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Mazda manufactures some of the most exciting models in the industry. Its small SUVs deliver much-needed athleticism to otherwise boring segments, and the MX-5 Miata is still one of the most affordable and fascinating sports cars available.

However, Mazda is missing something – eco-friendly models that can “wow” consumers.

The Mazda of the future is on the horizon

A white Mazda MX-30 charging up while parked next to a building
The Mazda MX-30 (European specs) charging up | Photo via Mazda

The Japanese automaker’s gas-powered models are reasonably fuel-efficient. But these cars can’t match the ridiculous gas mileage numbers set by futuristic models like the Tesla Model X and Toyota RAV4 Prime.

Enter the Mazda MX-30. Mazda revealed this environmentally friendly small SUV at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Show. Now, this model is finally making its way to the U.S., giving shoppers another exciting and affordable option.

What makes the MX-30 special, and when can you expect to see it at North American Mazda dealerships? Let’s break down what we know about this upcoming SUV.

The Mazda MX-30 marks the return of the rotary engine

Hybrids and electric vehicles are currently all the rage. And many automakers are forced to change gear toward expanding their EV lineup after some U.S. states announced plans to ban the sale of gas-powered cars in the next few decades.

The MX-30 will pioneer Mazda’s foray into the world of eco-friendly vehicles. The Detriot Bureau confirmed the manufacturer’s plans while interviewing Mazda’s North America president, Jeff Guyton.

Mazda is making its newest model available in two forms – an electric vehicle and a plug-hybrid. However, this futuristic small SUV is more than just a one-trick pony, as its plug-in hybrid model comes with a twist.

The MX-30 plug-in hybrid will feature a rotary gas engine along with its electric motor. Many car enthusiasts have longed for the return of this powerplant. Mazda answered their prayers, bringing back this classic engine in the MX-30.

According to Mazda, rotary engines are smaller, lighter, and deliver better power-to-weight ratios than traditional piston engines. These powerplants were significant factors to the success of classic Mada models, such as the 2003 RX-8 and 1969 Luce R130 Coupe.

Intrigued drivers should be patient

It’s tough to wait for a highly anticipated product; just ask those trying to buy the latest gaming console or smartphone.

Unfortunately, we might not have access to the Mazda MX-3 in the U.S. in 2021. The Japanese manufacturer hasn’t yet announced a North American release date for the eco-friendly SUV. But we expect Mazda to release more updates and promotional material in the coming year.

Meanwhile, Car and Driver predicted that the model will reach us sometime in 2022 or 2023. In the meantime, you’ll have to settle for popular models like the CX-30 or Mazda3 if you’re set on buying a fuel-efficient Mazda. Those who want a hybrid or EV are forced to look elsewhere.

Is the Mazda MX-30 worth the wait?

There are plenty of hybrids and electric vehicles on the market, and many people won’t want to wait for Mazda’s model. Is this a mistake? Well, it depends on your driving preferences.

Car and Driver states that the Mazda MX-30 EV’s 144-hp electric motor and 35.5-kWh battery doesn’t return incredible results. According to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), this model only achieves a 124-mile total driving range.

However, the MX-30 plug-in hybrid with the rotary engine range extender may relieve potential buyers’ concerns. Mazda hasn’t released the figures for this model yet, but there’s hope that it’ll deliver adequate results.

Additionally, Mazda vehicles are known for delivering sporty performance. This characteristic could help push the upcoming 2022 or 2023 Mazda MX-30 ahead of its less exciting competitors.


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