Hello all. I've been looking into electric cars and really like the look of the Mazda, but wanted some real life opinions. I'm not too worried about the range, but just a bit concerned about the rear being a bit dark and wondered whether anyone else is using one as their main family car? Again I'm not worried about the room in the rear but my kids sometimes get a bit ill on journeys and like to have the windows down, which you can't do with the Mazda. I would consider getting the top range model for the sunroof if it helps the rear but also believe the ride may be more comfortable than my current Mini Countryman (MK1) with sports suspension. Any comments would be appreciated, although we will all be going out this weekend for a good look and test drive. Thanks
I've had the GT Sport Tech for about 5 months/ 4500 miles. It was bought as the second car, though it's been our main car for all that period apart from two long camping trips. Classic use is school run followed by family taxi to activities, shopping trips etc - basically all relatively short distance/ time trips, so not really the type of trips that trigger car sickness. I have a 13 yr old, nearly 5ft 11' and a 7 year old, still in a car seat. The 13 year can't fit in the back without having his legs jammed into seats. Usually though he's in the front and the 7yr old is in the back. He's had no problems with the darkness but the car seat does lift him up a bit. We do have the sunroof and that would let more air in if needed. Ride is very smooth and comfortable - places well on the road, stable and very quiet - as you're expect - with good tolerance for uneven surfaces. The 7 year old actually commented on it when I had to use the Sorento to pick him up as he was so used to the Mazda.
I would also advise thinking about two other areas - 1) If you need devices in the back for the kids, there are no power sockets in the rear; although you can run a cable from the front, access to the USB/ power sockets there is terrible; 2) With people in the back, getting in and out is a pain - the rear doors are not easy to open/ use esp in a parking space with cars on either side, as you need to open both rear and front doors to open the back doors and get out of the back and the front seat belts are fixed to the doors - driver has to get out. Equally pavement drop offs need someone from the front passenger or the driver to go round and open the passenger side doors - which of course, would originally have been the chauffeur, so maybe it's appropriate
It doesn't impact us much, as we normally just have the three of us (1 adult + 2 kids) in the car, but sometimes it is a pain. On the BT Sport Tech, this is exacerbated by the drivers seat being electric with no physical release, so the seat has to be moved slowly forward electrically to give people in the back room to get out, though the memory seat puts it back automatically - passenger side has a physical strap release that tilts and slides the seat forward to access the back. Obviously, may not be a problem is the kids are small enough to get out w/o moving the seat (as my 7 yr old is) or agile enough (as the 13 yr old is).
All of which sounds negative, but don't let it put you off; the build quality is great, it handles well and is a great urban/ suburban car with excellent charging times and a great TCO - I'm averaging about 2p per mile vs 16p per mile for the Honda Civic it replaced, so about £20/ mth vs £160/ mth and we're using it about 25% more than I predicted, which is great as that 25% is where the Sorento would have been used before. Wrt the range - do not take the 125 - 150 as reality - dual carriageway/ motorway speed (60/70mph) will use at least 1% per mile. I usually get 125+ showing on the range FC with an all time ave of 3.6miles/ KW, but that is based on a mix of driving with very little over 60. The aircon will knock about 7 miles off the FC range as soon as you switch it on. Cold weather this past week has shown more on the FC range, but then it's disappeared faster, so I need to start getting my spreadsheet out again
My advice would be too map your main journeys and see if they are comfortably within 75/80 mile R/T max; the car can obviously do longer trips, but if you were to try and do a 40 mile each way commute with a high proportion of dual carriageway/ motorway speeds, you'd be cutting it fine. There are plenty of people using them for long journeys, leveraging high speed charging, but there tend to be leisure journeys, where a 30 mins stop every hour or thereabouts is not a problem.
I'd also advise trying to get longer test drive - Mazda claimed to be offering a 24 hour test when I bought mine, but the dealer could only let us have it for an hour "due to heavy demand". That did give us chance to thrash it down the A1 for a mile or so but I'd never driven an EV before so didn't really know what to look at, so a longer test drive would give you a better chance to look at battery usage, plus liveability.
One final thing - I'm not sure what Mazda are doing for charger offer these days, but if they offer you New Motion, tell them no, get a £450 quid rebate and buy your own. I'm still - 5 months on - waiting for one of their chargers that works properly.