• Mazda's first battery EV is this small crossover, the MX-30. [credit: Mazda ]

On Wednesday, Mazda confirmed that it will bring its new battery-electric vehicle to the US later in 2021. It's called the MX-30, and it's an attractive compact crossover that has been on sale in Europe for a few months already. It's the first full EV to join the Mazda lineup. The MX-30 will be joined in time by a series hybrid version that uses a rotary engine as a range extender, as well as a new plug-in hybrid for an as-yet-unseen larger vehicle, plus a US-made hybrid crossover.

The MX-30's technical specs probably won't win any bench races. There's a 107 kW (144 hp), 271 Nm (200 lb-ft) electric motor that drives the front axle, and a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that has a 124-mile (200 km) range under the generous WLTP testing format. And DC fast charging tops out at a maximum of 50 kW, which equates to a 36-minute pitstop to get back to 80 percent state of charge on road trips.

But we're expecting it to drive like a peach, as it shares the same Skyactiv Vehicle architecture as the CX-30 crossover and Mazda 3 sedan and hatchbacks, all of which are a joy from behind the wheel.

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