Longer ranges and faster charging times have made electric vehicles more and more popular in recent years. Almost all automakers now have at least one EV in their lineups, but some brands are more successful than others.
Mazda, for instance, has recently announced that it will discontinue its MX-30 model in the U.S. from 2024. The news comes as a surprise, considering the automaker only released the vehicle in California in the last quarter of 2021.
While this model was doomed from the start, General Motors had huge success with its Chevy Bolt. Both the MX-30 and the Bolt cater to those who want an affordable EV, but is the Chevy a suitable replacement for the Mazda?
This in-depth comparison between the Mazda MX-30 and the Chevy Bolt breaks down everything you need to know.
Mazda MX-30 vs. Chevy Bolt: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Mazda MX-30||Chevy Bolt|
|Power||143 hp||200 hp|
|Range per Charge||Up to 100 miles||Up to 259 miles|
|Charge Time||36 minutes (80%)||30 minutes (up to 100 miles)|
|Top Speed||87 mph||90 mph|
|Acceleration (0 to 60 mph)||8.7 seconds||6.5 seconds|
|Number of Seats||5||5|
|Cargo Capacity||21 cubic feet||16.6 cubic feet|
|Tax Credit Eligible?||No||Yes|
Mazda MX-30 vs. Chevy Bolt: What’s the Difference?
The MX-30 is the first (and only) electric vehicle from Mazda. The Japanese automaker created a good-looking crossover that has many elements in common with its gas-fueled CX-30 sibling.
Initially, Mazda released the MX-30 in California in 2021. Despite its good looks, this car was one of the automaker’s greatest disappointments. A low performance paired with a slightly higher price point turned the odds against this model.
The MX-30 never made it out of California, and in June 2023, the company announced that it will discontinue the model from 2024. Meanwhile, you might be able to find the 2023 model from selected dealers in California — even though investing in this car might not be the wisest idea.
General Motors introduced the Chevy Bolt EV in 2016, and the compact hatchback has established itself as the most affordable EV on the American market. The 2023 model is more affordable and more powerful than the MX-30, but the hatchback we know will also be discontinued at the end of 2023.
The good news is that General Motors doesn’t plan to completely remove this car from the market but only redesign and relaunch it as an affordable crossover sometime in 2025. So, if you need an affordable EV and like the MX-30 crossover, the upcoming Chevy Bolt might suit your needs.
Meanwhile, let’s see how the 2023 editions of each car compare.
The Mazda MX-30 and the Chevy Bolt are two of the most affordable EVs, so their performance isn’t comparable to that of high-end electrical SUVs. Both vehicles are offered in front-wheel drive trims only, which are perfect for the city.
However, that’s where the similarities between the two vehicles end. Mazda’s MX-30 comes equipped with a 143 horsepower electric motor that won’t impress anyone with its speed or performance. The vehicle gets from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.7 seconds and is electronically limited to a top speed of 87 miles per hour. Considering that Mazda has historically used the MX label to denote its sports cars, the MX-30 is undeniably disappointing.
The automaker limited this vehicle purposefully to increase its range. To make up for these drawbacks, Mazda’s vehicle delivers smooth handling, and it feels adequately fast on the road. The steering and braking also feel nice.
General Motors hasn’t made the Chevy Bolt the fastest hatchback out there, but it is definitely faster than the MX-30. Both trims sport a 200-horsepower motor that gets from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds. Similar to Mazda, Chevrolet limits the Bolt to a top speed of 90 miles per hour, but overall, this car feels a lot faster than the MX-30.
Range and Battery
The Chevy Bolt and the Mazda MX-30 have similar top speeds, even if the former is more powerful. What truly makes a difference is the range — which is also the reason why the MX-30 never conquered the masses.
Mazda’s EV has a range of only 100 miles per charge. That is very low for a modern EV, especially when most competitors exceed 200 miles. The fuel efficiency also leaves a lot to be desired, at 92 MPGe combined.
Comparatively, the Chevy Bolt can take you farther. This vehicle has a range of around 259 miles, according to the EPA (which is often exceeded in real life), and a fuel economy of 102 MPGe combined. Charging is a bit slower, but you can get an extra 100 miles in 30 minutes at a DC fast-charging station.
The MX-30 charges to 80 percent in around 36 minutes at a fast-charging station, and both vehicles need hours to fully charge at home.
Mazda and General Motors designed their MX-30 and Chevy Bolt with affordability in mind. You won’t find the latest technology in any of these cars, but you can expect convenience.
