2022 Mazda MX-30, All you want to know about a Great Car
2022 Mazda MX-30 With Rotary Range Extender Is Really Happening
The on-again, off-again spinning Dorito is officially official for 2022.
2022 Mazda CX-30
If you’re a fan of Mazda’s unconventional approach to damn near everything, from the wacky Skyactiv-X compression-ignition engine tech to the legendary Wankel rotary engine that the company perfected before abandoning, then you’ll be pleased to hear its most famous non-piston engine is returning as a range extender for the (range challenged) MX-30 EV SUV. Officially. For real.*
*In limited volumes for 2022. You knew there was going to be a catch!
The rotary range extender has been rumored for ages, and even confirmed officially before back in 2020. But the company has paused its rollout before; back in July, the rotary range extender was paused indefinitely, usually an indication that dark cancelation clouds would be gathering.
It looks like the storm has passed. Mazda has the 2022 MX-30 Plug-In Hybrid EV on its site. (Interestingly, the company is explicitly calling it a PHEV. Some range-extended EVs have shied away from that phrasing, insisting it’s a BEV with an emergency range extender. Wonder what the calculus was there …) Mazda calls it a series plug-in hybrid, meaning the gasoline-fired rotary engine isn’t connected directly to the wheels, merely providing juice to feed its electric battery and motors.
If there’s an aesthetic difference between the PHEV and regular EV versions, we can’t see it, and Mazda isn’t sharing. Nor do we have any pertinent details that we’d really need to determine how the MX-30 PHEV will fix what ails the regular EV, like gas tank capacity, any details on the rotary engine itself (displacement, output), and the weight added by all the additional hardware. Or, importantly, how far the range extender will extend the range. (Sigh.)
Anyone who’s been in an i3 REX in range-extender mode knows that sometimes the little, hard-working engines can’t quite keep up with demand, wheezing up hills and struggling on the freeway. In the i3, the REX was really just there to limp you to a charging station to continue on its way. What strategy the MX-30 adopts will also influence the desirability of the package, but being of a rotary design should mean it’ll be smooth and quiet.
We would not be surprised if the range extender closely resembled the setup that Mazda testing in Japan on the local-market Demio (Mazda 2) a few years back. But in the States, Mazda hasn’t sold a rotary engine since the RX-8 went out of production. Whatever it ends up being, or how compelling the package is, it’s another fascinating bet on unusual technology from a company that loves doubling down on the weird.
2022 Mazda MX-30 EV First Drive Review: Fleet of Foot—and Range
It looks great, but a 100-mile driving range makes this little electric a tough sell in today’s market.
We like the 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV, and we think you will, too—provided you’re willing to sift through a 55-gallon drum brimmed with caveats, stipulations, warnings, and provisos. One notable asterisk is the fact only 560 examples of the 2022 Mazda MX-30 electric car will come to the U.S. between now and the end of the year, all of which will be offered exclusively in the electric Elysium that is California. Not a resident of the Golden State? There’s an MX-30 out there for you yet, just be patient.
Well, even the 560 folks that do nab a 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV will have to exercise more patience—a different kind of patience—than they might like: Mazda’s first production foray into the blossoming electric-car space carries a range of just 100 miles, so plug in, and plug in often. Mazda bills this handsome compact electric crossover as a “commuter” car, aimed at the average commuter who, according to Mazda market research, only covers 30 miles a day. By that logic, a 100-mile range is more than triple the average buyer’s needs.
Forget Road Trips
The 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV might beat this curated canvassing by three-to-one odds. But 100 miles of range in a car that begins at $34,645 is a tough sell in an electric-car market where similarly priced competitors like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV and Hyundai Kona Electric double that distance and add around an extra 50 miles for good measure. The MX-30 doesn’t blow minds with charge speed, either; its 35.5-kWh battery pack charges from 5 to 80 percent in 36 minutes on a Level 3 50-kW fast charger. For Level 2, bring a book; the same charge range takes just shy of three hours.
Those stats were all right for 2015, not great for 2021. Brand reps told us the goal was to avoid building “a battery on wheels.” Job done on that part, as there’s barely any battery on which to mount said rollers. It also claimed the smallish battery size was chosen over a presumably larger battery pack for weight savings. Yes, just imagine the weight of a battery with 300 miles of range—but, er, also imagine the sales.
