It was the only Mazda present at eCar Expo 2023, and this should suggest its importance for the brand. And we had the opportunity to test it in advance at the European press event held in Augsburg, Germany.

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it’s time to test the Mazda MX-30 R-EV. As the second chapter of Hiroshima’s first electric vehicle, it combines the experience of Mazda’s renowned Wankel rotary engine with electric power, creating what they call the ‘anxiety-free electric.’ Here’s how my first prøvetur went.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV: why to buy and prices in Scandinavia

The Mazda MX-30 R-EV is almost unique in its kind. It can be called a range extender or a ‘serial plug-in hybrid,’ but in any case, it combines various Mazda traditions. It remains an electric vehicle because the motor driving the wheels is electric and it also supports fast charging. However, the Wankel engine provides support and extends the range to 680 km.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

So, the focus remains urban, aided by the unique door arrangement that sacrifices a bit of rear seating. But finally, the MX-30 – with a little bit higher price in all Scandinavian countries, since it’s not a full electric car – can showcase itself beyond urban settings and positions itself as a quiet, premium, and comfortable car for exploring Europe.

Prices and trims in Denmark

  • Prime-Line from 278.980 DKK;
  • Exclusive-Line from 292.480 DKK;
  • Advandage from 305.980 DKK;
  • Makoto from 313.480 DKK;
  • Edition-R from 377.980 DKK;

BEV version starts from 263.080 DKK (Prime-Line).

Prices and trims in Sweden

  • Exclusive-Line from 415.900 SEK;
  • Makoto from 437.900 SEK;
  • Edition-R from 481.400 SEK;

BEV version starts from 415.900 SEK (Exclusive-Line), and from 432.400 SEK (Makoto).

Prices and trims in Norway

  • Exclusive-Line from 391.200 NOK;
  • Makoto from 415.200 NOK;
  • Edition-R from 470.100 NOK;

BEV version starts from 289.000 NOK (Exclusive-Line).

Driving the Mazda MX-30 R-EV

Let’s be clear, the Wankel engine here is important but not the main focus. The car is not purely electric, but the propulsion is always electric, presenting itself as a plug-in hybrid, similar to other formulas like the Nissan e-Power. Unlike Nissan’s SUVs, however, the Mazda MX-30 retains the ability to recharge the car at charging stations, including fast chargers.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

So, the Wankel makes its presence known but is more subdued compared to other contexts where Mazda has implemented it. It serves as a range extender that powers the electric part when needed or when the battery is depleted.

The overall setup consists of an electric motor with a total power of 170 HP, as opposed to the 145 HP of the electric-only version. Next to it is the 830 cc Wankel engine, generating 75 HP and running at 4700 rpm, but solely for charging the battery. The battery capacity is reduced to 17.8 kWh, providing an electric-only range of 80 to 100 km. The charging power is also reduced to 36 kW at fast chargers, compared to the 50 kW of the electric-only version. However, this makes it the only non-premium PHEV with fast charging. The total declared range is 682 km.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

There are three driving modes:

  • EV, where the car runs as a pure electric vehicle by turning off the Wankel engine;
  • Normal, where it operates as an electric vehicle up to about 45% battery charge, then alternates between starting and stopping the rotary engine to maintain that state of charge;
  • Recharge, where the internal combustion engine charges the battery. It’s evident that the latter will result in higher gasoline consumption.
Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

In practical use, however, the different setup is not very noticeable. Aside from moments when the engine revs to its maximum, the car is as quiet and comfortable as the MX-30 we already know. It’s a car that prioritizes tranquility, especially during acceleration, while still allowing for some dynamic driving in the typical Mazda style, which can be satisfying.

So, it’s tranquil, indeed. This is because of the interior quality and the nature of the vehicle, an SUV-coupe, which, in my opinion, is not designed for speed but for enjoying the experience. This is evident in the suspension, which, while not having a long travel, remains soft and absorbs bumps well. The top speed is also reflective of this, as during a test on the German autobahns without speed limits, I couldn’t surpass 145 km/h.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

But let me tell you that I appreciated the ability to use the MX-30 outside the city as well. The electric setup, with its suspension tuning, is perfect for cobblestone streets, but the car’s size, soundproofing, and driving pleasure can now be enjoyed in a new context.

MX-30: a car full of homages

I didn’t dwell on aesthetics because the Mazda MX-30 R-EV is naturally identical to its electric counterpart. The only noticeable difference is in the front wheel arch, where you’ll find the “e” logo embedded in the stylized Wankel rotary engine. Or, when you open the hood, you can see the mentioned engine.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

The car retains the modern Kodo design of all Mazdas, paying homage to the RX-8 with its rear-hinged rear doors and integrated pillar. It’s certainly appealing to enthusiasts but perhaps less practical for daily use. Inside, there’s the typical quality, with a mix of leather and fabric for the seats, a well-upholstered and excellent-to-grip steering wheel, and cork lining the central tunnel, a unique feature of the car.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

The semi-digital dashboard remains, with a non-touch central screen and a second touch screen on the center console for climate control adjustment. As for seating, the front is very comfortable. In the rear, due to the sloping roof, a tall person like myself, over 1.90 meters, might feel a bit cramped. But I believe the rear is generally designed for children or for storing backpacks and bags, perhaps those that won’t fit in the rear trunk, which starts at 350 liters.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

And like any Mazda, it stands out for its colors. There’s the iconic and always stunning Soul Crystal Red. But there’s also the Zircon Sand, an almost military color also seen on the CX-5 restyling. And then there’s the special Edition R version, where “R” stands for “return” and is meant to celebrate the return of the rotary engine.

Mazda MX-30 R-EV
Image: Robin Mørensson for NordiskBil

This version, which includes everything as standard, including 18-inch wheels, is only available with the Maroon Rouge Metallic body, a deep black accentuated by a unique red reminiscent of the Mazda R360 Coupe, the brand’s first model.


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