By on August 24, 2021

Image: Mazda

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.

Image: Mazda

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]

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79 Comments on “2022 Mazda MX-30 EV Too Expensive, Terrible Range...”


  • avatar
    jack4x

    Hard to believe some kind of joint venture wouldn’t have been easier/cheaper for them than this 2010-era effort.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Wouldn’t have made any difference. Electric motors are all equally efficient, and battery packs the same. Mazda has less to gain by pretending than most others, hence won’t subsidize their BEVs the way others do. This is the BEV (in CUV shape) you get for your money, absent voodoo accounting, completely unrealistic range estimates and cost shifting.

      There’s a reason they don’t sell many BEVs in Japan, where the most advanced battery knowledge bases are located. Despite the country being both much smaller and denser, and with slower moving roads, than in the more gullible, easier to sucker and more delusional West.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    Just as with the case of Mazda’s dated infortainment system and 6-speed automatic transmission, they are once again 10 years behind the times. One wonders how long the firm can remain viable given such massive changes in the automotive tech landscape.

  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    At least it’s better looking than the Leaf. Really nice looking, in fact.

    #silverlinings

  • avatar
    Varezhka

    To be fair, I’m sure it will be much nicer to drive than then what is essentially a stretched Dacia Logan that is Nissan Leaf, and it really is a compliance vehicle that Mazda itself said it doesn’t really want to sell more than it needs to. I’m sure they’ll just lease however many they need and send the rest to Europe.

    I myself will be waiting for the more practical PHEV version due next year.

  • avatar

    This will be interesting iff the rumored Wankel range-extender gets added to it.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      The last time I talked to someone with some insider knowledge about the range-extender model they didn’t have much to say. I’m starting to think the delays might as well be permanent.

      • 0 avatar
        Varezhka

        The last I heard was that the REx version may be put on hold, but the rotary engine based PHEV (and HEV for some markets) is still on track for next year. Which is all fine in my book considering that’s the version I’m most interested in anyways.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        Sorry to butt into the staff meeting to make a comment (but I will).

        Matt, if the guy shown up there in the picture wants to share clothing and hair care products with his sister shown up there in the picture, and if he wants to buy a nice-looking EV with city range, I’m not going to get too riled up about it – I don’t judge. :-)

        Mazda’s Soul Red Crystal Metallic is the greatest automotive paint color on the planet. (I don’t buy red cars, but I smile every time I see it.) I figure that paint color is why the Universe keeps Mazda around [it’s certainly not their website].

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Never gonna happen.

      Mazda’s been seeking an application for the defunct rotary engine that they’ve kept in development for over a decade since one was last used in a production car.

      They can’t get it to meet emissions regs as a solo propulsion unit, so the plan was to game the system by using it as a part-time range extender.

      Three problems remain with the plan:
      1. Adding an ICE to this car will make it more costly, more heavy, and reduce usable space.
      2. A range extender will not provide the same propulsive power as the electric motor, so it will suffer from the BMW i3 REX issue, in which drivers suddenly lost substantial power when the battery was low.
      3. Sales volume will never justify the expense of introducing it.

      If Mazda is going to make an EV, they need to partner with someone to make it right, and to have any hope of keeping costs down.

      This car will only accelerate Mazda’s decline, and may actually seal their fate. How much viable work was delayed because they developed this thing?

      • 0 avatar
        Mike A

        What decline? They are profitable and product volumes have increased globally over the past few years.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Mazda US market share (credit to GCBC):

          2005 1.53
          2006 1.64
          2007 1.85
          2008 2.01
          2009 2.01
          2010 1.99
          2011 1.97
          2012 1.97
          2013 1.83
          2014 1.86
          2015 1.83
          2016 1.70
          2017 1.68
          2018 1.73
          2019 1.64
          2020 1.90

          OK, they went up a little in a pandemic year.

          The MX-30 isn’t going to be their breakthrough product in the US, so I don’t see why they bother with it.

          If they are limiting the MX-30 to California, that means they will literally sell a few hundred of these in 2022.

