2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Too Expensive, Terrible Range

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Mazda has announced pricing for its first all-electric vehicle and it’s not exactly coming across like a square deal. The manufacturer has announced the base model will start at $33,470 before an obligatory $1,175 destination charge. But the small crossover is only capable of completing 100 miles on a single charge, making it seem as if Mazda designed the car specifically to mock EV advocates.

While we frequently chide electric vehicles for skimping on the fundamentals, Mazda’s take on the segment is inexcusable. There were battery driven vehicles debuting a decade earlier with modestly sized packs capable of covering similar distances to the MX-30. Those considering one would almost certainly be better served by a Nissan Leaf and it doesn’t even need to be a brand new one. However Mazda is doing what it can to sweeten the pot, resulting in some interesting marketing decisions.

As part of the MX-30’s curiously high price tag, the manufacturer is providing a $500 ChargePoint credit that can go toward the installation of a Level 2 home charger or rolled into covering public charging fees until its been depleted. Customers also receive the ability to use the brand’s Elite Access Loaner Program and borrow another Mazda vehicle (powered by gasoline) for up to ten days, which will likely be a necessity of you’re planning on taking a trip anywhere other than the store. But the free ride ends after three years, forcing customers to enter into one of those heinous vehicle subscription services if they want to retain access.

The 2022 MX-30 comes with a single 143-horsepower/200 pound-feet electric motor driving the front wheels and Mazda said the 100-mile range comes from a 35.5-kilowatt-hour battery. However your author is inclined to believe the functional capacity is a bit less than that since the range is so poor.

The aforementioned Nissan Leaf has also developed a reputation for being a comfortable and practical EV with unappetizing range limitations. But it can be had for roughly $28,000 with a 40-kWh battery pack offering 149 miles. For the price of a base MX-30, Nissan can furnish a 60-kWh unit providing over 200 miles between charges. It also manages to eek out a smidgen more power from its electric motor, leaving the Mazda with few advantages beyond its good looks.

Though it’s not just the Leaf that trounces the MX-30 on paper. Most modern electrics (and some older ones) are offering far more automobile for the kind of money Mazda is asking, making it easy to see why the company has elected to make this a California-only compliance product for the North American market.

Assuming you don’t buy vehicles based entirely on trendiness or tax credits, there are also a slew of gasoline-fueled hatchbacks retailing below $20,000 that you would be insane not to consider. While they still result in routine gas bills, they don’t require you to wait 36 minutes to recoup 80 percent of your total range (using the quicker Level 3 charger; normal charging takes hours) or need massive amounts of advanced planning to drive more than a couple hundred miles in a single day. Their rock-bottom pricing also leaves you with tons of wiggle room in case you wanted to add features. But you could still opt for an entirely different vehicle segment and easily come in below what Mazda’s asking.

Frankly, it doesn’t really matter what you get because it’s almost assuredly going to be more capable than the MX-30. We’re alarmed Mazda had the gall to price this premium golf cart above $30,000 when cars like the Kia Soul still exist. This is literally one of those vehicles that makes you question the mental state of its owner and whether or not they were forced to buy the crossover against their will.

Mazda plans on offering the compliance-focused MX-30 in two trim levels, with the slicker Premium Plus model starting at $37,655 (including destination). That unit adds fancier upholstery, advanced keyless entry, a nicer Bose audio system, and a 360-degree camera while retaining the 8.8-inch touchscreen and latest infotainment system the manufacture has at its disposal. But the base trim will be the only one available at launch and both will be purchased exclusively by fools when they begin to arrive this fall.

[Images: Mazda]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • SPPPP SPPPP on Aug 25, 2021

    This article, and the comments, are hilarious. Who could imagine that a bunch of grown men (and perhaps a few women) would be so ... triggered ... by a niche product? The execs in Hiroshima aren't going to read these posts. And if they did, I don't think they would lose any sleep over them. If you don't like it, don't buy it. :)

    • See 1 previous
    • SPPPP SPPPP on Aug 26, 2021

      @ajla :) But I took my own advice. Not only did I not buy a Supra, but I haven't been following the stories about it much either. But now you made me look at that monstrosity again - sigh. That wasn't very nice of you.

  • RedRocket RedRocket on Aug 25, 2021

    > If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Don't worry, nobody will. There's no fanboi like a Mazda fanboi.

    • SPPPP SPPPP on Aug 26, 2021

      > There’s no fanboi like a Mazda fanboi. Now that's an invitation to a urination contest. No thanks.

  • Slavuta I don't know how they calc this. My newest cars are 2017 and 2019, 40 and 45K. Both needed tires at 30K+, OEM tires are now don't last too long. This is $1000 in average (may be less). Brakes DYI, filters, oil, wipers. I would say, under $1500 under 45K miles. But with the new tires that will last 60K, new brakes, this sum could be less in the next 40K miles.
  • BeauCharles I had a 2010 Sportback GTS for 10 years. Most reliable car I ever own. Never once needed to use that super long warranty - nothing ever went wrong. Regular maintenance and tires was all I did. It's styling was great too. Even after all those years it looked better than many current models. Biggest gripe I had was the interior. Cheap (but durable) materials and no sound insulation to speak of. If Mitsubishi had addressed those items I'm sure it would have sold better.
  • Marty S I learned to drive on a Crosley. Also, I had a brand new 75 Buick Riviera and the doors were huge. Bent the inside edge of the hood when opening it while the passenger door was open. Pretty poor assembly quality.
  • 3-On-The-Tree Alan, I was an Apache pilot and after my second back surgery I was medically boarded off of flying status due to vibrations, climbing on and off aircraft, so I was given the choice of getting out or re-branching so I switched to Military Intel. Yes your right if you can’t perform your out doesn’t matter if your at 17 years. Dad always said your just a number, he was a retired command master chief 25 years.
  • ToolGuy "Note that those vehicles are in direct competition with models Rivian sells"• I predict that we are about to hear why this statement may not be exactly true