Tested: Mazda CX-60

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Homura 2.5 eSkyactiv-G PHEV model driven

WHAT IS IT?

Mazda’s new flagship model, and the first model to be offered with plug-in hybrid technology. Sitting above the CX-5, it’s a large crossover SUV, albeit with five seats only – you will have to wait for the forthcoming CX-80 expected to launch in Europe towards the end of 2023 for a seven seat offering from the Japanese brand. 

THE GOOD THINGS

  • A long front bonnet gives the CX-60 a distinctive and assertive stance. It’s arguably one of the best looking crossover SUVs on sale at present.
  • The multimedia interface system. Mazda has brought touchscreen technology to its latest interface system while retaining the rotary knob by the driver’s left hand. Crucially however, many of the touchscreen functions only work when the vehicle is stationary, and other oft-utilised controls such as those for the heating remain in physical form. At last a manufacturer that recognises the distractions and dangers posed by function intensive touchscreens when driving.
  • Mazda interiors typically combine premium materials with aesthetically pleasing designs and driver focussed layouts. Classy premium we’d call it. The CX-60 cabin is a very pleasant place in which to spend time.
  • The range under pure electric power is among the better available. In cold weather conditions and driving on hilly terrain, we were typically getting around 50km before the petrol engine had to kick in. Overall we returned an average petrol consumption figure of 4.7 l/100km and average electric energy use of 25.7 kWh/100km over a mix of journey lengths and travel times.

THE NOT SO GOOD THINGS

  • Whether it’s because the CX-60 is set up for the American market is unclear, but the ride on this Mazda is ill-suited to any surfaces that aren’t billiard smooth. Even at slow speeds it’s much too firm, to the extent that traversing over small bumps or the gentle ramps often found in urban areas causes items in the boot to jump in the air, with passengers being equally discombobulated. Ride comfort is better at higher speeds on good surfaces, but it’s a long way removed from the comfort and agility you’d typically associate with Mazda products.
  • The CX-60 utilises an 8-speed automatic gearbox but the interface between the transmission and the petrol and electric motors is sometimes clunky and not as seamless as it could be. Disconcertingly, we noticed that when lifting off the accelerator, the car would sometimes hesitate for up to a second before retardation began. 
  • We also had some issues with home charging which may be peculiar to our particular car rather than a generic problem. On some occasions after plugging it in (but not every time), the system would indicate it was charging, but returning to the vehicle later we found it had the message ‘Charging complete’ whereas in fact it hadn’t charged at all.

VERDICT

We’re normally big fans of Mazda – it is one of the most innovative and independent thinking brands out there, with a driver oriented focus on engineering. Sadly, while the CX-60 has many good features including striking looks, one of the best multimedia interface systems available and a decent hybrid range, it’s let down by a jarring ride and a slightly out of kilter transmission which bring down our overall rating for this hybrid crossover.

OUR RATING: 6/10

SPEC CHECK

Model Spec: Homura 2.5 eSkyactiv-G PHEV
Price as tested: €59,350
Prices from: €54,100
Engine 2.5 litre eSkyactiv-G petrol
Hybrid System 100kW, 134 bhp electric motor with 17.8 kWh battery
Combined power output  327 PS / 500 Nm of torque
Transmission  8 speed automatic , all-wheel-drive
Performance 0-100 km/h 5.8 seconds
Combined CO2 emissions  33 g/km
Stated driving range on electric power Up to 60 km
Stated fuel consumption and electric consumption 1.5 //100 km and 17.1 kWh / 100 km