In-depth reviews

Mazda MX-30 review - Practicality, comfort & boot space

The unusually-styled MX-30 adds little in the way of practicality and rear legroom is tight, but at least there’s a large boot

One of the main advantages with an electric car is that there is no bulky engine to fit in so the batteries can go under the floor and more of the cabin can be given over to passenger space. That’s the theory anyway. The MX-30 is an electric car that follows a different route by retaining the long bonnet of a car with an engine. It means that while the MX-30’s footprint is similar to that of a VW ID.3, passenger space is significantly less.

Mazda refers to the MX-30’s rear-hinged doors as ‘freestyle’ doors and they do open to reveal a pillarless cabin that’s unlike that of any other small SUV on today’s market. In practicality terms, however, they may cramp your style a little. 

You’re probably better off thinking of them as a halfway house between a full five-door car and a three-door. You can only open the rear doors once the front ones are open and although they improve access to the rear seats compared to a three-door car, it’s not as easy to clamber in as it would be in a five-door.

Elsewhere, the cabin is quite generous in terms of storage provision. There’s a large area behind the central section of the dashboard with USB sockets and even a three-pin plug socket for charging. A space under the arm rest also has lots of room for items and every seat gets a door pocket.

Size

At 4,395mm, the MX-30 is longer than a Vauxhall Mokka-e (4,151mm) and Kia Soul EV (4,220mm). It splits the two in terms of width with 1,795mm compared to the 1,800mm Soul and the 1,750mm Mokka. You would never know this from sitting in the back, however, because there’s a lot less space in the cabin.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Space in the front seats is fine with enough headroom for tall drivers. It’s possible to get a very comfortable driving position with the range of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel.

In the back, things are less spacious. The MX-30 doesn’t really have enough room for adults to sit behind a tall driver while even children will struggle. There are two small windows to let in some light to the rear but it’s generally gloomy and hard to see out for children - not the most pleasant place to be on a longer journey. 

Boot 

The boot comes as a pleasant surprise, especially given the rear passenger space on offer and the MX-30’s sloping rear roof line. The capacity is 341 litres, more than you get in the Mokka-e (310 litres) or the Kia Soul EV (315 litres) and it extends to 1,146 litres with the 60:40 split rear seats folded down to their almost flat position.

There isn’t much extra room to pile items above the line of the parcel shelf because of that coupe roofline and there’s nowhere to store your charging cables other than in the boot inside the bags provided. Overall though, it’s a good luggage area for a small car.

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