Mazda's Hybrid Range Australia 2022

written by Cartopia |

Mazda's Hybrid Range Australia 2022
Australia currently has no concrete plans to ban the sale of petrol or diesel cars. And the Government's recently announced “future fuels strategy” set no target for the sale of electric vehicles.

This has made many manufacturers reluctant to bring their latest electric and hybrid models to the Australian market. The result is that buyers looking to go electric have limited options. But one manufacturer that is bucking the trend is Mazda.

The Japanese manufacturer already has one of the largest ranges of mild-hybrid vehicles in Australia and there are more exciting PHEV models coming in the next few months. So let’s take a quick look at where Mazda’s hybrid lineup stands in 2022.

Current Hybrid Range 2022

MX-30

The MX-30 is a compact SUV based on the CX-30 chassis but clothed in a more modern coupe-style body. The MX-30's rakish styling has clearly been designed to appeal to younger buyers and comes with a host of styling quirks.

The most obvious of these are the ‘freestyle’ rear doors, which are hinged at the rear and open outwards. In theory, this should provide easy access to the rather cramped rear seats. But in practice, the small aperture makes getting into the back seats awkward for anyone over 6ft.

Inside you’ll find more quirky features. The centre console is a two-deck affair that includes a stubby gear shifter and a touchscreen display that controls the infotainment system. This can be connected to both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and plays music through a spectacular sounding 12-speaker Bose sound system.

Not that you’ll need to drown out any road-noise, because this is a hybrid after all. The MX-30 deploys Mazda’s mild-hybrid technology. Power is provided by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine connected to a 114kw battery. The engine has smooth power delivery and is well suited to dring town. It also promises 6.4L /100km fuel economy.

CX-30

The CX-30 is one of Mazda’s best-selling cars in Australia. This small SUV combines style and functionality in a cost-effective package that is easy to drive and even easier to live with.

The CX-30 is available with both petrol and diesel options. But the hybrid is what we are interested in here. This uses the same mild-hybrid platform as the MX-30. That means a 2.0L turbocharged engine connected to a 114kw battery. This delivers excellent, Mazda promises 6.3L/100km on the combined cycle.

Inside the hybrid, CX-30 differs little from the standard car. The interior is spacious and well equipped. The front seats are comfortable and supportive with the driver's seat offering 10-way electric adjustment. The quality of the materials also feels a step above other cars in this price range.

But it’s on the road where the CX-30 really excels. The steering feels sharp and the suspension does an excellent job of smoothing out bumps. Mazda engineers specifically tuned this car for Australian roads and it shows. The hybrid engine takes nothing away from the dynamics. In fact, the silky smooth power delivery only enhances them.
 

Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 Skyactiv-X is perhaps the most interesting car here because power is provided by Mazda’s Skyactiv-X engine, which combines the free-revving nature of a petrol engine with the efficiency of a diesel.

The Skyactiv-X engine uses heat and compression to ignite the fuel, much like a diesel engine. The variable spark plugs deliver just enough spark to ignite the fuel depending on the engine's load. A supercharger is also fitted to provide the engine with enough air to maintain a lean fuel burn.

The engine is assisted by a small 4.8kw battery. Unlike other hybrid technologies, the battery is not powerful enough to drive the car on its own. But it does provide assistance to help keep fuel consumption down to a claimed 7.1L/100km. All things considered, this is a pretty impressive power plant, but what's it like on the road?

Anyone driving the Mazda 3 Skyactiv-X would be hard-pressed to know anything different was going on under the hood. Power delivery is smooth and performance brisk, if not class-leading. But with its sexy styling, well-packaged interior and interesting engine technology. The Mazda 3 makes an excellent choice for those looking for a frugal, spacious family car.
 

Upcoming Models

CX-60

The CX-60 is slated for launch before the end of the year. This is Mazda’s first foray into the all-wheel-drive large SUV market. Here it will compete with industry stalwarts like the VW Touareg, Volvo XC90 and Land Rover Discovery.

Most of Mazda’s current hybrid range uses mild-hybrid technology but the CX-60 is the company's first full-blooded plug-in hybrid (PHEV). This should deliver around 225kW of power from its 2.5L six-cylinder engine. There is no word on pricing for the hybrid yet. But prices for the petrol version start at $55,000. So expect to pay $63-$67,000.
 

CX-80

The yet to be launched CX-80 is based on the same platform as the CX-60. But it will offer a longer wheelbase allowing space for three rows of seats. Details are sketchy but expect this to be a more upmarket version of the CX-60, with a price tag to match.

Engine options and pricing are yet to be confirmed but a more powerful version of the plug-in hybrid powertrain in the CX-60 is rumoured to be on the cards. As of late April 2022, the car is yet to be confirmed for the Australian market. But demand for large SUVs is strong over here, so don’t bet against it.
 

The move towards electrification

Mazda has been more proactive than other manufacturers in bringing its hybrid models to Australia. But this is just the beginning. The company recently announced a tie-up with Toyota to jointly develop hybrid and electric technology.

This has already resulted in the launch of new products such as the hybrid Mazda 2 in Europe. But Aussies are unlikely to see this model anytime soon due to limited production quotas.

However, more exciting products are rumoured to be under development based on the Toyota Corolla hybrid platform. This is one of the best PHEV hybrid platforms on the market and it should make for some pretty exciting models once Mazda’s styling department gets to work on them. And these models are sure to end up in Australia.