THE Mazda MX-30 compact SUV is the company's first all-electric vehicle and it looks good and feels great to drive.
It also has numerous design features that make it stand out from the opposition.
It is really good looking and is very similar to its sibling the CX-30 but it is more rounded and has a really special touch with backward opening rear doors.
The interior is also a bit special with lots of recycled material being used for the trim. Some cork is also used and that is because Mazda started out in business distributing the material 100 years ago.
The MX-30 is exactly the same size as the CX-30 and is priced from £26,045 for the SE-L Lux after the UK government £2,500 grant for low emission vehicles is deducted.
The 35.3kWh battery gives it a range of about 124 miles from a single charge and that may go up to about 160miles if it is only used in and around town.
That does not seem like a lot but it will be enough for most customers as few motorists travel that distance every day.
If you have to recharge away from home you can get up to 80 per cent power from a rapid charger in just 36 minutes and a full charge at home from a domestic socket takes around five hours.
There are four models in the range with the flagship being the GT Sport Tech version costing £30,345 after the grant has been applied. A First Edition model and a Sport Lux version complete the line-up.
The newcomer provides a really smooth and quiet drive as you would expect from an electric motor and official figures say the car has a 0-60mph time of 9.7 seconds and a tip speed of 86mph.
The first class cabin is very quiet with only a muted artificial engine noise to keep your attention from slipping.
As you would expect from a Mazda the handling is sharp and responsive and paddle shifters can be used to choose from five levels of brake regeneration.
The attractive cabin is typical Mazda and feels premium with its cork trim surrounding the centre consule. A nine inch display screen sits on top of the dash and there is also a seven inch screen for the ventilation system.
All cars in the range are very well equipped with even a head up display being standard right across the range. A Bose sound system features in the top models as an option.
Mazda first used the backward opening doors on its RX-8 rotary coupe more than a decade ago and although they are a talking point and clever from a styling stance they do result in small side windows and tight access.
Otherwise the MX-30 is still very practical with many storage spaces and a boot of 366 litres which can go up to 1,171 litres with the rear seats folded.
In about 18 months Mazda intends to double the car's range with the addition of a very small and light petrol powered rotary engine to supplement the battery pack.
The only downside to this is it will mean a tax charge as the compact SUV will then produce a small amount of C02. The good news is that the engine can be switched off so that the vehicle will avoid congestion charges.
I was really impressed with this latest Mazda and found it as much fun to drive as its petrol and diesel models on country roads and motorways near Stirling and it should do really well.