Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re here to see the Mazda MX-30, the show’s over, you can go home. The Japanese automaker announced it’s taking the little electric crossover off the U.S. market after the 2023 model year, shifting focus to plug-in hybrid models like the 2024 CX-90 PHEV and eventual CX-70 PHEV, and non-plug-ins like the CX-50 Hybrid. So concludes the brief, quizzical life of the battery-electric CUV only sold in California, and not much of a hit there. On sale for three model years including 2023, 181 buyers took an MX-30 home in 2021, 324 did so in 2022, while 66 have done the same so far this year through June. Paltry numbers, although apparently part of the plan; Mazda said last year its 2022 U.S. production run was sold out.
The 35.5-kWh battery and 100-mile EPA range rating did the car no favors. Nor did the MSRP of $35,385 after destination. That’s around $9,000 more than the Chevrolet Bolt, $8,000 more than the Bolt EUV, and the Bolts remain eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, a financial perk the Mazda can’t claim. Both Bolts pack 53 more horsepower than the MX-30, get to 60 miles per hour at least 1.5 seconds quicker, and vitally, are rated to go more than twice as far as the Mazda on a charge.
The MX-30 has its charms, namely, styling and materials. Some other markets will continue to enjoy them in a redesigned package known as the MX-30 R-EV with an 830-cc range-extending rotary engine. Its battery capacity is half that of the full-electric model at 17.8 kWh. Mazda estimates 85 kilometers of range of pure-electric driving on the WLTP cycle, perhaps half what the U.S.-market electric version can do. Mazda didn’t give a range estimate that included the range extender, but the gas tank is a sizable 13.2 gallons.
The automaker’s retooling to make a better battery-electric run soon, with two EV lines planned. One line will employ an existing architecture, the other on a brand new platform. Reports say Mazda might get access to a new EV architecture Toyota’s designing that’s planned to go more than 745 miles on a charge when powered with next-gen battery tech.