Seeing the crowds gathered around our long-termer’s identical twin (VX21 KNJ) at the Festival of Speed reminded me just how unusual and attractive the MX-30 is. At one point, there were more punters checking out the Mazda’s boot space and rear leg room than there were gathered around the 1900bhp Pininfarina Battista nearby.
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Dynamically speaking, our Mazda EV is showing itself to be more Mazda than EV - 21 July 2021
It drew a confused look from my next-door neighbour when I started piling tools, petrol cans, oil and a 12V battery into the boot of the MX-30 but, although I’m excited to try the forthcoming rotary range-extender variant, I don’t have the skills to carry out a combustion conversion on our long-termer.
No, I was using the Mazda as a support vehicle in my attempts to rescue my Volkswagen Beetle from a five-year slumber and to see what it really has to offer dynamically over the rest of the electric SUV crop.
Heavy rain the night before had made my hometown’s crumbly country roads particularly inhospitable, and the periodic appearance of a brave rabbit, deer or cyclist gave the brake pedal and front tyres a workout.
The roads in question have poor sight lines, unpredictable cambers and a number of tight curves – not the sort of environment in which an electric runaround usually shines, but Mazda has worked wonders in bestowing on the MX-30 some of the dynamic finesse of its more overtly performance-focused offerings.
I was so surprised by how much I was enjoying myself that I started driving with an exuberance that I came to regret about nine minutes later, when I saw that I had brutally slashed my indicated remaining range, covered the car in a thick film of Kentish grime and filled my tool tray with three-year-old petrol.
Later in the day, when it briefly and miraculously fired into life, it genuinely looked like my 50-yearold VW antique would be a better bet for the return journey, given the relative lack of EV chargers in London’s outer fringes, but range anxiety comes a very distant third to fire and blowout anxiety on my list of concerns, so I ‘fired up’ the MX-30.