Mazda MX-30 Makoto

EV

Mazda MX-30 Makoto EV, detail
Mazda MX-30 Makoto EV, rear
Mazda MX-30 Makoto EV, cabin
Mazda MX-30 Makoto EV, side
Mazda MX-30 Makoto EV, action
Mazda MX-30 Makoto EV

COMPROMISE and sacrifice aren't necessarily words the buyer of a new electric vehicle would be too keen to hear.

But for those prepared to concede some driving range in favour of an even greener footprint, or lose a little practicality for sexy, swoopy looks, then opting for a Mazda MX-30 could be just the ticket.

A full electric range of 124 miles - and that's if you drive it conservatively - will instantly provoke anathema in anyone harbouring range anxiety concerns.

Mazda takes the view that the average motorist only drives 26 miles per day and, equally important, the fact that the MX-30's smaller 35.5kWh battery creates far less CO2 than those powering longer range models means it is less of a pollutant.

Interesting points, hinting that the Mazda is pretty much ideal as either a second car on the family driveway or as a lifestyle vehicle.

One thing is for certain though, the MX-30 has way more style than you find in most compact SUVs and serves up some seriously cool features, not least of which are vegan-friendly cabin materials.

More than 100 years ago Mazda began trading as a cork manufacturer in Hiroshima and a century later is using the product on the centre console and door grips, while recycled plastic bottles are moulded with fibre for the upholstery fabrics.

In addition all the leather in the seat backs is artificial and recycled thread is used in some of the colour coordinated seat fabrics.

That's not all, the floating centre console placed independently from the dashboard adds to the feeling of space within the cabin, where every component feels of the highest quality.

Kit is comprehensive on all variants but opting for the flagship Makoto trim grade, as is the case with our tested model, brings in extra goodies like a 12-speaker Bose surround sound set-up, an electric sunroof, heated steering wheel, 360-degree view monitor, a wiper de-icer and additional safety gear.

As for space there's ample room up front along with a sufficient amount for a pair of rear seat passengers though one of the car's stand-out features does have a negative side - the rear-hinged ‘freestyle' doors may look attractive but don't make it that easy to access the back seats.

And if you don't duck low enough climbing in there's the prospect, which I witnessed first hand, of catching the top of your head on a down-hanging door bracket.

Otherwise the MX-30 is an enjoyable, bright and, given the size of its battery, quite lively and spirited car to run. Charging from 20 to 80 per cent capacity takes 36 minutes from a rapid charger while a full re-charge via a home wallbox takes closer to five hours.

Regards performance, it takes 9.7 seconds to reach 60mph from standstill and top speed is 87mph, neither of which adversely affect the driving experience of a car that has both the dynamics and handling balance to match its sharp design.

There are also five levels of brake regeneration, controlled by paddle shifters at either side of the steering wheel and even enabling the driver to slow to a halt without having to use the brake pedal.

Three trim grades called Prime-Line, Exclusive-Line and Makoto are up for grabs with prices from £31,250 and all are extremely well appointed, each including an elegant 8.8-inch colour display screen on top of the dash, a separate seven-inch screen for the ventilation plus high end features like a head-up display.

FAST FACTS

Mazda MX-30 Makoto EV

Price:£35,550

Mechanical:145ps, 35.5kWh battery + electric motor driving front wheels via automatic transmission

Max Speed:87mph

0-62mph:9.7 secs

Combined MPG:124 miles

Insurance Group:19

C02 emissions:0g/km

Bik rating:2%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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