They should both offer Kodo design and Jinba Ittai driving fun, the Mazda MX-30 with an electric motor and the CX-30 with a mildly hybridized two-liter petrol engine. Can the smart electric Mazda do everything better than its SUV platform brother with a conventional naturally aspirated engine?
A summer evening, the Mazda is powered by electricity. Oh, this new world." In case you're wondering what that is: a haiku, the traditional Japanese form of poetry whose three lines consist of five, seven and again five syllables. The syllables are actually mores, but that really led to Because we want to report on whether the Mazda MX-30 is actually the better crossover than the CX-30 The haiku still fits, partly because no other manufacturer from Japan understands country-specific peculiarities in automobiles so well
The fact that Mazda marketing likes to throw around buzzwords like Karakuri, Kodo or Jinba Ittai doesn't mean that there isn't a core of truth, which is revealed when you get to know the CX -30 G 2.0. Or even more clearly: with the MX-30. The name MX (stands for Mazda Experimental) and the unusual design with rear-hinged rear doors are reminiscent of the last Wankel coupe of the RX-8 brand are cool, no question, but not particularly practical. Especially not when the CX-30 is standing next to it.
Both Mazdas use the same platform, wheelbase and length are identical. Nevertheless, in direct comparison they look more like a coupe and sedan, with the MX providing the coupe part. Getting in to the rear is difficult, the folding doors only leave a comparatively small gap, and the lock latch on the upper frame likes to throw headbutts. Crawling out isn't any easier because the pivot points of the rear doors are located quite far forward. Inside you sit in a somewhat cramped but cozy atmosphere; Headroom and legroom predestine the MX more as a 2+2 seater. A bizarre detail: The electrically adjustable driver's seat can be moved from behind at the push of a button. What for?
In contrast, the CX-30 has almost limousine boarding and space conditions, after all, the rear passenger compartment is 80 millimeters wider - a noticeable difference, which is also due to the unusual door concept. Due to the missing battery pack, the CX-30 also offers a little more loading space (430 instead of 366 liters), but the difference seems so small that it should not be a purchase decision.
There are also few differences in operation, where Mazda has made a very acceptable compromise with the central rotary pushbutton and the small touchscreen. You can quickly find your way around in both, and the important functions are quickly identified. However, not everything is designed as cleverly and with such attention to detail as in comparable premium products.This applies, for example, to voice control, the map display on the navigation monitor or the transmission of traffic information.
But we are also on the move here at a completely different price level. The CX-30 with 150 hp costs 27,990 euros in the tested Selection equipment, which includes full LED light, adaptive cruise control, navigation system, automatic climate control or head-up display as standard. The test car also has 18-inch aluminum, leather interior or the premium package with traffic jam assistance and Bose sound system, which represents a value of almost 35,000 euros.
The electric MX-30 is available from 34,490 euros minus the subsidy from 9,570 euros, which means that it costs around 3,000 euros less than its petrol brother, i.e. around ten percent cheaper. Although the MX is also very well equipped with full LED, adaptive cruise control and navigation system, the test car has a very respectable equipment package that raises the list price to more than 40,000 euros. After deducting the e-premium, there are still around 31,000 euros left.
What is certain is that those interested in Mazda can get their e-car very cheaply thanks to the generous subsidy practice in Germany. The MX-30 has a lot to offer - not least a very charmingly designed and processed interior that stands out pleasantly from the current monotony of many e-cars. In part, however, this is due to the interior package called "Industrial Vintage" for 1,500 euros. Since the package also contains 18-inch aluminum, matrix light and electric seat adjustment in addition to the original cork applications, it is recommended for those interested in MX. The stylish interior also goes very well with this Mazda. Perfect beauty in a small space with simple means is a motto of Japanese handicrafts. In this way, the MX-30 is traditionally based on the work of shodo calligraphers and haiku poets.
Nevertheless, it is not one of the liveliest and longest-ranging of its kind. The permanently excited synchronous motor has an output of 107 kW (145 hp) and is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of only 35.5 kWh (gross). With a test consumption of 24.3 kWh per 100 km, we only covered 139 km before the next charging stop was due. Even with the deliberately economical eco consumption of 18.2 kWh per 100 km, charging was announced after around 190 km.
However, the comparatively small battery has its advantages, because it keeps weight and costs low. For example, a Hyundai Kona with a 64 kW battery is around 70 kg heavier and almost 15,000 euros more expensive. In addition, charging the MX is quick: with a 50 kW DC charger, it ideally takes 36 minutes to raise the charge level from 20 to 80 percent.
The CX-30 driver has no such worries.Although it consumes around twice as much energy with its petrol engine (7.2 l/100 km instead of 24.3 kWh/100 km), the petrol tank can be filled up in minutes.
With manual transmission
Which of course already lists the main advantage of the petrol engine. Because the two-liter vacuum cleaner proves to be a very tough fellow in the test, who seems to do his job unwillingly and lumbering. And the mild hybridization with a belt starter generator does not push itself into the foreground with effective support.
To do this, the driver is forced to choose the right gear ratio by manual shifting. The transmission shifts smoothly, but the MX-30 doesn't need anything of the sort. It has a single-stage transmission with a fixed gear ratio – which, by the way, is labeled as an automatic transmission at Mazda. So the only choice left is between driving forwards and backwards, and if the selector lever couldn't be pushed from P to D mode with some hesitation, there would be nothing to moan about.
The electric motor is also very tired, at least when you compare it to some of the high-torque drives from the competition. It accelerates the Mazda, which weighs almost 1.7 tons, even more slowly than the petrol engine in the CX-30. It is limited at 140. Already just beyond 100 km/h, the engine seems to be having a harder time. Since the consumption on the on-board computer increases rapidly in the direction of 30 kWh/100 km, it is better to exercise a little restraint when driving on the motorway.
The CX-30 proves to be the better long-distance car not only because of the range: it runs at speeds of up to 198 km/h and has power reserves that can be called up more spontaneously. The electric crossover shows its strengths in short-distance traffic - with a quiet drive, zero local emissions and with all the advantages that the E-mark brings with it.
As expected, there are few differences in the driving characteristics. The MX corners more lightly and springs more flexibly, both possibly as a result of the low-mounted battery pack. On the other hand, the braking values of the two compact SUVs, which only need around 34 meters to stop from 100 km/h, are at a similarly high level. Very exemplary!
The fact that the electric MX finishes a few points ahead of the petrol CX is mainly due to the lower energy consumption and lower overall costs. And since you already know what a haiku is: in the end, the winner basks in the spring light. Behold, laurel wilts.
With the better cost and climate balance, the MX overtakes just before the finish. It also has the finer suspension and slightly better driving characteristics, that's enough this time.
Range and suitability for everyday use speak very clearly for the CX.The consumption and the higher costs in almost all areas still cost him the win here.