There's good news out there for potential EV buyers. Mazda just announced pricing on their swanky new MX-30 EV crossover. It will start at $33,470 bas MSRP, a price that's quite attractive for the segment. Most EV buyers are concerned about range, but Mazda is banking on the MX-30 for commuters who care about more than just the range.
The bad news is that it's not the cheapest EV out there. In fact, there are four other EVs that cost less and have more range than the MX-30s 100-mile limit. But the MX-30 will carry a special appeal all its own. None of the competitors that are close to the MX-30's price can boast interior styling and materials at the level of the MX-30. Here's what we know so far.
The Price is Right
The starting price of a little bit more than $33,000 certainly undercuts the average price of a new car in 2021 (which is just above $40,000). It's also priced on par with the Hyundai Kona EV, and beats out the new Volkswagen ID.4, but the MX-30, itself, is undercut by a few other competitors in the EV space:
- MINI Cooper SE Hardtop Electric: $29,900 base MSRP, 114-mile range
- Nissan LEAF: $27,400 base MSRP, 150-mile range
- Chevrolet Bolt: $31,000 base MSRP, 259-mile range
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric: $33,245 base MSRP, 170-mile range
Also, note that the four EVs above aren't just less expensive than the MX-30, they also have more range (the MINI, only barely). The Mazda MX-30 also qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit, which helps tremendously. The Chevy Bolt (the one with the most range in the list above) no longer qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit, so take that into account. Mazda has also partnered with the popular EV charging service ChargePoint, and MX-30 owners will receive a $500 credit towards charging at ChargePoint's stations or to install a ChargePoint Level 2 charger in their home.
Almost as important is the quality of the vehicle, and Mazda ranks at the top of the heap. Mazda is #1 in brand reliability in the auto industry for 2021, which means across their model line, you'll find fewer problems that require repairs. Hyundai is a distant 6th place, Nissan is #13, Chevrolet is #17, and MINI is way down the list at #23.
The MX-30 is Near-Luxury
What the MX-30 provides that its nearest competitors don't is a truly special interior. The Japanese automaker went out of its way to imbue the MX-30 with special materials that include natural and sustainable materials like cork and recycled plastic bottles.
Lest you think that sounds cheap, just look at the photo above. The seats are breathable, and the cork is coated to prevent stains. The layout of the interior is also consistent with Mazda's current line in terms of minimalism and refinement, but it also takes the design to the next level with a floating center console and a digital touchscreen with storage located behind it. The interior is more luxurious and better designed than pretty much every other EV at its price point.
The base MX-30 EV comes standard with an 8.8-inch center screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector, power sunroof, heated power-folding mirrors with memory, eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a rearview camera with parking sensors, and a frameless auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
The Efficiency Level is Intentional
A mere 100 miles of all-electric range seems paltry compared to most of the competition, but the MX-30 isn't intended for road trips. Instead, it's geared towards buyers who primarily drive short distances to and from work, as well as around town. Mazda expects owners to use chargers at home and then top it off at the office or other locations during use. It prioritizes driving fun and a new level of refinement for its customers. Mazda used a smaller battery in order to preserve the famous Mazda handling characteristics, as well as to reduce the environmental impact since battery disposal/recycling is an ongoing issue.
The MX-30 has a single 143-hp electric motor that will drive the front wheels, as there won't be an AWD model as yet. The automaker has plans to create a hybrid version that could have AWD, and the addition of the gas motor is essentially a range extender (albeit, not an electric one). For those who have range concerns for the EV, Mazda will have an MX-30 Elite Access Loaner Program that provides MX-30 owners with access to other Mazda vehicles for 10 days a year for the first three years of ownership. That means if you need to take a longer trip, you can nab pretty much any other Mazda model like a CX-9 or an MX-5 Miata.
In terms of charging capability, the MX-30 battery will charge to 80% in 36 minutes with DC fast charging Mazda, 2 hours and 50 minutes with Level 2, and 13 hours and 40 minutes with a regular 120V power outlet. Mazda also provides an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the battery.
The MX-30 will also come standard with safety tech such as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, blind-spot and lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic brake support, and driver inattention warning. The MX-30 EV Premium Plus package adds a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system, heated steering wheel, HomeLink, blind spot assist, front cross-traffic alert, and a 360 around-view monitor.
Look for the MX-30 EV to go on sale in California this fall, followed by the rest of the country in the following months. It should prove to be a fun, refined, and well-designed crossover that bucks the trend of more range, offsetting it with a more premium look and feel. We can't wait to drive it.