Voluntarily and discreetly, Mazda strives for a place among the “best brands”, or the so-called “premium” players. With a series of perfectly matched and stylishly designed products, the Japanese can actually already today be considered part of this club. With this CX-60, they want to consolidate this position.
It is the first in a series of larger models to follow BMW’s model: longitudinal engine, rear-wheel drive and straight-six engines, in petrol and diesel. However, it will be necessary to wait until 2023 for these six stamps; meanwhile, this large SUV will be offered in a rechargeable hybrid version (PHEV). A first for the Hiroshima brand, which is slow to take the (semi-) electric train.
Body and dimensions
As with its peers like the BMW X3, Alfa Romeo Stelvio or Mercedes GLC, the architecture is obvious, with a long bonnet and large distance between the front wheels and the cabin. The ample grille is flanked by compact headlights, while L-shaped LED strips are mounted at the rear. Actually: à la BMW.
The proportions are nice, but the CX-60 styled in Mazda’s American design studio lacks the refined panel treatment of models like the 3 or CX-30 at the flanks. The doors are remarkably flat and cut in a straight line, which seems quite old-fashioned at a time when cars are becoming more dramatically sculptural.
>> Length: 4745 mm – width: 1890 mm – height: 1675 mm
Interior and trunk
However, this formal choice has been made at the expense of the width of the seat. The Mazda CX-60 is 4.75 m long and is therefore clearly intended for family use. But beware: With this large engine compartment, legroom at the rear is relatively limited.
Mazda does not usually follow current trends. Inside, there are no flashy TV-style touch screens, just old-fashioned controls with a clear screen in the field of view and a well-placed knob on the center console. From an ergonomic point of view, this is still the best solution.
When it comes to ergonomics, this Mazda can determine the best driving position based on your eye position and automatically recall it afterwards using face recognition. A good idea, considering that not all motorists are aware of this. In practice, the driving position the car imagined did not quite prove to be to our liking. A matter of preference, no doubt, but it also limits added value.
The interior is in line with what we have come to expect from Mazda: understated styling and finish with beautiful and sometimes smart materials. The so-called “Kakenui” seams on the dashboard, which make it possible to see the underlying material (absent in the picture below), are striking.
Specifications and performance
The PHEV version is the most powerful production model Mazda has ever produced, with a total power of 327 hp (500 Nm), of which about half comes from the electric motor and the other half from the normally intake 2.5 petrol four-cylinder. This allows this SUV to reach 100 km / h in 5.8 sec. The 17.8 kWh battery theoretically guarantees an electric range of 63 km.
The electric motor sits between the four-cylinder and the eight-speed automatic transmission. From there, the driving force is transmitted to the rear and front axles via two universal joints. The CX-60 therefore also uses its four wheels to recover braking energy.
During our short initial test, we noted consumption figures in line with other plug-in SUVs: an average of more than 20 kWh / 100 km and about 3 l / 100 km. These numbers can vary considerably depending on how you drive and load.
With this architecture, the balance between road behavior is of course extremely healthy. It is in the long corners that you feel this balance the most, especially thanks to the electronic trick copied from the MX-5, which counteracts body rolling by subtly braking the inner rear wheel.
In narrow turns, the weight is felt (over 2.1 tons) and the CX-60 exhibits too much understeer. These kilos also compromise comfort with a stiff shock that responds to jerks on hard blows. Our test specimen rolled on the 20-inch rims; there is no doubt that smaller wheels are more forgiving.
For this test, we only had one pre-production model available, which was not yet equipped with the very latest digital and mechanical specifications. According to the engineer in question, this explains the sometimes jerky transmission and the noise from the electric motor. This problem should be solved on the final models.
Belgian prices for Mazda CX-60
With a CO2 emission of 33 g / km, this plug-in hybrid is also perfectly suited to the company car market given its tax deduction.
The basic price is a little lower at 49,000 €. For that price, you get a Prime Line clothing, but it does not include seat heating, leather upholstery, electric tailgate, Bose stereo, active cruise control or head-up display. The complete multimedia system is fitted as standard with the exception of the Bose speakers.
The higher Homura and Takumi versions cost € 52,790 and € 54,290 respectively. Compared to European luxury brands, these prices remain very competitive.
Mazda CX-60 – judgment of Automobil Monitor
The CX-60 is, according to a first impression, less leading than a 3’er or a CX-5 in their category. In the category of large plug-in hybrid cars, however, it does not go unnoticed, as most other car manufacturers charge much higher prices for this type of car. It is possible that the six-cylinder diesel, which Mazda advertises as being very economical, is the most interesting, charismatic and comfortable variant. But that is only for 2023.