In Mazda’s case, the MX-30 comes with an 8.8-inch touchscreen display running on proprietary software. The system comes with a sat-nav and DAB radio in addition to Bluetooth connectivity. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility gives you the possibility to connect your phone to the car and answer calls or use Google Maps.
The car’s console is rather retro-looking otherwise, with a traditional shifter in the middle and various buttons for climate and multimedia control. In addition to the main screen, the car also features a digital gauge that can be customized to look just like a standard one.
Chevy Bolt has a modern-looking interior with a minimalist central console. There is no traditional shifter in sight, and there are few buttons. The 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen includes numerous popular features, such as a subscription Wi-Fi hotspot. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and comes with built-in Spotify and Alexa.
Another highlight is the wireless smartphone charging pad, and the system accepts over-the-air updates.
Both vehicles come with standard 6-speaker audio systems that can be upgraded. Mazda allows you to upgrade to a 12-speaker Bose, whereas the Chevy Bolt can be upgraded to a high-performance 7-speaker system that is also manufactured by Bose.
Automakers may save on technology, comfort, and performance to keep their vehicles affordable, but they won’t compromise on safety. Both the Mazda MX-30 and the Chevy Bolt include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane-keep assistance, and rear-collision warning as standard.
Both vehicles also include adaptive cruise control, although neither of them has an autonomous or semi-autonomous driving mode.
While the Mazda MX-30 doesn’t make a good impression overall, one thing that it has going for itself is the interior. The automaker focused on sustainability and constructed the cabin from natural or recycled materials, including cork and recycled plastic bottles.
The front seats are wide and comfortable for adults, although the rear is more cramped in both headroom and legroom. We do like the various cubbies and storage compartments, including the storage space carved under the floating central console.
As far as the cargo space is concerned, you get 21 cubic feet of space behind the second row of seats. That’s more compared to the Chevy Bolt, which only provides 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Chevy’s interior also looks more plasticky, but it has an upscale look overall.
The vehicle comes with redesigned front seats and plenty of leg and headroom for the rear passengers — the backseats can easily fit two adults comfortably. The racy, flat bottom of the steering wheel is another nice touch.
Tax Credit Eligibility
Tax incentives make it easy to justify the transition from fuel pumps to charging stations, but not all vehicles qualify for tax credits. The MX-30, for instance, doesn’t qualify for incentives. Mazda will discontinue the model in 2024, and it won’t accept orders anymore.
While you could find the model from authorized dealers (or on the used vehicle market), it is not eligible for tax relief.
Things change when it comes to the Chevy Bolt. General Motors is still producing this car, and the model qualifies for up to $7,500 in tax credits. The automaker doesn’t plan to release a 2024 model, but the 2025 model will likely be eligible for tax incentives if the regulations don’t change.
Both the MX-30 and the Chevy Bolt are affordable, but the latter wins this round. You can expect to spend around $27,500 for the basic version — customizations increment the price, but the vehicle remains affordable overall.
The Mazda MX-30 is more expensive, with prices starting at around $35,500. Since the automaker doesn’t take orders for this model anymore, you’ll have to settle for whatever trim or configuration you can find at dealerships.
Mazda MX-30 vs. Chevy Bolt: 5 Must-Know Facts
- The Mazda MX-30 and the Chevy Bolt are two of the most affordable electric vehicles you can buy today.
- Due to a low range and poor performance, the MX-30 didn’t have a huge success in the U.S. Mazda will pull out this model from the American market after 2023.
- General Motors plans to revamp its Chevy Bolt model, upgrading it to a compact crossover in 2025. The automaker will not release a 2024 version of the model.
- The Chevy Bolt offers a range of around 259 miles and needs only 30 minutes of charge to add another 100 miles.
- Mazda’s MX-30 is more expensive than the Chevy Bolt despite its poorer performance. This vehicle isn’t eligible for tax credits either, whereas you could save up to $7,500 in tax incentives with a Chevy Bolt.
Mazda MX-30 vs. Chevy Bolt: Is the Chevy Bolt Better than the Mazda MX-30?
Both the Mazda MX-30 and the Chevy Bolt as we know it, have been discontinued. However, if you want to buy an affordable EV right now, the Chevy Bolt is a better option.
Chevy Bolt is more powerful than the MX-30, has a longer range, and is the cheaper of the two, so it is an excellent choice for buyers on a budget. It might not have the most hi-tech interior or the fastest speed, but it can satisfy most purposes.
The MX-30 is a good option if you live in California and need a compact electric crossover. This vehicle has good looks, but its performance is disappointing. Considering its starting price, there are better options out there.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Daniliuc Victor/Shutterstock.com.