Mazda MX-30 GT Sport Tech – long-term review - Report No:5 2021 | Top Gear
Advertisement
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Long-term review

Mazda MX-30 GT Sport Tech – long-term review

Published: 03 Sep 2021
 comments
Advertisement

SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    GT Sport Tech

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    145bhp

  • 0-62

    9.7s

Our Mazda MX-30 meets the legendary RX-8

This job is mainly about finding creative excuses to drive cars you’ve always wanted to have a go in. Cars like the Mazda RX-8. Which, as you may have noticed, has the same kind of doors as “our” MX-30. Tenuous enough of a link for you?

When the RX-8 was new my Dad borrowed a grey one for a weekend from somewhere – I must have been 11 or 12 at the time – and I distinctly remember being captivated by two things in particular; those doors and the noise. The doors because, well, children are easily amused (and they are cool, aren’t they?) and the noise because the RX-8’s rotary engine spins all the way up to a 9,000rpm redline. And you have to take it there. Constantly.

Advertisement - Page continues below

In the RX-8 peak power and torque don’t arrive until 8,200 and 5,500 rpm respectively. That’s great fun when you’ve got the space and inclination to work the superb six-speed manual gearbox, but when all you want to do is get somewhere (or nip into a gap in traffic), the lack of low-down grunt is bloody hard work. Almost dangerous.

As you’ll have read, the MX-30 is undoubtedly the faster car. Yes, I know the numbers don’t back be me up, but hear me out. Though it’s down on power, weighs vastly more than the RX-8 and would comfortably lose a YouTube-friendly head-to-head drag race, the MX-30’s instantly accessible, point-and-squirt torque means most of the time it destroys the RX-8 in real-world conditions. Especially around town, where using 9,000rpm is plain antisocial. Even where I live in Essex.

Soon, of course, you may be able to get an MX-30 with a little rotary engine under the bonnet to extend its meagre 124-mile claimed range. Pop the MX-30’s bonnet and you’ll see there’s certainly space for one alongside the tiny e-motor. Mazda has rubbished recent reports it cancelled the project. “We will apply multiple electrification technologies which use a rotary engine as a power generator for BEVs, PHEVs, and HEVs depending on the varied capacity of the motor and batteries,” it said in a statement.

No other manufacturer currently sells a range-extender hybrid in the UK. BMW was last to do so with the i3 REX, but took it off sale when battery tech got to a point the all-electric i3 could travel far enough unassisted. We applaud Mazda for doing things its own way, as indeed it always has, but remain of the opinion the MX-30 just ought to have a bigger battery.

Advertisement - Page continues below
compare car finance
Powered byZuto Logo
more on this car
Take one for a spin or order a brochure
Powered byRegit Logo

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.