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the electric SUV that thinks it’s a sports car – but it’s not

And then there is this area. OK, maybe you don’t want to travel miles. In this case, a stylish, nimble, city-friendly electric car with a range of “the right size” is certainly attractive. However, if you have a small, lightweight battery and want to compromise how far you can travel between charges, you need to see the efficiency benefit – and the MX-30 does not.

Its range and cramped interior space makes it an urban detour, an alcove that it feels ill-suited to due to its size and negligible rearward visibility. For any other purpose, however, it is beaten by electric vehicles, which don’t cost much more – and in some cases even less.

With all the style and sleek interior design, this could turn out to be an undoing of the MX-30.

Telegraph rating: Two out of five stars

The facts

In the test: Mazda MX-30 GT Sport Tech

How much? £ 32,845 on the way (excluding £ 2,500 plug-in car grant)

How fast? 87 mph, 0-62 mph in 9.7 seconds

How efficient? 3.3mpkWh (WLTP combined)

The oily parts: N / A

The electric bits: 143 HP AC synchronous motor with 35.5 kWh (total) battery, 40 kW on-board charger, type 2 charging socket

Electric range: 124 miles (WLTP combined)

CO2 emissions: 0 g / km

BY: £ 0

Guarantee: 3 years / 60,000 miles

Boat size: 341 liters

Spare wheel as standard: No (not available)

The rivals

Fiat 500 the first

116 hp, 199 miles, £ 29,495 * on the way

The 500 is even narrower than the MX-30, but this top version is lavishly equipped, just as elegant and will go much further between charges. The ride isn’t as comfortable as you might hope, and the steering is a bit rubbery, but if you want a boutique EV that you can drive around town in, the 500 makes a much better fist of it.

Kia e-Niro 39 kWh 2

134 hp, 180 miles, £ 32,845 * on the road

Still our favorite electric SUV, and it’s not hard to see why. For exactly the same price as the Mazda, the e-Niro is more comfortable, quieter, almost as well equipped, much more efficient, costs more, has a longer warranty, and has five full-size doors and proper rear seats and a larger boot. Granted, it lacks the gloss of the MX-30, but it’s a no-brainer in terms of value.

Volkswagen ID.3 Pro family

143 hp, 260 miles, £ 36,330 * on the road

To match the MX-30’s high spec, you need one of these mid-range ID.3s, and you’ll pay a little more for the privilege. But given the range you get and the considerable amount of additional space, that doesn’t seem like too much of a question. And if you’re willing to sacrifice some of the toys, you can get just as much range for less with a lower spec version.

* Prices do not include a £ 2,500 plug-in vehicle allowance

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