Less Substance, More Style
Everything else with the 2022 MX-30 EV is chic and cheerful in typical Mazda fashion, particularly the tidy styling and excellent footwork while on the move. If you couldn’t guess, the MX-30 takes much of its structural bones from the CX-30, so the general swept-back origami-edged proportions are familiar.
The new MX-30’s exterior duds are quite sharp; they look very much like someone slimed the CX-30 with a coat of pureed Volvo XC40 and Hyundai Ioniq 5. More so than any crossover “coupe,” the MX-30 nails the not-a-two-door two-door look with the return of reverse-opening “Freestyle” doors last seen on the bygone RX-8.
Speaking of Mazda’s rich apex-sealed past, a tiny rotary-engine range extender is possibly bound for the plug-in hybrid variant. If it comes to pass, the MX-30 will be the first Dorito-engine car sold on our shores in about a decade when it drops cover sometime next year. Well, we hope. Mazda remains unforthcoming as to when this more practical MX-30 will make landfall, but we’re thinking good thoughts.
Electric Only—For Now
Scandinavia Via Japan
All this stuff feels worthy of the high-ish price, ignoring for the moment, if you can, the limited range. In our loaded-out Premium Plus example, niceties like a Bose sound system and heated steering wheel impressed, as did a suite of driver assist systems that includes active blind-spot assist and front cross-traffic alert, two firsts for Mazda. A new center console-mounted touchscreen display offered climate controls, a conspicuous contrast to the decidedly non-touch infotainment screen on the center of the dashtop, a setup still controlled by a large knob on the center tunnel.
All this clean, cool finery comes without the nasty buzz and gnash of a four-cylinder engine. We’ve previously found Mazda four-cylinders to be incongruously coarse when compared with the same vehicle’s finespun chassis and upscale interior. In blunter terms, it’s usually the worst part about the whole experience. You’ll find none of that roughness in the MX-30 EV; it seems Mazda still goes “hmmmm” in 2021, with nothing but the familiar gentle thrum of the front-mounted motor and the soft tones of the acoustic overlay that seems piped in on every modern electric car.
Mazda In Motion
The MX-30 drives like a Mazda, too: It steers, stops, and slaloms with poise uncharacteristic of its designated segment. We had precious few miles on one of Orange County’s many canyon roads whose path appears more scribbled than sweeping, but the merits of Mazda’s hard work shines through even in congested city environments.
The manufacturer reworked its trick G-Vectoring Control Plus dynamic chassis-control system for the MX-30’s engineless application, engaging the motor, brakes, and regenerative braking to apply around 0.02 g of either acceleration or deceleration to improve turn-in and corner exit.
Couple these characteristics with well-weighted steering, excellent brake feel, and an impeccably damped suspension, and the result is one of the sharpest handling little electric crossovers we’ve driven. It doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of comfort, either, as it rides no less cush than the equivalent CX-30.
A bit of good news for EV fans who seek off-pedal energy regeneration is the fact the steering wheel paddles are repurposed for toggling the regen’s aggression. There’s not quite enough resistance for true one-pedal driving, but the most aggressive setting was enough to slough off around 25 mph from surface street speeds as we approached interchanges.
The 2022 Mazda MX-30 drives light on its wheels, but it sure ain’t quick. Expect it to remain bumper-to-bumper on an entrance ramp with a naturally aspirated CX-30. Its 200 lb-ft is a reasonably healthy figure, but it drops off quickly and the 143 hp isn’t quite in shape to pick up where the initial surge left off.
So expect to lean heavy on the go-pedal in daily traffic—especially on the freeway—draining the battery quicker than the 100-mile range might advertise. This is especially apparent on the handful of uphill portions we tackled; again, nothing dangerous, but look elsewhere if you seek the characteristic EV low-speed blast.
We like the 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV, bittersweetly. It is seriously chic for something not wearing a luxury badge, particularly with an interior that wouldn’t look out of place on a Design Within Reach show floor. But its 2022 aesthetics can’t outrun the 2015 range; outside of hyper-congested San Francisco and Los Angeles proper, we can’t see this serving as more than an expensive daily runabout for the 560 peeps that pick it up in its first model year.
