Red Mazda MX30 front three-quarters

Mazda MX30-REV Review

In terms of waiting time, does three years constitute ‘soon’? That’s the question we’re asking ourselves. Back in summer 2021, test driving the then-new Mazda MX30, we confidently declared that this range-extender version would join it in showrooms ‘soon’. And yet, here we are, almost three years on and it’s only just arriving.

That it’s here is the first bit of good news. The second is that this version of the MX30 has Mazda’s classic rotary engine as its range-extender engine, meaning that technology continues for those traditional enthusiasts.

Interestingly though, for all of the original MX30’s limitations with its limited 124 mile range, Mazda has sold more than 4000 of them since its arrival. And while many of them are used as a second car in their household, intriguingly, Mazda reports that they’re used for 90% of journeys.


This range-extender version of MX30 looks pretty much identical to the all-electric version. That’s no bad thing, the rear-hinged suicide back doors remain for access to the back seats – not an easy task by any means – while the Mazda’s coupe-like looks remain smart and fresh four years on.

The only nods to the range-extender version are a small REV badge on the boot lid and a rounded-triangle -a nod to the rotary engine – on the front wings. We still love the neat details such as the exposed rear lights and the smart Mazda family front end. The MX30 remains a great design.


Here’s the main difference between this and the standard MX30. The battery size is halved down to 17.8kWh meaning that the all-electric range is reduced to 53 miles.

Combined to that though is a 830cc single-cylinder rotary petrol engine with a 50 litre fuel tank and 37.2mpg average fuel economy and 21g/km emissions overall. Together those give this REV version a 400 mile range compared to the 124 mile range of the all-electric model.

The extra power (168bhp vs 143bhp) gives it a 9.1 second 0-60mph time and 87mph top speed, while a 20-80% charging time will take 25 minutes on a 50kW CCS charger or four hours and 50 minutes on a domestic three-pin plug.


Despite having half the size of battery compared to the purely-electric version, the addition of the rotary engine means this REV model tips the scales at 100kgs more than its BEV counterpart.

While on the move, the sense of inertia is certainly there, there’s a deftness and finesse to the MX30 with its light but sharp steering and good turn-in that makes it an enjoyable car to drive. This is a car that you’re able to drive with your fingertips rather than muscle through bends.

There are three driving modes – normal, charge and EV – although the reality is that most owners are unlikely ever to use the charge mode to use the engine to charge the battery. In addition to that are the three levels of regenerative braking – the standard ‘sailing’ mode and then the next two stages operated via the paddles behind the steering wheel. The only frustration to that is that the highest level could still be stronger and isn’t quite the one-pedal driving offered by other EVs.

When the rotary engine kicks in, while noticeable, it’s largely unobtrusive and easily drowned out by the car stereo. The only times it’s obvious are on particularly heavy throttle inputs.

What you are aware of all the time though is the MX30’s exceptional ride quality. Riding on 18-inch alloy wheels, this is a very comfortable car to drive even on broken British roads.


As you might expect, the interior of this REV version of the MX30 is much the same as its BEV version. Thankfully, that’s no bad thing and even better the design has aged well. The cork detailing on the undertray remains as before and while there’s no touchscreen, the rotary dial and four accompanying corner buttons are simple to operate on the move.

Overall, it feels like it’s been kept deliberately simple and focussed on the driver with being over-complicated. The rear seats are a bit cosy for adults, so only really a temporary option for teenagers and above, and access even with the rear-hinged doors isn’t exactly the work of a moment either.

As we said in our original review, it’s better to view the MX30 as a two-door coupe with benefits rather than a full-on five-door hatchback. There’s a 332 litre boot with the seats up with 1137 litres with the rear seats folded down.


At £3500 more than the BEV model, this range-extender MX30 is hard to make a case for on a strict, cold-hearted financial basis. However, with that extended 400-mile range, it makes more sense, especially given the average UK daily mileage of 26 miles.

The MX30 remains an unusual choice, but we still remain fond of it and arguably in this range-extender form is probably the car it always should have been originally when it arrived three years ago.

Red Mazda MX30 front wing with rotary badge


Model: Mazda MX30 REV

Price: from £31,495

Power: Electric – 17.7kWh, 830cc petrol engine

Range: 400 miles

Average fuel consumption: 37.2mpg

Average charge time on a domestic wallbox: 2.5 hrs

Co2 emissions: 21g/km

Rating: 7/10