First, the good news. Mazda's new MX-30 EV crossover will start at $33,470 when it goes on sale in the United States this fall. It will go on sale in California initially, and will roll out to other states in 2022 depending on demand.
The starting price is surprisingly competitive for the electric crossover considering Mazda tends to imbue its vehicles with luxury features and materials that would typically be found on more premium brands. And, because this is Mazda's first foray into EVs, the car will be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. California offers even more incentives on top of that, anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000, depending on your household income.
That makes the handsome MX-30 a pretty good proposition in the rapidly growing EV field. Price-wise, it falls in line with the Hyundai Kona EV, beats the new Volkswagen ID.4, but is undercut by the Nissan Leaf. From the looks of it, the MX-30 has a more luxurious interior than all three.
Mazda has also partnered with the popular EV charging service ChargePoint to give MX-30 owners a $500 credit. That can be used towards re-juicing the batteries at one of ChargePoint's stations or to install a ChargePoint Level 2 charger at home.
However, here comes the less-than-great news. There is a very good reason for the MX-30's surprisingly low price point: battery range. Mazda confirmed that the MX-30 will have an EPA-estimated range 100 miles from its 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. This is staggeringly low for an EV these days. Even the 114-mile Mini Cooper SE or 149-mile base Nissan Leaf outdoes it; a Kona EV gets 258 miles and an ID.4 tops out at 260 miles. Mazda, however, says that the smaller battery was chosen to preserve handling dynamics and minimize environmental impact.
Having only 100 miles is going to create some serious range anxiety, and we're guessing will significantly reduce the number of people willing to consider it. The eventual rotary range extender may change the equation, but in the meantime, Mazda is hoping its MX-30 Elite Access Loaner Program may make a difference. The service allows MX-30 owners to borrow other Mazda vehicles for 10 days a year for the first three years of ownership.
Mazda Connected Services, which allows owners to monitor their vehicles via a smartphone app, is complimentary for the first three years as well. The software also lets owners remote start and stop the car, check battery levels, access the climate control system, and lock or unlock the doors.
Mazda says the battery can be filled to 80% with approximately 36 minutes on a Level 3 DC 50 kW fast charger. On a Level 2: AC 240V/30amp charger, that'll take 2 hours and 50 minutes. A household-style Level 1: AC 120V/15amp charger will require 13 hours and 40 minutes. Mazda is also providing an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the battery.
The base MX-30 EV comes chock-full with features. Standard equipment includes an 8.8-inch center display and will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Luxury features like heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector, power sunroof, heated power-folding mirrors with memory function, eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a rear-view camera and parking sensors, and a frameless auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
Standard safety tech includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, blind-spot and lane-departure warnings, lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic brake support, and driver inattention warning.
For drivers who want a little more, Mazda is offering the MX-30 EV Premium Plus package. That adds a premium Bose 12-speaker audio system, heated steering wheel, HomeLink, and guide lines in the rear-view camera display. Premium Plus safety features include blind spot assist, front cross-traffic alerts, and a 360 around-view monitor. The Premium Plus stickers at $36,480. The only other option will be premium paint colors, which vary in price depending on the hue.
While pricing intersects competitively with Mazda's higher-end features and design, the MX-30 EV may not be the car for you if your driving needs require some padding in the range. This seems to make the proposed rotary engine range extender a sensible addition to the MX-30 line, if Mazda can successfully bring it to the United States.
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