The 2022 Mazda MX-30, if you haven’t read our review already (and you totally should) is a nice, friendly little EV with a less-than-stellar range. To better convenience buyers, sweeten the deal, and make the car more appealing, Mazda is also offering customers three free years of its all-new MX-30 Elite Access Loaner Program. Here’s how it works.
In an August press release, Mazda described the program as providing MX-30 owners with “access to experience other vehicles in the Mazda family for up to 10 days per year for the first three years of ownership,” and noted that everything is “based on dealer participation and vehicle availability. Must reserve with [a] dealer in advance.”
And if you’re curious as to whether Miatas are also included in this program as well, they’re totally fair game, according to a Mazda rep—provided that the dealer you’re working with has it as part of its fleet. Customers “have access to any Mazda that is available in a dealer’s loaner fleet” and “would be able to reserve the vehicles ahead of time with their dealer,” the rep told us.
The loans do not have to be consecutive, nor are there any mileage limits. So you could theoretically borrow one car for 10 days or do 10 one-day loans and drive the cars 500 miles each. This is all provided that the dealer is participating, of course. The cars come out of the dealer’s service loaner fleet, so they’re dealer-owned.
“These vehicles are part of their required service loaner fleet and are registered vehicles that cannot be sold until that service term is complete for the vehicle,” the Mazda rep said. This means that the current inventory shortage should not affect the availability of these cars, as dealers cannot rush to sell them off their lots.
There’s a reason this program is in place. The MX-30 EV gets just 100 miles of range from a full charge, so it’ll likely be a tough sell to buyers who are used to hearing about EVs with at least 200 miles of range in 2021. So if you don’t think the MX-30’s 100 miles of EV range will get the job done, consider a CX-5—or a Miata, if you can pack light—for your road trip. It’s really not a bad setup.
During the MX-30’s media preview, another company rep elaborated that the Elite Access program is “environmentally responsible” because it reduces a would-be MX-30 owner’s reliance on a gasoline-driven vehicle to a maximum of 10 days a year.
But the quiet part of this whole program out loud is that in reality, it’s for those rainy days when 100 miles of range isn’t enough and you need to go further in places that may or may not have robust public charging infrastructure. It’s a direct solution to the “what if I need to drive 400 miles in a day?” range anxiety question that still plagues EVs, but instead of offering us an EV with better range, Mazda is supplementing it first and only EV with a gasoline-powered crutch.
I have no idea who will buy the MX-30. It’s a spunky thing with cool doors, but I’m curious to see if the range will work against it as that much of a deterrent. And for those who do buy it, how often will they take advance of the Elite Access program? Because the premise itself is fascinating: When you offer a low-range electric car, how often will owners really feel they need more? Will they take advantage of a free ICE car that’s at their disposal? That ought to provide some hard data on how we drive, and how far.
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