That part disappoints us, but if you want to have the MX-30’s shape, style, and swerve in your driveway, it might be best to wait for the plug-in hybrid variant, whenever it arrives. We’re waiting on Mazda to provide more details on that front.
2022 Mazda MX-30 EV
- Excellent interior
- Great on-road dynamics
- Plug-in hybrid variant should be fantastic
- 100 miles of range doesn’t cut it in 2021
- Priced rather high for the driving range
- Some buyers might find it underpowered
|2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Specifications|
|LAYOUT||Front-motor, FWD, 5-pass, 5-door SUV|
|MOTOR||AC electric motor, 143 hp/200 lb-ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,655 lb|
|L x W x H||173.3 x 70.7 x 61.5 in|
|0-60 MPH||8.7 sec (est)|
|EPA FUEL ECON||98/85/92|
|ELECTRIC RANGE||100 mi|
2022 Mazda MX-30 EV SUV Priced High for Its Range, Offers Gas-Fed Loaners
Mazda’s new electric crossover gets a mere 100 miles of driving range.
After much anticipation, the all-new 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV arrives at dealerships this fall and will initially launch in California before coming available in other markets. Now, at long last, we know how much the the MX-30 electric crossover will cost and what sort of stuff it’ll come with. It starts at $34,470, and the sticker price can be bumped to $37,655 by way of the Premium Plus package.
The battery-electric MX-30’s new powertrain is dubbed e-Skyactiv EV and consists of an electric motor at the front axle and a 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Producing 143 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, the MX-30 EV gets an EPA-estimated 100 miles of driving range on a full charge—a low figure even by today’s entry-level EV standards.
When plugged at a Level 3 fast-charging station, the battery can load up to 80 percent in approximately 30 minutes. A Level 2 240-volt charger requires just under two hours for the same amount of juice.
Mounted directly under the vehicle floorboard, the battery pack is flat and modular, and its placement ensures the center of gravity stays low. For optimal performance, a thin cooling system helps the battery operate at the correct temperature.
Helping to control the vehicle load while providing more natural and consistent handling, the new G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) is a standard feature on all MX-30 models. Because an electric motor can be as quiet as a soft breeze, the new EV from Mazda produces audible feedback that is in sync with the electric motor.
Back To The Dollars And Sense
Mazda has come up with an EV-specific purchase incentive targeted at folks who currently drive a gas-powered vehicle—by teaming up with the ChargePoint charging network to offer customers a $500 credit. Buyers can use this credit to charge at public stations or toward the purchase of an in-home ChargePoint Level 2 charger. And for extended road trips that many of us cannot do without—and many owners of gas-powered vehicles will miss—Mazda is introducing a Mazda MX-30 Elite Access Loaner Program.
An exclusive benefit for MX-30 owners, this program will give customers access to other (read: traditional gas-fed) vehicles in the Mazda lineup for up to 10 days per year during the first three years of ownership.
A newcomer to the electric vehicle segment, the Mazda MX-30 EV features rear-hinged rear doors, two-tone paint, a coupe-like roofline, and sharp 18-inch wheels. All-new premium exterior color options include Polymetal Gray, Ceramic Metallic, or Soul Red Crystal. Although mostly sporting a multitone look, the dark gray roof paired with the silver D-pillar badges creates a three-tone scheme. Also available in monotone, paint choices include Ceramic Metallic, Polymetal Gray, or Jet Black.
Warm and inviting, the cabin is composed of eco-friendly materials, including cork bits and pieces that pay homage to Mazda’s origin as a cork manufacturer over 100 years ago. The door trim panels also are made up of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.
An 8.8-inch touchscreen with Mazda Connect, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a rearview camera with rear parking sensors make the list of standard equipment. Other amenities include heated front seats, a power moonroof, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with lumbar support.
Among an array of safety systems, the standard i-Activesense safety suite bundles adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go traffic assist, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist. The optional Premium Plus package adds blind-spot assist, which provides steering assistance to help maintain the vehicle within its lane when another car is in the MX-30’s blind spot.
