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Fleet World Fleet: Mazda MX-30 Sport Lux

A range-extender version of the MX-30 would make a lot of sense, says Martyn Collins.

The Mazda’s 120-mile range is proving problematic in everyday driving

P11d (BiK): £29,845 (0%) Test Range/MPkWh: 93/2.9MPkWh

Prior to receiving our MX-30 long-termer, I already knew this Mazda well as I was lucky enough to drive a late prototype of the car back at the end of 2019.

Since the start of our long-term test, I’ve appreciated the precise steering, eager acceleration and tidy handling, as already noted in my last two reports.

However, I’ve always had my reservations about the proposed 120-mile range. But I felt more assured at the preview event when I saw a cutaway of the MX-30, with a planned range-extending tiny Wankel engine slotted in the front.

Sadly, since then a worldwide pandemic, plus the incoming ICE engine ban, are believed to have prompted Mazda to put the range-extender version on hold. Rumour has it that the brand is instead working on a hydrogen-burning rotary engine. This is a shame, as halfway through my time with the MX-30, I feel it’s a range-extender, or a bigger battery, away from being a credible electric fleet choice.

Yes, we’re currently all doing less driving for meetings thanks to Covid, but having driven other EVs, I know that a 200-mile range makes daily electric motoring realistic – and the 100 or so miles I’m getting from the Mazda just doesn’t cut it.

This is a shame, as there’s much to like about the MX-30. It looks good, the interior is impressively built and is nicely detailed, plus as I mentioned, it drives really well.

Other niggles, apart from the range, currently revolve around the air-conditioning, which seems to blow hot air until you get going, which I gather is down to the lack of reversible heat pump. As such, until it kicks in, heat from the battery is sent through the ventilation system – which is not ideal when we’re in the hottest time of the year. However, in the Mazda’s defence it does cool down quickly.

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Martyn Collins

Martyn has 18 years experience as a motoring journalist, working across a wide selection of B2B and consumer titles. A car enthusiast since his early years, Martyn has a particular interest in the latest models and technology and in his spare time enjoys driving his own Minis.