCS-format DC fast-charger, the MX-30 can be brought to 80% in 36 minutes, according to Mazda. Charging times can be as quick as 2 hours and 50 minutes on Level 2 (240V AC), or as little as 13 hours 40 minutes on Level 1 (120V). Those top rates require a 30-amp charger for L2 and a 15-amp charger for L1. 

The MX-30 is the same 173 inches long as Mazda’s CX-30 crossover but with a different roofline and proportions it fits into a quite different place in the lineup—looking like a smooth fastback in the upper body while more rugged and rubber-clad down below. It’s a less harmonious look than the CX-30, but maybe that’s the point. 

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

The rear doors are rear-hinged, and Mazda is calling them “freestyle” doors, although it appears that as in other vehicles with this configuration the rear doors will need to be closed first. Rear occupants get power seat controls at the rear of the driver’s seat, Mazda says, and we’re curious how that works with kids. 

A 8.8-inch system allows buttons for climate functions but otherwise defers to a commander knob that navigates through menus, media, and apps, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—no touchscreen emphasis here, though. The shifter and commander control sit atop a “floating center console—really a console up on a pedestal, with additional storage underneath. 

Premium look and features

The look inside is a step up from the CX-30, with cork trim as a pleasing cabin contrast to a mixture of grayscale plastics, matte-metallic surfaces, and some glossier metallic trim. Mazda is offering a multi-tone premium exterior color option that helps make the MX-30’s roofline look more coupe-like, matching a dark-gray roof, silver rear pillar badge, and the rest of the car in Polymetal Gray, Ceramic Metallic, or Soul Red Crystal. 

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

Heated front seats, heated power-folding side mirrors, a power moonroof, an eight-way power driver seat, rear parking sensors, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and grille shutters are among the standard features, as well as a robust active-safety suits including active cruise control (with stop and go), blind-spot warning, cross-traffic monitoring, lane-keep assist, and a driver attention feature. 

The MX-30 with the Premium Plus package is $37,655 and adds Bose premium audio, a heated steering wheel, upgraded upholstery, front cross-traffic alerts, and steering assist for the blind-spot monitoring. There are four premium color options to drive up the cost another $495 to $995. 

Helping with the reality of 100 miles

Although 100 miles is enough to cover most daily commutes plus unforeseen big-city errands, Mazda is showing plenty of awareness that people who drive this model will still want to take highway road trips without worrying about charging every hour. It’s wrapping in a $500 charging credit, via ChargePoint, but more importantly it’s launching a program called the MX-30 ELite Access Loaner Program, in which MX-30 owners get access to other Mazda models for 10 days a year for three years. 

That sounds a lot like the Flexible Mobility Program that BMW launched in 2014 for early BMW i3 buyers, when the i3 offered a range of less than 100 miles. Fiat Chrysler also had a similar program for the Fiat 500e

2022 Mazda MX-30

2022 Mazda MX-30

That was most of a decade ago. Are shoppers still interested in a premium-design electric car without a long range? 

Mazda says that the MX-30 will arrive at California dealerships in October. Other states will be added in 2022, and according to Mazda the headliner—the version with the rotary range extender that triggers Mazda fans at every turn—is still on the way. Really. Stay tuned as we hope to soon get some drive time in this very intriguing but perhaps fun fringe player in the U.S. green-vehicle market. 



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