Vw id.3 and mazda mx-30 in comparison

VW ID.3 and mazda MX-30 in comparison? Yes, both rely on very different concepts. Both cost about the same, but offer different battery sizes. But which is the better car for the job??

Pears and apples, that’s what some people might think when they compare the mazda MX-30 and the VW ID.3 views. Let’s take a look at the fruit comparison: in the end, is it just a question of taste??

The mazda makes it clear with counter-rotating doors and fine cork in the interior: i’m something special. Under the long hood are just a few cables and the 145-hp electric motor. The power for this comes from the 35.5 kWh battery pack, which the engineers deliberately designed to be so small in order to conserve resources.

Completely different the VW. It drives up inconspicuously, its stubby hood houses the car’s computing centers, the battery in the test car holds 62 kwh. There is a smaller version with 50 kwh, but it was not available in the press fleet. The consistent focus on electric drive gives the VW great advantages in terms of space utilization: four adults can sit comfortably here with ample legroom. The dark rear seat of the mazda is a bit pinchy on the head and knees, but there’s still plenty of room in the front.

Photo: thomas kuppers

The MX-30 is a joy to drive. It moves forward quite well without the impetuous urge of other electric cars. the loudspeakers support the whole thing with a special sound that is a bit reminiscent of science fiction movies. If you don’t like it, you can turn off the noise using a complicated sequence of keys. Everything else is easy to operate. Unfortunately, the navigation system lacks a bit of competence: it shows charging stations, but neither whether they are free, nor whether stops along the route are necessary to match the (small) range.

The VW can do better. But here the excessive touch control is annoying. Who intuitively knows that two fingers on the temperature setting turns on the seat heater? Or that the interior light can be dimmed by stroking the light switch?

When driving, the VW is unpretentious. its 204 hp engine drives the rear wheels and gets the 1.8 tons moving well. It recuperates in line with the traffic, anticipates upcoming speed limits and thus contributes to economical driving. If you often want to manually shift to the highest recuperation level, you’ll be annoyed again: you have to turn the shift knob behind the steering wheel to do it.

VW ID.3 2021

Photo: thomas kuppers

We like the solution in the mazda better. Here, the level of recuperation can be adjusted in five stages, from free rolling to powerful braking, using the paddle on the steering wheel. With a little practice, the brake pedal has a vacation and you roll through traffic with constant paddle adjustments. the mazda rewards this with low consumption values of around 16 kwh – as long as there is no freeway in the vicinity. There it drives at a maximum speed of 145, but then also needs over 20 kwh.

The ID.3 is similarly economical. on average on similar routes it needs even less than the mazda, but at fast highway driving and low temperatures it needs more. This is also shown by our standard round, where with 23.8 kwh at 0 degrees on average 3.6 kwh more flowed out of the batteries than in the mazda – which for organizational reasons drove two days later at 20 degrees. With electric cars, the weather has a major influence on power consumption – and thus on charging costs.

The differences in the purchase price remain small. The mazda is available from just under 29.000 euros (minus 9.000 euro environmental bonus), the VW with a small battery and reasonably comparable city equipment costs exactly the same. The test car’s larger battery is just under 3.000 euro more expensive, but the value retention should be better due to the greater everyday use. If you have to cover long distances more often, you’ll find the VW charging station for another 3 hours.000 euros more a version with 77-kwh battery and thus 400 kilometers of everyday range.

At the latest, it’s clear that the fruit basket is not full for nothing. Here, it’s not just taste that decides which car to buy, but rather the purpose for which it will be used.

Range and charging

Mazda MX-30 2021

photo: thomas kueppers

With the mazda, 29 kwh of the 35.5 kwh battery can be used, enough for almost 140 kilometers in mixed use. Without the freeway, it should last for 200 kilometers. It charges at a maximum of 37 kW DC, but slows down as the battery becomes fuller. It takes 45 minutes to go from 10 to 80 percent – at ideal temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius. If it’s colder, it takes considerably longer. Despite the fast charger at five degrees, it took 40 minutes to charge the battery for 60 kilometers. At 20 degrees, the battery is full in an hour. At the wallbox, the mazda charges on a single-phase basis and thus with a maximum of 6.7 kW. 58 of the VW’s 62-kWh battery can be used. That’s enough for 320 kilometers, with some highway driving as well. It takes 34 minutes to go from a battery level of 10 to 80 percent, while the charging power drops from 100 to 50 kW. It’ll be full again in an hour. At the wallbox with 11 kw it takes five and a half hours. For long distances with frequent charging stops, only the VW is suitable – long distances in the mazda are a torture due to the slow charging speed and the small battery pack.

Everyday usability

photo: thomas kueppers

Although the mazda MX-30 is just under 14 centimeters longer than the VW ID, the mazda ID is still a bit longer.3, it offers less space on the back seat. This is due to its concept: there is still enough space under the hood for a gasoline engine. Its counter-opening doors look chic, but have disadvantages in practice. they often close only after slamming hard, the missing body pillar makes itself felt with creaking noises on bad roads. the mazda also fails to score in terms of luggage space. The VW’s charging floor can be locked at two heights if desired, and there is a pass-through in addition to the split-folding rear seat backs. The mazda can carry an additional 75 kilos on the roof, but there is no trailer coupling. VW takes the opposite approach: no roof load permitted, but a device that accommodates bicycle racks weighing up to 75 kilos. But the VW is not allowed to tow trailers either. The operation remains: largely clear and distraction-free in the Mazda, with a lot of touch and trimmed for economy in the VW. Its rear window lifts don’t have their own switch in the driver’s door, but have to be controlled by a sensor field. The headlights also failed in the test – the mirrors could no longer be adjusted.


VW ID.3 2021

photo: thomas kueppers

The mazda’s rotary pushbuttons, high-mounted display, flat menu structures and clear buttons put it ahead of the competition in terms of operation. The VW (in the picture) does everything by touch – that’s distracting and doesn’t always work out. Apart from that, the functionality of the ID.3 much more extensive. It includes the way to charging stations when the power is not enough, and it connects wirelessly with android auto and apple carplay. the mazda requires a cable to connect a smartphone. There is no favorite when it comes to voice control: the VW understands many spoken instructions, but sometimes fails with the simplest commands. The Mazda is more reliable when it comes to making a phone call, but the VW has the edge in navigation and vehicle functions. The hands-free quality of both is convincing, even though both do not require a direct connection of the SIM card to the vehicle antenna.


photo: thomas kueppers

The mazda makes it easy for its buyers. For the price of 28.983 euros, everything is already on board, for example smartphone integration, as well as proximity control and head-up display. The premium package for 1.680 euro offers 360-degree camera, cross-traffic alert and traffic jam assist as well as a very good-sounding bose system. The ad’vantage package for 420 euros is good value, with heated seats, parking aid, head-up display and matrix LED headlights. These are also available from VW, but not individually. Countless equipment packages combine different battery sizes with more or less useful extras. The business equipment for 3.000 euro surcharge. It combines matrix-LED with rearview camera, heated seats and steering wheel, proximity control and keyless access. The highly recommendable ergonomic seats are only available from the business level and cost 670 euros as part of the package. Heat pump and alloy wheels cost extra.

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