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    Wankel range extender ? Let the jokes begin

  • avatar
    slavuta

    They must be failed to deliver a small rotary charger engine. And without it, this car is just a joke.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    What ridiculous outrage! Typical of this site.

    This vehicle was announced a year ago with a 135 mile WLP range. Did the esteemed “author” bother to read those announcements? Apparently not. And that despite being an “auto” editor whose knowledge and memory retention abilities seem as limited as Mr. Healey’s.

    The EPA duly reduced the projected 135 mile range to 100 because of longer American miles, so I’d bet it’ll handily do that. Naturally, the commentary at the time of the original announcement was all about the gamble Mazda was taking with such a small battery, producing such a limited-range town runabout, considering the way the EV market is moving. That attitude was common to both North America and European observers.

    With a projected economy of only 3 miles per kWh, it does seem incredibly inefficient, if one believes the guff about Lucid getting 4 1/2 or more on the article published last week, where the chief designer anointed himself with the mantle of modest genius.

    However, the market will speak. If no one buys them, well, who cares? Only sheepish Mazda execs who read the tea leaves incorrectly. Why the outrage? Has Mazda personally betrayed the unread Posky? Does it somehow offend the very intellectual core of his existence on this planet?

    Get a grip.

    And the spelling you want is “eke”. “eek” is reserved for old ladies who meet a mouse in the kitchen.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Why the outrage?”

      Why the full-throated defense? How much affinity do you have for Mazda?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “longer American miles”

      ??

      WLTP is always optimistic vs EPA numbers, and EPA can often be met by EVs. I would hope a 35.5 kWh pack could deliver more than 100 miles range.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I am not outraged, but am scratching my head thinking who is this car for? There has to be 100 or fewer people out there who gotta have an electric Mazda. Because if it didn’t have to be a Mazda, you would buy literally anything else. Maybe this vehicle was always intended as more of a study, but it hardly seems worth the effort of actually designing and building it.

      I hope it is just a stepping stone or placeholder for something else. I am thinking the primary customer is going to be Mazda dealerships for this vehicle. Run customers to their office from the dealership and charge in between. Repeated short errands followed by constant charging.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      At least, they (Mazda) have sent to me a newsletter from a teachers union with a masked (suposedly) teacher showing something to a masked (supposedly) student.

      • 0 avatar

        And what Mazda wanted you to do? Wear a mask? Send a donation?

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Here is a full text

          “In a world that seems to get more complex by the day, there is perhaps no vocation more important than an educator. Even in the best of times, it’s a role that comes with endless challenges. We’re inspired by those special people who help guide the journeys of tomorrow’s leaders.

          To help them get a fresh start on the upcoming school year, we’re offering educators a complimentary oil change, vehicle cleaning and inspection.¹ And it’s not just for Mazda drivers—most makes and models are eligible.¹ Check with your local dealer to confirm participation details.

          So if you’re a teacher, coach, administrator or school staffer, you qualify! Otherwise, please share this email with the educators in your life so we can thank as many people as we can.”

          Apparently, I did not even get to the offer after seeing 2 masked actors, one leaning over another next to the fake window.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Posky’s saying the car’s a joke. He’s right.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Too bad the Leaf has the battery management of a trashcan filled with old socks.

    I think the Mini SE at $29,900.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    A lot of EV range hysteria is missing the point, especially for second or third cars, but 100 miles is legitimately too short. IMO the sweet spot for American suburban running about is right around 150 miles. That’s far enough to cover the occasional round trip across our biggest metro areas in bad weather.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Another traditional manufacturer demonstrating that it’s 10 years behind Tesla. They’ve done (and continue to do) their R&D homework. This included the Supercharger network.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “ Too bad the Leaf has the battery management of a trashcan filled with old socks.”

    Pretty accurate description, I say.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Two more strikes against this vehicle:

    1. Curb weight is an astronomical 3850 lbs (max). My 12 Leaf was about 3400 lbs, and my 19 Ioniq EV weighs 3100 lbs. There goes the efficiency.

