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2022 Mazda MX-30 EV: Too little too late or just right? We inspect the goods

nicad 26/01/2022 649

The Mazda MX-30 debuted at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. It's a gorgeous crossover that has the genes of the Mazda RX-8 rotary-engine sports car from the early 2000s. Have you ever seen those dual-opening rear doors, or what Mazda calls “freestyle doors”? Well, they're back for revenge on the MX-30.

Practical issues aside, every new EV needs a party piece to grab attention. If the Tesla Model X may have Falcon doors, the Mazda MX-30 may have suicide doors. And while Mazda has nailed the styling (as usual) of its all-new electric crossover, we have some issues with the MX-30.

2022 Mazda MX-30: EV or PHEV?

Mazda MX-30 EV: what is the range?

Eco-friendly interior

2022 Mazda MX-30 EV: Price & Availablity

2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Gallery

2022 Mazda MX-30: EV or PHEV?

America is getting two versions of the 2022 Mazda MX 30: EV and PHEV. The all-electric EV model will have a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery and a single electric motor turning the front wheels. The 144 horsepower and 200 lb-ft. Torque output sounds modest on paper, but not before we learn that Hyundai's Kona Electric has a single 201 horsepower electric motor and a larger 64.0 kWh battery.

The next version is an MX-30 PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle). It would have the same 35.5 kWh battery and front-mounted electric motor as the EV model. The novelty part features a standard gasoline-powered rotary engine under the hood, burning good old dino juice to supplement the batteries. Mazda rotary engines are known for their silky smooth power output and high rpm behavior. But if there's one thing rotary engines are NOT known for, it's fuel economy. The question is, what does a gas-guzzling rotary engine do in a PHEV?

"Mazda is preparing for the rapidly changing demands of the U.S. market by taking a multi-solution approach to electrification," explained Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda's North American operations. “The battery-powered MX-30 will begin introducing additional electrified models, including a series plug-in hybrid with a rotary generator for the MX-30, a plug-in hybrid for our new big rig, and a traditional hybrid for our new American-made crossover. »

In the MX-30 PHEV, the 0.33-liter single-rotor rotary engine will only run at idle and is not physically connected to the drive wheels. “The rotary generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain,” continued Guyton. "This technology is designed for near-silent operation and will recharge the battery rather than drive the wheels."

But with the added weight and complexity of the PHEV powertrain, it might have been better if Mazda insisted. a bigger battery right from the start, eliminating the need for a gas-powered range extender.

Photo: Mazda Operations in North America.

Mazda MX-30 EV: what is the range?

The Mazda MX-30 EV is not what you would call a long-range electric vehicle, unlike some other offerings on the market. With a pint-sized 35.5 kWh battery, a Euro-spec MX-30 EV (with the same battery) goes 124 miles on a full charge in the WLTP cycle. We expect MX-30 EVs in the US to have a range of around 100 miles. Although nothing is confirmed, this could be a problem. For example, the base Nissan Leaf has a 40kWh battery, enough for a range of 150 miles, and the second-generation Leaf has been on sale since 2017.

In terms of charging, the MX-30 EV supports 50 kW of DC fast charging, replenishing batteries from zero to 80 percent in less than 36 minutes, according to Mazda. In a world where new EVs support up to 150kW of DC fast charging, the MX-30 falls a bit short in this regard. But again, 50 kW is enough for a small 35.5 kWh battery.

Eco-friendly interior

On a different note, the minimalist interior of the MX-30 is commendable. Mazda chose low-impact and durable materials like cork, natural fibers and recycled plastics for the dashboard, center console and door panels. Mazda has even harvested corks from naturally fallen trees. Meanwhile, the center console has a seven-inch touchscreen to control the HVAC system. There's a separate screen above the dash to handle the infotainment features.

Mazda MX-30 interior layout. Photo: Mazda Operations in North America.

2022 Mazda MX-30 EV: Price & Availablity

The Mazda MX-30 EV is coming to California this fall, while the MX-30 PHEV will debut in early 2022. Pricing, trim models and other specs are yet to come.

Mazda needs to be more aggressive with its pricing strategy to win over buyers. For comparison, the base version of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has a single rear-mounted electric motor with 201 horsepower, a 77 kWh battery, 260 miles of range and a space for up to five adults and cargo, all from $35,000 before applicable federal and state tax credits.

As the MX-30 becomes available, we hope to trust Rydeshopper, a free and neutral* third-party search site that lets you see dealer inventory in your area. Rydeshopper will help you compare prices and see which dealers are offering the best discounts and incentives on the MX-30.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog columnist and sports and performance car expert. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics and accounting in his youth and is still very fond of his old Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music and herbal medicine.

2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Gallery

Photos & Source: Mazda North American Operations.

*Although you are always free, Automoblog and its partners may be paid when you visit this link.

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