Mazda is slowly moving toward electrification, with plans to launch two PHEVs and one hybrid crossover next year.

But it all starts here, with the brand’s first EV in North America, the 2022 Mazda MX-30 EV which we recently drove for the very first time in Orange County, California.

We’ll get this out of the way only has an electric range of 100-miles. The ideal buyer being someone who commutes in an urban area and can afford a second vehicle that starts around $35,000 before any tax incentives. It is also only available in Calfornia for now.

Mazda’s philosphy with this model has been to focus on the driving experience, rather than trying to stuff it with a ton of battery power. 

The MX-30 shares its bones with the compact CX-30, a platform that is used in many different configurations globally.

Powertrain consists of a 35.5 kWh battery and 107kW motor which powers the front wheels and will get you 143-horsepower. 

“So one of the cool features about the MX-30 is that it has 5 different settings for regen braking. The typical ‘Drive’ is a happy medium between the two but if you shift down two and take your foot off the throttle, it really slows down the vehicle...very close to one pedal driving. And if you’re like me and not the world’s biggest fan of one pedal driving, you can shift up on your paddle shifters and take your foot off the just cruise, very similar to the driving experience of an internal combustion engine. So it's really nice that you have something for just about everyone.”

Weight wise, the MX-30 is 300 pounds heavier than it’s CX-30 cousin but it still felt very light on it’s frame. It handled the curvy canyon roads confidently and dare we say we had some fun doing it. Very close to the typical Mazda experience.

Your only hint that this compact crossover is an EV, is a sticker on the rear windows. Cool exterior features include multi-tone color to highlight the coupe-like roofline and these interesting free-style doors.

“So while I do think these doors are really cool, they’re not great when it comes to visibility. When I peek over my right shoulder, the window is really small so I just have to rely on my mirrors a lot more.”

There’s no frunk either, but you’ll notice some empty space in the engine bay for the range extender PHEV model coming next year.

The interior isn’t too far off from the CX-30, the biggest changes being a 7.5-inch touchscreen for the climate controls and a more modern but still traditional shifter. Recyclable materials have been incorporated in the seat fabric and door trims.

The console area also sports some cork, which is not just about sustainability but pays homage to Mazda’s beginnings as a cork manufacturer.

Two new safety features will launch with the MX-30; Blind Spot Assist and Front Cross Traffic Alert.

Mazda is also partnering up with ChargePoint, so buyers get a $500 credit to put toward either public charging or having a Level 2 charger installed in their home.

And for the first 3 years of ownership, buyers can loan out any vehicle at a Mazda dealership for up to 10 days a year. You know, for those trips that might exceed 100-miles.

It is pretty obvious that the MX-30 is really only practical for a small group of buyers but if this is a preview of what Mazda can offer when it comes to electrification, they’re certainly on the right track. 

The 2022 MX-30 EV will be showing up in California dealerships any time now. We’ll have much more on Mazda’s sustainable zoom zoom coming up soon on MotorWeek!



  • Battery: 35.5 kWh
  • Motor: 107 kW
  • Horsepower: 143