    2. The rear ‘freestyle’ doors – as Mazda calls them – are a non-starter for anyone who cares to carry more than 2 occupants.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      Believe it or not, auto manufacturers once sold vehicles with 2 doors. Many North Americans were actually limber enough to move their mass into the rear seats via one of the 2 doors.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      but if you carry more than two occupants–or maybe more than one occupant–you’ll end up with only enough range to go to the end of the driveway and back.

      So, the odds of any occupants occurring are small.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    But they get the government fuel credits, and that’s all that matters.

    This is what happens when the government distorts the market.

    They’ll lose money on these, no consumer wants them, and they’ll have to jack up prices on their other vehicles in order to make up for the shortfall, hurting consumers.

    But it made a bureaucrat happy.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    MX-30 is California only.
    It won’t set any sales records in the midwest.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    At a 100 mile range for optimal conditions (80 miles real world and worse in extreme heat or cold), this is a non-starter.

    Much better looking than the Leaf or Bolt, and the interior looks nice (no idea on the quality of material, ergo, feels, etc.)

    Even with a fat stack of tax credits, I just can’t see who the buyer for this is.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I don’t get why Mazda, Subaru and Mitsu don’t partner up. It’s going to get much harder on these solo acts, moving forward.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @DenverMike: Subaru is partnering with Toyota on an EV.

      Mazda should just make a deal to build cars with parts from Tesla. Tesla technology/skateboard with decent build quality. It would be a good combination.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        toyota owns 20% of subaru.
        JV on the BRZ.
        Full fledged “brothers” as 40% of all N American Camry s from ~2007- 2016 were made at the Lafayette IND Subaru Plant.

        Prediction: Toyota will buy the car side of the business when the crash comes. Spin off Nakajima Aircraft/ Fuji Heavy part.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Mazda is partnering with Toyota already.
      Nisan is partnering with Mitsu.
      And Toyota is partnering with Subaru.

      Have you missed the news?

  • avatar
    probert

    Just wait for the hydrogen powered Wankel – then we’ll see who’s laughing!!! Seriously – these guys are on a highway to hell and they’re paving it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This about sums it up:

    youtube.com/watch?v=IvC2TkB-7BU

    The good news is that the folks at Cadillac can rest easier, now that Mazda’s yanked the “worst joke car ever” award from the ELR.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      COTD

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think ELR still has the crown.

      • 0 avatar
        Alex Mackinnon

        The ELR might get a lot of flack for being stupidly overpriced, but underneath the ELR was still a pretty good car. The 1st gen Volt that it’s based on is solid almost 10 year in.

        This is a pretty crap compliance car, 10 years late to the EV game.

        Mazda is struggling. All their bets aside from wringing ever last bit of efficiency out of non-hybridized NA gas motors hasn’t paid off. They’re a small company. Unless they start figuring out their longer term path forwards, they’re dead.

        Companies like GM and Toyota can afford several generations of failures before they figure out what they’re doing. The Volt, Bolt, ELR, and CT6e and all their other false starts won’t matter if they can make a Silverado and EV Hummer that don’t suck and are profitable.

        Mazda probably can survive more than one or two failed launches without having to be saved by a larger player.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    I saw one of these testing in Newport Beach two weeks ago. Talked with the Mazda Tech driving it.

    It is decent looking, the lack of B pillar is interesting. Not that convenient.

    Range is the deal breaker, don’t think they will get many buyers. But really cheap lease deals maybe.

    The Leaf is pretty much also a compliance. Nissan never created another model to the range as a follow on to it.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    It will probably be sold to some municipal governments in CA and they probably will get some federal grant to buy them. Because it’s totally saving the planet for some meter maid to drive these.

    Creating a great product people want to voluntarily spend money on is something from a bygone era. It’s all about getting the government contracts now.

  • avatar
    jmo

    If you listen closely you can hear Tesla’s stock price going up. Everyone says, “Once legacy car makers start building electrics Tesla is toast.” And then this
    the Volt, Taycan, iD3, EQS come out and they are still years behind.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      All Tesla has to do is get twice the market share and twice the profit margin of Toyota – and part of its market cap would be justified!