Those who opt for the Premium trim grade also get a Bose 12-speaker sound system, a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree view monitor with front parking sensors, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, and three months of SiriusXM. The well-appointed two-tone interior featuring synthetic leather uses 20 percent recycled threads and is available in Pure White with gray fabric or Vintage Brown with black fabric. Under this package, the 18-inch wheels come finished in bright silver, and Machine Gray Metallic exterior paint is available as a single tone.
Regardless of trim, the MX-30 is priced fairly high (before applicable tax incentives customers might qualify for). A Nissan Leaf, for example, delivers more driving range and similar sizing for thousands less. A Tesla Model 3, which packs over twice the range (253 miles per charge) and more power starts at just over $40,000—not far from the MX-30’s list price. Chevy’s Bolt, arguably the MX-30’s most direct competitor (it, too, is a front-drive, tallish hatchback), serves up 259 miles of range and costs a mere $31,995.
Again, stirring in tax incentives, the Mazda’s price effectively starts at under $30,000—but with so many other EVs available for similar (or not much more) money, is 100 miles of range enough, even with available gas-fed loaners?
2022 Mazda MX-30 Pricing
- MX-30: $34,470
- MX-30 Premium Plus: $37,655
Mazda Presses Pause on MX-30 Rotary Range Extender
Slated to be used in the MX-30, the little Wankel may be DOA
It’s been a bumpy road for emergent Mazda engine technology of late. The Skyactiv-D turbodiesel struggled through a long and tortured emissions certification process, only to emerge as overpriced and underperforming.
The brand’s technologically interesting Skyactiv-X spark-assisted compression ignition engine, despite initial talk of an application in the United States, is no longer expected to cross the pond—at least in its current state. And now the exciting prospect of the return of the legendary Mazda rotary engine, a storied design utilized in a new and futuristic way, is clouded—at best.
That’s per an Automotive News report that, at a minimum, implies the rotary engine is on hold. It was due to be used as a small range extender in the MX-30 electric SUV. As recently as April, Mazda had confirmed the rotary range extender was coming in the near future to the U.S. But now, a Mazda spokesperson in Japan told AN “the timing of its introduction is undecided. ”
Behind that ambiguous statement is more bad news. Japanese newspapers, according to AN, are reporting that the range extender has been officially scrapped.
If it’s true that the rotary engine has been effectively canceled in the near term, it’d be a blow to enthusiasts who were eagerly anticipating the return of an engine configuration that has a long history at Mazda. The rotary was developed in Germany but plagued with troubling teething issues. Mazda licensed the technology and with ingenuity and a lot of effort, solved many of the engine’s problems, introducing the rotary in the 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S.
While Mazda hasn’t sold a rotary in the U.S. in 10 years (the last vehicle with one was the long-gone RX-8), the idea of Mazda repurposing this special engine design to serve as a generator for the battery pack of its electric SUV was an exciting prospect.
Even so, the MX-30 itself will live on. U.S.-spec MX-30s are due to feature a front-mounted electric motor that produces 144-hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, with energy supplied by way of a 35.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
We expect Mazda to clarify its rotary engine plans. When it does, we’ll let you know. Until then, since we’re fond of the unusual engine that’s so closely tied to Mazda’s performance heritage, we’ll remain hopeful that it once again finds its way into a U.S.-bound Mazda product … eventually.
Mazda MX-30 Debuts in Tokyo as the Brand’s First Electric Car
EV is going into production first for Europe and other markets
Mazda has finally unveiled its first electric vehicle at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, and appropriately for the times it’s a subcompact SUV. Called the MX-30, the SUV features its own unique exterior design and a cool interior that uses sustainable materials. The MX-30 will be the third vehicle to ride on Mazda’s latest platform following the Mazda3 and CX-30. Its exterior footprint, though, is similar to the CX-30, putting it squarely in subcompact SUV territory.
Unlike other Mazda SUVs, the MX-30 has its own unique look. It loses the large corporate grille in favor of a smaller one without openings that connect to the SUV’s headlights. The side profile reveals the biggest distinguishing factors on the Mazda MX-30, the raked rear hatch and the suicide doors.
At the rear, we see more design cues taken from the Mazda3 hatch and CX-30, including its LED light strips and circular taillights. This time, however, the housings have a striking three-dimensional look. The Mazda MX-30 will also be available in two-tone exterior colors.
