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 of an electric car is that there is no bulky engine to fit in, so the batteries can go under the floor, leaving more space for passengers. That’s the theory, anyway, but the MX-30 is an electric car that follows a different route by retaining the long bonnet of a car with an engine because that’s where the R-EV version's rotary engine goes. It means that while the MX-30’s footprint is similar to that of a Volkswagen 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 any other small SUV on today’s market. In practical 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 armrest also has lots of room for items and each door has a storage pocket.
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. However, you would never know this from sitting in the back 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 could be more spacious. The MX-30 doesn’t have enough room for adults to sit behind a tall driver because of minimal leg room, which even children would struggle with, plus the sloping rear roof line cuts into head room. There are two small windows to let in some light to the rear, but it’s generally gloomy and hard to see out of. It’s fair to say the back isn’t the most pleasant place to be on a longer journey.
The MX-30 boot comes as a pleasant surprise, especially given the limited rear passenger space on offer and. The capacity is 350 litres (reduced to 332 litres due to the BOSE sound system’s amplifier taking up space under the boot floor), 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.
In this review
- 1Mazda MX-30 reviewThe Mazda MX-30 is stylish, fun to drive and decent value; R-EV plug-in hybrid makes the most sense because the EV version’s range is limited
- 2Electric motor, drive and performanceWell-judged steering and suspension with lively performance make the MX-30 one of the best small EVs for the driver
- 3Range, charging & running costsThose who need more than the 124-mile range of the EV Mazda MX-30 should get the R-EV with up to 400 miles of range
- 4Interior, design and technologySharp looks and unusual trim materials help the Mazda MX-30 stand out, while technology is impressive
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe unusually-styled MX-30 adds little in the way of practicality and rear legroom is tight, but at least there’s a large boot
- 6Reliability and safetyMazda has equipped the MX-30 with a range of safety systems, contributing to a top 5-star score from Euro NCAP