Prices revealed for the 2020 Mazda MX-30

  • Mazda gets on-board with electric tech
  • MX name evokes sports cars - but it's a sports utility vehicle
  • Prices starting from £26,995

Mazda's first electric car will start from £26,995 (including £3,500 OLEV grant) when it goes on sale in the UK. These first cars coming to the UK, limited to just 500, will all be First Edition models, and will come with a free home charger.

Available to pre-order now, the first MX-30s will arrive in the UK in early 2021. Pricing for the rest of the MX-30 range will be announced later in 2020.

Ceramic Metallic and Polymetal Grey colours are free of charge (boom boom). But three-tone versions of Ceramic Metallic, and Soul Red, cost £950 and £1,250 respectively. These cars get a contrasting roof colour, which goes some way in explaining the price increase.

First Edition models come with a light grey cloth and stone leatherette interior, with orange seat stitching. Up front there's a 7-inch infotainment screen, that includes Mazda Connect. So the all-important Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included. A wall box home charger is thrown in for free with these models - which should be able to charge the CX-30 from empty in between four and a half to six hours.

The Mazda MX-30 electric crossover coupe, driving

Mazda isn't known for following trends, but the powerful MX name has been applied to some of their most visionary models. One theme links them all; driver-focused, clever sports cars, from the MX-5 roadster, to the tiny V6 powered Mazda MX-3 and GT-like MX-6.

It's inevitable that an all-electric Mazda would have to join the range, though, and with an eye to making the biggest market impact, it's arriving in the shape of a crossover coupe; the burgeoning class of sleek-roof, tall-riding pseudo-SUVs that are taking the place of real, low-slung sports cars for the masses.

Most of these cars reflect what average drivers genuinely want, rather than aspire to, and are set up to be as comfortable as possible in day-to-day driving without sacrificing a more aggressive, sporty look and attitude; Mazda's intent is to produce an electric car that appeals to above average drivers - with the sporty elements just as obvious behind the wheel as they are in the styling.

Plenty of upmarket EVs have achieved this (just look at the performance on offer from Tesla) - so the MX-30 is for those keen drivers with fairly average budgets and lifestyles. It's an affordable family crossover that can still feel exciting on those occasions when enjoyment of driving, rather than getting to the destination, is the priority.

Or it should be, at least - we've yet to see how much it's going to cost.

Mazda's first electric car is surprisingly conventional

The MX-30 brings a new, shortcut-coupe profile to the market; it's genuinely different to existing electric cars and crossover coupes, though it doesn't break new ground in packaging or construction. Pillarless doors are the most distinctive feature - shared with the RX-8 and Ford B-Max, and also the BMW i3, the wide opening and easy access to the rear seats while retaining a three-door look is generally very effective.

Mazda MX-30 features pillarless 'Freestyle' doors like the RX-8

BMW's implementation is more about maximising utility in a tall, narrow supermini, much like Ford's - and the RX-8's low roofline couldn't be further removed from today's trend for big ground clearance and high driving position.

Mazda MX-30 interior space

Details follow Mazda's 'Kodo' design language, but there's plenty to stand out from the CX family - not least, the bold, brushed metal Mazda badging that feels like it wouldn't be out of place on past innovative designs like the Cosmo.

Mazda Interior - concept sketches

Our first look at the interior shows welcoming, light shades and minimalism - the interior theme for 2020 - executed well, with some interesting material choices such as cork and fabric. Resisting the temptation to pin helpful notes to the console is something we've yet to encounter in a car...

Mazda MX-30 interior - concept to reality

Roofline and doors aside, there's no indication that Mazda's gone down the route of a clean-sheet design or advanced materials to create focused EV that takes full advantage of compact motors, different cooling demands and smaller gearboxes; the long nose, average overhangs and overall stance could such as easily be hiding a conventional drivetrain - and we wonder why, if this Freestyle-door coupe approach is good for the critical market of the EV, a similarly bold design wasn't adopted for the CX-30.

A short, but sweet driving experience?

Technical details of the MX-30 are, naturally, yet to be confirmed - but the early spec indicates a 35.5kWh battery pack, and a front-mounted motor package with front wheel drive, McPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear setup. A remarkably conventional layout setup for a car that aims to stand out for driver satisfaction, it's also playing it safe with interior packaging.

A similar size to the CX-30, this near-4.4m-long car doesn't break new ground in space efficiency either, with a long bonnet and traditional front-end profile.

Mazda MX-30  - Mazda's first electric car

Mazda is keen to emphasise that the MX-30's handling and steering are geared towards driver involvement and excitement, hoping to position their first EV as the choice of enthusiasts and petrolheads as much as it's designed to appeal to the eco-conscious. Looks go a long way - and it's off to a good start evoking Mazda's recent sports cars, and few electric cars lack performance.

However, the initial range that accompanies pre-orders - cars are expected to ship in mid to late 2020 - is around 125 miles of real-world driving. That's some distance away from recent rivals, and closer to the performance of established EV conversions of existing cars, such as the Volkswagen e-Golf. Bespoke models are clearly targeting ranges akin to a full tank of fuel, around 250-300 miles, and achieving it.

A full charge at 22kWh - most domestic wall boxes - will take 4.5 hours; DC charging should achieve 80% in 30-40 minutes. Mazda are backing the battery with an eight-year, 100,000 mile warranty.

What this means for you

Well, it means that there's a new and stylish electric vehicle to choose from. So many of these new electric vehicles joining the market in 2020-2021, most have been fairly generic in their approach - taking on the five-door, family-sized template of the Golf, or the supermini-with-space attitude of the Renault Zoe.

The MX-30 is a little different, in that it's designed to keep that youthful, sporty three-door profile (albeit with hidden rear doors) and a traditional interpretation of a sporty car, rather than pushing the boundaries of packaging achievable with electric technology.

Considering we initially had it pegged at between £30,000 and £40,000, the starting price for the early models means that it's on-par with rivals. It has an appealing style, but unless the range is increased by the time it goes on sale in the UK in 2021, Mazda may well have trouble attracting buyers away from 250+ mile range established rivals and brave new designs that leverage the flexibility of EV powertrains.

Mazda MX-30 - driving away

Further reading

>> BMW i4 concept preview 2021 car

>> More details of new Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV emerge

>> Best new car deals 2020