The Mazda MX-30’s interior is another evolution of the brand’s minimalist design language. Traditional climate control buttons have been replaced by a 7.0-inch touchscreen mounted just ahead of the electronic shifter on the floating center console. Mazda’s latest infotainment system is also present and retains its knob-based controls.
Like most EVs, Mazda touts that the MX-30 uses sustainable materials such as tree bark for the trim and recycled materials for the seat upholstery. The lack of a mechanical shifter also provides more storage space under the center console.
Powering the Mazda MX-30 is an electric motor and a liquid-cooled 35-kWh lithium-ion battery dubbed e-Skyactiv. Unfortunately, no power outputs or range estimates have been given. We have heard rumors that the MX-30 will be available with a range extender, which is expected to be a rotary engine. Mazda says that you can charge the battery using level 1 or 2 chargers as well as combo or CHAdeMO fast chargers.
Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC+) system, which uses the engine and brakes to help vehicles handle better, has evolved into e-GVC Plus. This optimizes load shifts from front to rear by managing torque output depending on the driving situation and steering wheel inputs. When taking a corner, e-GVC Plus reduces torque and enables more weight to shift to the front so that the car turns smoothly. It will then start shifting the load back to the rear when the vehicle begins exiting the corner.
On the safety front, Mazda’s i-ActivSense suite gets upgraded with three new features. The Turn-Across Traffic feature is intended to help prevent collisions at intersections by monitoring oncoming traffic and applying the brakes automatically if it thinks you don’t have a sufficient gap to make the turn.
That’s great for those just learning to drive and still figuring out how to gauge closing speed and distance, but more experienced drivers might find themselves frequently quoting the great Kimi Raikkonen: “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing.” Meanwhile, Road Keep Assist allows the car to stay in its lane even when markings aren’t detected by referencing the curb or grass along the edges. Emergency lane keeping expands on blind spot monitoring by adding collision avoidance capability when changing lanes.
Production of the Mazda MX-30 starts early next year, and the all-electric crossover will go on sale in Europe first, as that market has the strictest emissions regulations and thus the biggest push for EVs. Like the Skyactiv-X engine, Mazda hasn’t given a time frame for the MX-30’s arrival in North America.
Confirmed! Mazda MX-30 Gets a Rotary Range Extender
Mazda’s iconic rotary engine is back, though not in a sports car. Yet.
We’ve been waiting years for Mazda to bring back its rotary engine, and now, it’s finally happening—albeit not in a sports car such as a revived RX-7 as we hoped. Instead, in an expected move, the first modern Mazda to get a rotary engine is the MX-30 electric crossover. In it, the smooth-running engine will act as a range extender (basically, a fuel-fed generator to extend the MX-30’s driving range between charging stations).
This head-rotating information comes directly from Mazda President and CEO Akira Marumoto. In the video below, Marumoto confirms that automaker will bring out early copies of the rotary assisted model next year. Expect the final MX-30 EV to hit Japan in 2022.
Mazda introduced its first production rotary engine in 1967, having licensed Wankel technology from a West German automaker in the early 1960s. (Instead of pistons pumping back and forth, spinning a crankshaft, rotaries use a rounded-off triangular rotor that spins and gyrates inside a housing, with the cycles of combustion handled in the voids between it and the rotor.).
And although Mazda hasn’t offered the unique engine format in a while, the automaker hasn’t given up on the engine, testing a rotary range extender on a prototype Demio (known here, briefly, as the Mazda 2) several years ago. At the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda teased an RX-7 successor with a new-generation SkyActiv-R rotary engine. We’re glad the rotary engine is finally making a comeback, and we hope it will eventually reach the U.S. market.
In the meantime, Mazda is releasing a mild-hybrid version of the MX-30 for Japan. That model is now on sale in the country, packing a 2.0-liter gas engine with an electric motor that assists when needed. The MX-30 shares a platform with the Mazda 3 and CX-30.
To match the crossover’s green performance ambitions, Mazda filled the cabin with sustainable materials, including recycled PET bottles for the door trim. A material called “Heritage Cork” in the console tray is made from harvesting the bark of a tree, eliminating the need to chop it down. Mazda will sell a 100th Anniversary edition—the treatment is similar to those for other models it’ll sell here in the U.S. —of this mild hybrid with embossed headrests, special carpeting, and other updates.
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