Voluntary and unobtrusive, Mazda aspires to a place among the “best brands”, or so-called “premium” players. With a series of perfectly fitted and stylishly designed products, the Japanese can already be considered part of this club today. With this CX-60 they want to consolidate this position.
It is the first in a series of larger models that follow the BMW model: longitudinal engine, rear-wheel drive and inline six-stroke, petrol and diesel engines. However, we will have to wait until 2023 for these six pistons; meanwhile, this great SUV will be offered in a rechargeable hybrid version (PHEV). A first for the Hiroshima brand, which takes time to catch the (semi) electric train.
Body and dimensions
As with its counterparts such as the BMW X3, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio or the Mercedes GLC, the architecture is obvious, with a long hood and a great distance between the front wheels and the passenger compartment. The wide grille is flanked by compact headlights, while L-shaped LED strips are installed on the back. In fact: on the BMW.
The proportions are clean, but the CX-60 designed in Mazda’s American design studio does not have the refined panel treatment of models like the 3 or the CX-30 on the sides. The doors are remarkably flat and cut in a straight line, which seems pretty old-fashioned at a time when cars are sculpted in a more spectacular way.
>> Length: 4745 mm – width: 1890 mm – height: 1675 mm
Interior and trunk
However, this formal choice is made to the detriment of the width of the seating space. The Mazda CX-60 is 4.75 m long and is therefore clearly intended for family use. But beware: with this large engine compartment, the legroom at the rear is relatively limited.
Mazda does not usually follow current trends. Inside, there are no flashy TV-style touch screens, just an old control with a clear screen in the field of view and a rotary knob firmly placed in 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 the position of the eyes and then recover it automatically by facial recognition. A good idea, considering that not all drivers are aware of this. In practice, the driving position imagined by the car was not entirely to our liking. A matter of preference, no doubt, but it also limits the added value.
The interior is in line with what we expect from Mazda: a discreet style and finished with beautiful and sometimes smart materials. The so-called “Kakenui” seams of the board are striking, allowing you to see the underlying material (absent in the photo below).
Specifications and performance
The PHEV version is the most powerful production model Mazda has ever produced, with a combined power output of 327 hp (500 Nm), about half of which comes from the electric motor and the other half from the 2.5 atmospheric four-cylinder petrol . This allows this SUV to reach 100 km / h in 5.8 s. The 17.8 kWh battery theoretically guarantees an electric range of 63 km.
The electric motor is between the four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic transmission. From here, the driving power is transmitted to the rear and front axles via two universal joints. Therefore, the CX-60 also uses its four wheels for braking energy recovery.
During our brief first test, we observed consumption figures in line with those of other plug-in SUVs: an average of more than 20 kWh / 100 km and about 3 l / 100 km. These numbers can vary significantly depending on how you drive and charge.
With this architecture, the balance of road behavior is, of course, extremely healthy. It’s the long curves where you feel the most balance, thanks in particular to the MX-5’s copied electronic trick that counteracts the body’s twist by subtly slowing down the inner rear wheel.
In tight corners, the weight (over 2.1 tons) is felt and the CX-60 has too much understeer. These pounds also compromise comfort, with a stiff shock that reacts too abruptly to strong shocks. Our test specimen rolled over the 20-inch wheels; there is no doubt that smaller wheels are more lenient.
For this test, we only had a pre-production model at our disposal, which had not yet been equipped with the latest digital and mechanical specifications. This explains, according to the engineer in question, the transmission, sometimes shaken and the noise of the electric motor. This problem should be fixed in the final models.
Belgian prices for the Mazda CX-60
With CO2 emissions of 33 g / km, this plug-in hybrid is also perfectly suited to the company car market, given its tax deductibility.
The base price is slightly below € 49,000. For that price, you get a Prime Line finish, but that doesn’t include seat heating, leather upholstery, electric tailgate, Bose stereo, active cruise control, or front display. The complete multimedia system is equipped as standard, with the exception of Bose speakers.
The higher versions of Homura and Takumi cost 52,790 and 54,290 euros respectively. Compared to European luxury brands, these prices are still very competitive.
Mazda CX-60: Car Monitor Verdict
The CX-60 is, according to a first impression, less leading than a 3 or a CX-5 in its category. However, in the category of large plug-in hybrid cars, it does not happen, as most other car manufacturers charge much higher prices for this type of car. It is possible that the six-cylinder diesel, which Mazda announces as very economical, is the most interesting, charismatic and pleasant variant. But this is only for 2023.