The MX-30 represents a first for Mazda as the company moves towards electrification and it is now available in Australia with a mild hybrid or full electric powertrain. I recently spent a week in the entry level MX-30 M Hybrid G20 Evolve to see what the future has in store for Mazda.
All three variants in the MX-30 M Hybrid range are powered by a 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder petrol engine combined with a 0.2 kWh lithium-ion battery that captures and stores energy that is then used to power electrical systems and provide additional torque. The engine produces a maximum of 114kW and 200Nm of torque driving the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission giving the MX-30 modest acceleration. The MX-30 hybrid can run on 91 RON petrol with an official combined fuel consumption of 6.4L/100km and for my week I used 8.1L/100km.
One of the most unique features across the MX-30 range are the freestyle doors also known as suicide doors. To open the rear door, you must first open the front door and from a practical standpoint having rear doors that open backwards means that it would be easier to lift small children into the rear seats and secure them into their car seats.
But I also discovered a significant disadvantage of the doors. I was sitting in the driver’s seat with my seatbelt on and my son went to open the rear door and the seatbelt tightened around my neck as it is connected to the rear door. Admittedly you would only make this mistake once, but it is slightly annoying that you need to take your seat belt off in order for the rear passenger to get out of the vehicle.
Also, from a driver’s point of view there is a blind spot when you look over your right shoulder due to the thickness of the B pillar and as a rear seat passenger, I felt a little claustrophobic because the C pillar is also thick and there is only a small window.
The cabin of the Mazda MX-30 includes the use of a number of distinctive materials including cork, recycled plastic bottles and threads to emphasise the sustainable future that Mazda are striving for. The cork looks good, but I couldn’t help but think that if you spilled your coffee on it that it would be permanently stained. The fibrous material used on the door trims is made from recycled bottles, but the light colour and nature of the material meant that this area was already looking stained on the car that I drove.
Overall, the interior of the MX-30 is very chic with the floating console giving a feeling of space in the cabin. The seats in the Evolve are covered with black cloth and have manual adjustment only, with the driver’s seat having recline, forward/back and height adjustment, while the passenger seat misses out on height adjustment.
The screen used to control the climate system is classy looking, but does get bad finger marks on it. I also liked the stubby gear selector and that this area was surrounded with matt black plastic rather than gloss plastic, which is used by so many car companies.
The steering wheel also has an elegant design, but like many other car companies the image used to designate the voice control is masculine-looking. On the plus side the voice control did work well for setting a destination on the sat nav, making phones calls and changing the media source.
The 8.8-inch central infotainment display is not a touchscreen and you use the rotary knob on the centre console to navigate through the options. I prefer this because you don’t get fingermarks all over your infotainment display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard across the MX-30 range and your other media options include AM/FM, DAB+, Bluetooth and USB video and audio. To connect to the infotainment there are two USB ports and a 12V outlet next to the ledge located under the floating centre console.
The MX-30 Evolve has keyless start, but not keyless entry meaning I had to go through my handbag in order to find the key every time I had to open or lock the vehicle and I found this annoying. I also think that the buttons on the Mazda key fob are too small and to add to this they are located on the side of the key fob.
With the freestyle doors open and the front seats moved forward it is very easy to step into the rear seats of the MX-30. However, for adults there is little head or leg room, so they would most likely be rarely used and to add to the closeness of the rear seats there are no central rear air vents either. For younger passengers you can fit two ISOFIX/rear tether child seats in. The central seat folds down as an arm rest with two drink holders in the front of it or you can fit a 600ml bottle into the cubbies located in the rear doors and there are no USB ports for rear seat passengers.
The boot has power assisted opening and is closed manually. It is large enough for the weekly shop and has four tie down points and a light, but no hooks. If more boot space is required the rear seats have a 60:40 split folding mechanism and under the boot floor there is a temporary use spare tyre.
Even though the Evolve is the entry level variant it is still fitted with many active safety features including Blind Spot Monitoring, Forward Obstruction Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-keep Assist System, adaptive cruise control and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. It also features a standard rear view camera with rear parking sensors only and you get auto wipers and auto lights for added convenience.
ANCAP tests of the autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car) system showed GOOD performance with collisions avoided or mitigated in most test scenarios. The autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car) system offered MARGINAL performance in tests of its effectiveness in junction assist scenarios. Overall, effectiveness of the autonomous emergency braking (Car-to-Car) system performance was rated as ADEQUATE. ANCAP tests of lane support system functionality showed GOOD performance, with the system intervening in some of the more critical emergency lane keeping test scenarios and overall performance was classified as ADEQUATE.
Passive safety includes 10 airbags protecting front (driver and passenger), side (front and rear), knee (driver), far side (driver) and curtain (front and rear). Overall, the MX-30 range has a 5-star (2020) ANCAP safety rating with an Adult Occupant protection score of 35.64 points out of 38 (93%) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 43.01 points out of 49 (87%).
All new Mazda vehicles sold in Australia come with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty with Mazda Premium Roadside Assistance included. Service intervals are every 10,000 km, but no longer than 12 months, whichever comes first and using the Mazda website I calculated that it would cost between $1,670 for the first five scheduled services for basic scheduled maintenance.
The first-ever MX-30 demonstrates the enthusiasm that Mazda has with its to move towards a more sustainable future. Prices for the MX-30 M Hybrid G20 Evolve start at $40,990 excluding on-road costs and as tested with carpet floor mats ($199) and three tone paint premium ($995) the MX-30 I drove was $42,184 plus on-roads. Visit your preferred Mazda dealer to dive into the MX-30 for yourself or build yours online here.
|Freestyle doors make accessing the rear seats easier||The driver has to take off their seat belt so the rear seat passengers can exit|
|Interesting interior features||The blind spot created by the think B pillar|
|Good voice control system||No keyless entry|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.