I am very excited that this BEV is coming Stateside, because the MX-30 is a sensible electric car and is good-looking to boot. What’s going to make or break this BEV is going to be price, because it has a lot of other things going for it.
The MX-30's design is excellent. All of the lights on this thing look good, and its long hood and hatch mesh well. Mazda’s freestyle doors are great and seem to provide decent ingress and egress for passengers and cargo. Oh, and don’t forget that wonderful color-matched key. Yes, the wheels are over styled, but that’s kind of a given nowadays.
And I’m not crazy about the MAZDA silver trim over the rear quarter panel. It will not age well. I do think overall the MX-30 is beautiful, if a tad portly.
Its MX designation is still somewhat of a mystery. It doesn’t hint at a sporty crossover as it pertains to high output because the MX-30's specs are not knocking anybody over. Mazda says the U.S. model will produce 144 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. The battery has a 35.5 kWh capacity but there’s no word yet on the MX-30's range for models bound for our market. The MX-30 gets about 124 miles to a charge (without the rotary extender) in markets where it’s currently available.
We will be getting that range-extender, though, per Mazda’s press release:
“Mazda is preparing for the fast-changing US market demands by taking a multi-solution approach to electrification,” Jeff Guyton, President of Mazda North American Operations, said. “The battery-powered MX-30 will begin the introduction of additional electrified models, including a series plug-in hybrid with a rotary generator for MX-30, a plug-in hybrid for our new large platform, and a traditional hybrid for our new American-made crossover. While these powertrains will be optimized for their platforms, Mazda fans can expect great driving dynamics and beautiful design across all models.”
“The rotary generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain,” Guyton said. “This technology is being engineered for nearly silent operation and will replenish the battery rather than drive the wheels. As a result, the MX-30 will always drive like the engaging EV that it is, but with freedom to charge from the wall or on the go.”
This is a monumental return that the rotary is returning to production and to America. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a rotary anything, let alone a rotary in a non-sports car, certainly thrilling the dozens of fans of Mazda RX-3s out there.
Again, everything about the MX-30 hinges on price and unfortunately we just don’t know what it will cost yet. Mazda has a good track record here for value, and Mazdas have punched above their weight in reliability, handling and safety. The MX-30 is no exception to this last metric, being the first Mazda to get an overall five star Euro NCAP score.
If Mazda can find a way to price this low enough, hopefully below $30,000, I think it could be a compelling fully electric car within reach for a lot of drivers.