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Have you driven the XC40 Recharge? Let me know what you think, because the interior of that is worlds better than anything Tesla has churned out.

      And let’s not talk about build quality.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    There is no reason for a car that large to be FWD in EV form. Spectacularly lazy attempt.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    “But the small crossover is only capable of completing 100 miles on a single charge”

    When the calculated available range visibly decreases the moment you plug in your phone, you know what you have.

    And then toss in “but I keep the state of charge between an indicated 40% and 70%–to maximize the battery life, you know” then it isn’t even a golf cart capable of doing 18 holes.

  • avatar
    ras815

    This article misses another baffling drawback of this model: it is unbelievably pokey for an EV. I think I read it clocks in at around 9 seconds to 60…embarrassing for the former ‘zoom zoom’ brand.

    At least it could have been somewhat FUN to drive, but it sounds like it is a failure on all fronts.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    This reminds me a lot of the Fiat 500e release. Sergio basically told people not to buy them and they were losing a ton of money on each one sold and they were only sold in California and Oregon.
    The troubling part is that car delivered up to 100 miles of range in the city… in 2013.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    This could be the poster car for the Biden administration. Malaise era 2.0. Just add more confiscated tax dollars to the rebate.

    • 0 avatar
      ras815

      Had to make it political, huh?

      Not sure what Mazda, a Japanese manufacturer making a lousy EV, has to do with Biden, outside of your head…

      If we’re playing this game, though, I guess we could make the Chevy Bolt the poster child of the Trump administration – a poorly conceived POS prone to spontaneous combustion that had to be recalled before it set fire to the entire country. Come to think of it, that analogy works even better than yours!

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Then go buy a Ram TRX, available right now despite the fact that Biden’s in office.

      Derp.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        My comment was intended to poke fun. But yeah, the TRX and other less exotic ICE vehicles are on borrowed time thanks to increasing political pressure to make them go. The Mazda is a compliance vehicle. That should speak volumes. In other words they only built it to satisfy political pressure and policy. Not because the market wants it. So they lose money and waste time and resources instead of making something better that their customers want. The fact that they are a Japanese maker is irrelevant. Just like all the other makers they are saddled with policy and must comply or pay ransom in the form of carbon credits. So we get half baked vehicles like this. And diesel trucks that are wildly expensive to purchase and maintain that last a fraction as long as the trucks made 20 years ago. So then they get junked and replaced at tremendous environmental cost. We get start stop that adds complexity and cost. We get direct injection with the accompanying carbon build up and repairs. All to satisfy the bogeyman of man made climate change.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, that makes more sense than blaming Biden, I suppose, but I think you’re still off target.

          1) Climate change isn’t a bogeyman.
          2) The “government pressure” on EVs didn’t just start seven months ago when Biden took office.
          3) There are plenty of EVs that aren’t “compliance vehicles”.
          4) ICE vehicles aren’t going away overnight, or anytime soon. Any politician who tries to make them go away before the market is ready is going to face an unholy backlash.

          • 0 avatar
            kcflyer

            You missed the man made part. No one is arguing the climate changes over time. Where I live was once covered in a glacier estimated at over a mile thick. Magically went away long before the industrial revolution. Also don’t have a problem with BEV’s per say. This one is a joke but I would happily drive a Model S if I could afford one. Should I tune in to CNN, MSNBC, NBC? Which network do you approve?

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Who was it from Cool Hand Luke that said, “Some men you just can’t reach”?

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    “This could be the poster car for the Biden administration. Malaise era 2.0. Just add more confiscated tax dollars to the rebate.”

    Seek help and change the channel off of FOX

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    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. :)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. :)”

      thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/03/toyota-announces-2020-supra-color-options/#comment-9717286

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        :) 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.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    > If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

    Don’t worry, nobody will.

    There’s no fanboi like a Mazda fanboi.

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