Mazda has clipped £3,000 off the price of its one and only electric car.

The MX-30 has been a slow seller and with mounting pressure from emerging Chinese brands the company has brought its pricing more in line with MG and BYD with the added bonus of a free home charger, so another £1000 saved.

Prices are now £27,995 to £32,395 for the three model range with zero finance on a PCP deal. The rotary engined plug-in hybrid MX-30 also gets a £3,000 reduction with a starting price of £31,495.

Mazda is banking on its reputation for reliability and quality to steer more customers to its showrooms. The MX-30 has always been trumpeted as a driver’s car, its lightweight battery pack making it a more dynamic drive than its rivals which it is, but customers are wary of its low 124 mile range.

Mazda’s own data shows its customers daily commute is 26 miles and argues that this makes MX-30 the ideal second car. We will wait to see if this big price cut does the trick.

Other headline news is an updated hybrid version of the Mazda2 supermini.

This is a car that looks nothing like a Mazda2 because it is a Toyotq Yaris with a few tweaks to the front and rear styling, and a Mazda badge of course.

Hitching up with Toyota makes sense because it saves Mazda development costs and there is no better company than its Japanese rival when it comes to hybrid power.

Economy and low emissions are the name of the game here with the 1.5 litre petrol mated to a CVT gearbox capable of up to 74mpg and producing 87g/km to 98g/km depending on the car sitting on 15 or 16 inch wheels.

I topped 70mpg on a short drive and was impressed with the pick up from the 114bhp engine that sprints to 62mph in 9.7 seconds.

Mazda is offering a four model line up with prices ranging from £24,130 to £29,230.

Its own Mazda3 1.5 litre petrol has had a front end facelift as well and is priced under the hybrid from £18,615. There are three power options, 75, 90 and 115bhp. A good mid level option is the 90bhp Exclusive Line for £20,365 which has a reasonable amount of bells and whistles.

And finally…. Was 1989, the year the Berlin wall came crashing down, a memorable year for you?

Over in California I had a day to remember at the press launch of the Mazda 323. We had an exclusive viewing, and a 10 minute drive, in a new Mazda roadster. It was called Miata but we came to know it as the MX-5, a simple but stunning reincarnation of the British open top two seaters of the fifties and sixties with a particular no the little Lotus Elan.

It was an instant universal hit and quickly became the world’s best selling roadster. To date nearly 1.3 million have been built with more than 135,000 coming to the UK. MX-5 is 35 this year, still a world beater and likely to be the benchmark roadster until the end of its days.

To celebrate this landmark MX-5 has had a few birthday presents in the shape of new LED headlight and tail light design, a larger 8.8in touchscreen, and a tech update to make it all function a little faster. Two litre models are now fitted with an asymmetric limited slip differential to give more stability when cornering.

MX-5 has turned into a legend yet it is not that quick, or particularly comfortable, with a cabin that is a snug fit for driver and passenger. But it corners as if on rails and that old school bark from the four cylinder engine, 1.5 or 2-litre, harks back to the old days and is a great feeling behind the wheel.

In a nutshell the MX-5 is to the road what the wartime Spitfire was to the skies…loved and revered.

Fast Facts

MX-30 BEV Exclusive Line


Range: 124 miles

Battery: 35.5kWh

Battery warranty 8 years/100,000 miles


0-62mph 9.7secs; 87mph

Zero emissions

Insurance group 19

Boot: 350-1155 litres