2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV Review : Alternative Rock

By Clifford Chow, 07 March 2023

2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV Review : Alternative Rock

Singapore - Mazda’s first production EV, the MX-30 probably sums up most of the Japanese manufacturer’s best quirks.

It is pound-for-pound, or should I say angle-for-angle in this case, one of the quirkiest vehicles you’d come across on the road. 

But being quirky is very like Mazda, and you have to hand it to them for creating cars which are unique, and aesthetically pleasing.

The MX-30 breaks with convention, and especially if you are a stickler for placing your cars into their respective boxes, this one's for you… that is if you like to stay up, thinking of which box you should plonk it into.

What is it? Well, it is part (urban) SUV, part hatchback, part RX8… and for Singapore, all electric.

If build quality is high on your list of must-haves, the MX-30 will not disappoint.

On the outside, it has arguably the best paint job among its peers, while the interior is padded with soft-touch surfaces (made from recycled PET bottles, and other recycled thread).

You cannot deny that the Japanese car manufacturer seems to especially know where in the car your hands will reach.

There is also a treated cork coated centre console, which is a fitting reference to their beginnings as a cork manufacturer - Toyo Cork Kogyo.

There are carry-overs of switchgear from the CX-30 and 3, which largely feel good to use.

However, the air-conditioning controls this round are a touchscreen.

I would have preferred if Mazda also carried the button panel over from the earlier-mentioned vehicles, as we feel that the screen is unnecessary, and lets not forget that it is a magnet for fingerprints.

There are another two features which I feel that their crossover lacks, both wireless Android Auto and wireless charging.

The MX-30 is in essence more of a well-sorted 2+2, rather than a “proper” four seater.

So if you are looking at this crossover from the former standpoint, you would find that it boasts decent practicality.

Those rear-hinged doors (FlexDoors in Mazda talk), are not only great as conversation starters, but makes for easier exiting from the rear.

How does it drive?

Quite well actually…

2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV Singapore - Driven
2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV Singapore - Driven

Interestingly, Mazda’s approach to its battery size is dictated by the amount of CO2 created while in production.

Hence the small 35.5kWh capacity, since it produces less of the greenhouse gas.

This is close to the MINI 3 Door Electric’s 32.6kWh battery. In contrast, the KIA EV6 GT has a larger 77.4kWh power unit. 

I mean, it is small. But the point here is that the Mazda, like the MINI, is intended as a city car, rather than something intended for the big country (and our country isn’t big anyway).

So, the idea is that you should have access to your own charger, and you’d be charging the car once every two to three days, to avoid any range anxiety.

2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV Singapore - Driven
2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV Singapore - Driven

There is only 107kW and 271Nm to work with here, which is similar to what Peugeot e-2008 and Opel Mokka-e siblings put out.

It feels smooth, thanks to the simple single front motor setup. Because everyone’s driving habits are different, Mazda has made sure that the MX-30 has five adjustable levels of regenerative braking (versus just two in the MINI Electric).

The small battery also plays to the advantage of the car’s handling, as you would encounter very little inertia when cutting bends.

Perhaps, if I were to fuss, the brakes could have more bite, and those FlexDoors do contribute to some wind noise.

2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV Singapore - Driven
2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV Singapore - Driven

Mazda claims a range of 224km per charge, which I feel is quite spot-on, as I brought the car in for more juice, after travelling for around 210km, and it still had range in the “tank”.

In-all, the MX-30 offers a remarkable drive, practical space (as a 2+2 seater).

But it also has its quirks, which could be polarising. But in my humble opinion, if you are planning to make the EV switch, it is a very cool car to start with.

PHOTOS Clifford Chow

2023 Mazda MX-30 e-SKYACTIV EV

Battery 35.5kWh, Li-Ion, 355
Electric Motor 107kW/271Nm
Electric Range up to 224km
0-100km/h 9.7secs
Top Speed 140km/h
Kerbweight 1720g

Related Articles