The 2021 Mazda MX-30 has officially been confirmed for an Australian launch, with both the all-electric and mild-hybrid variants set to arrive in 2021.
The mild-hybrid offering will land in the first half of 2021, with the electric offering set to follow in mid-2021. Local pricing and specifications for both cars are yet to be announced.
Above: The 2021 Mazda MX-30 M Hybrid
The MX-30 MX Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine paired to Mazda's M Hybrid system, producing maximum outputs of 114kW and 200Nm through a six-speed automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels only.
The addition of the mild-hybrid system means the model's official fuel consumption figure is reduced to a claimed 6.4L/100km on a combined cycle.
The MX-30 Electric, meanwhile, looks much the same as the mild hybrid car, save for some subtle electric badging on the exterior and a combined AC/DC charging point where the fuel cap would normally be – on the rear right-hand side of the vehicle.
Above: The 2021 Mazda MX-30 Electric
The electric model is powered by a 107kW/271Nm electric motor on the front axle and boasts a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the floor.
As for range, the MX-30 is capable of up to 200km on a single charge according to the World harmonised Light vehicle Testing Procedure (WLTP).
That range is notably lower than some of the MX-30's key competitors like the Hyundai Kona, which offers up to 449km on the WLTP cycle.
Above: The instruments cluster on the Mazda MX-30 electric
Speaking with CarAdvice at the MX-30's local unveiling, Mazda Australia's Marketing and Product Director Alastair Doak said the range should be "plenty" to cover the average Australian's daily driving.
"Hopefully the range thing doesn’t become the main story, because it isn’t. We have to give buyers some credit – because they’ll look at the specs and, if it doesn't sound like enough, they’ll move on," Mr Doak said.
Above: The interior of the 2021 Mazda MX-30 M Hybrid
Mazda claims the MX-30 takes about three hours to recharge on a 6.6kWh AC socket, or roughly 36 minutes on a 50kWh DC fast charger.
In terms of sizing, the MX-30 boasts very similar dimensions to Mazda's existing CX-30 small SUV, measuring 4395mm long, 1795mm wide and 1555mm tall, with a 311-litre boot on both the electric and mild-hybrid variants.
Above: The boot of the 2021 Mazda MX-30
Given Mazda already offers a mild-hybrid powertrain on the CX-30, the local arm predicts the main point of difference between the two cars will be the MX-30's design – which is a departure from other Mazda models.
Most noteworthy are the MX-30's pillar-less freestyle doors, inspired by those on the Mazda RX-8, which open outwards from the central B-pillar point, hinged at the rear. BMW's electric i3 utilises a similar design.
Above: The 2021 Mazda MX-30's Freestyle doors (pictured on the M Hybrid)
There's also the option of a three-tone colour scheme on the Soul Red Crystal, Polymetal Grey and Ceramic Metallic paint options.
Buyers looking for single-shade body colours have the choice of Machine Grey, Polymetal Grey, Ceramic Metallic, Jet Black and Arctic White paint shades.
The MX-30 has a sporty, coupe-like roofline which culminates in a standard rear spoiler, plus 18-inch alloy wheels and cylindrical LED headlights.
Above: The 2021 Mazda MX-30 Electric with the optional three-tone colour scheme
"The target MX-30 buyer, they’re very fashion-conscious and the MX-30 tells a different design story to the CX-30," Mor Doak explained, steering the narrative towards the idea that the MX-30 will very much be a lifestyle choice over practicality.
"The freestyle doors are a huge part of its story. It will attract a different customer and its telling a different story, so there won’t be much cannibalisation of sales."
Mr Doak acknowledged the freestyle doors are "not as practical" as a typical four-door body for buyers with kids, but said potential customers shouldn't have any safety concerns about the less-traditional design.
Above: the 2021 Mazda MX-30 M Hybrid
The MX-30 launched overseas with a 2020 five-star safety rating from Europe's New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), which – while not yet confirmed – should see it awarded the same result for Australia.
"[The door design] wasn’t an issue with our RX-8," Mr Doak said, when asked whether Mazda Australia was anticipating any buyer hesitation to do with the unique doors.
"Five-star European NCAP in 2020 is a very difficult score to get, so I think most people understand that it’s a very safe car."
Above: The backseat of the 2021 Mazda MX-30
Standard safety kit includes ten airbags – front, curtain, front-side, rear-side, front far-side (driver) and a driver’s knee – plus emergency lane keeping with blind-spot assist and something called road keep assist, which helps you stay on track even in the absence of lane markings.
There’s also something called ‘Turn-across traffic functionality’ which can intervene in collisions at intersections by activating the smart-brake support system, while the battery in the electric model is encased in high-strength steel to protect it in the event of a collision.
On the interior of both variants, an 8.8-inch screen that sits at the top of the dashboard controls the infotainment system via a rotary dial, while a second lower 7.0-inch touchscreen provides access to the climate controls.
Above: the 2021 Mazda MX-30's floating centre console with cork trim
The floating centre console featured on both cars is an all-new design feature for Mazda, boasting heritage cork accents as a nod to the brand's history as a cork manufacturer.
The majority of materials used in the MX-30's interior are sustainably sourced or recycled, from the vegan leatherette upholstery om the seats, to the door trim materials which are made from recycled plastic bottles.
Mazda Australia expects the mild-hybrid to outsell the electric model – at least at first.
Above: Under the bonnet of the 2021 Mazda MX-30 M Hybrid
"Obviously the M Hybrid [is expected to take the lion's share of sales]," Mr Doak told journalists at the local reveal event.
"EV in Australia is still in its infancy and we are happy to be part of that conversation."
Mazda Australia Managing Director Vinesh Bhindi added: "EV take-up is still evolving, so from our point of view the M Hybrid will have more traditional buyers."
Above: Under the bonnet of the Mazda MX-30 Electric
Overseas, a third powertrain option will be available on the MX-30 from 2022 – utilising Mazda's rotary engine as a range extender – although that's yet to be confirmed for an Australian launch.
Such a model could conceivably be an ideal solution for many Australian buyers, offering an EV experience without the range anxiety.
Local line-up details or pricing information will be shared closer to launch, but Mr Bhindi said buyers of the electric variant can expect servicing and warranty offerings to be "much the same" as traditional-engined Mazda vehicles.