New Mazda CX-60 PHEV SUV first drive

The new Mazda CX-60 priced from £43,950 now going on sale is the most powerful model ever from the company.

The range-topping SUV is Mazda’s PHEV first plug-in hybrid and it combines their acclaimed Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 100 kW electric motor and a 17.8 kWh high-capacity battery.

Together these produce 327ps and use an eight-speed automatic transmission to put down power to all four wheels as it’s needed.

This head-turning powertrain offers a choice of drive modes: Normal, Sport, Off-Road, Towing and EV, with the latter making it possible to drive under electric power for over 39 miles, comfortably more than the average commute.

In keeping with Mazda philosophy there are three trim levels, Exclusive-Line, Homura and Takumi and the CX-60 expands Mazda’s award-winning SUV range, joining the UK line-up above the ever-popular 2022 Mazda CX-5.

Mazda’s first PHEV also displays exceptional environmental credentials with WLTP combined fuel consumption of 188mpg and WLTP combined CO2emissions of only 33g/km.

The combined drivetrain delivers a 0-62mph performance of just 5.8 seconds with top of 124mph.

Offered in the UK in three highly specified trim grades, customer choice is further enhanced with the ability to add two option packs across all grades: Convenience Pack and Driver Assistance Pack, with a Comfort Pack available on Exclusive-Line. An additional option to specify a Panoramic roof on Homura and Takumi models is also a Mazda first.

The Mazda CX-60 Exclusive-Line can be matched to all three of the option packs to offer maximum customer choice and complement the extensive CX-60 standard equipment tally.

The Homura is visually distinguished from the Exclusive-Line by body coloured wheel arch mouldings and a dark plated signature wing grille surround, plus gloss black mirrors and honeycomb grille treatment, while 20-inch black alloy wheels finish the stand out exterior look.

Inside, the Homura grade features seat heating for the outer rear seats and ambient lighting, plus it’s equipped with the ground-breaking Mazda Driver Personalisation System that will recognise the occupant of the driver’s seat via facial recognition and automatically adjust the surroundings – seat position, steering wheel, mirrors, head-up display, even the sound and climate control settings – to fit their physique as well as their personal preferences. There’s also the option to add the Convenience Pack and Driver Assistance Pack to the Mazda CX-60 Homura.

At the top of the all-new Mazda CX-60 range is the Takumi, which features 20-inch black machined alloy wheels and body-coloured mirrors, combined with chrome plated signature wing grille treatment and side window surround, while the gloss black bar type radiator grille design is another feature unique to this flagship grade.

Like the Homura, there’s the option to add the Convenience Pack and Driver Assistance Pack. Highlights in the Convenience Pack include privacy glass, 360 view monitor with see through view and wireless phone charging, while the Driver Assistance Pack adds a large tally of additional active safety technology.

The Comfort Pack is only offered with the Exclusive-Line, but adds high-grade features like 20-inch alloy wheels, electric front seats, front seat ventilation, rear seat heaters and the Mazda Driver Personalisation System technology.

The Mazda CX-60 shares the same carefully considered cockpit design found in all Mazda cars, with a symmetrical layout focused on the driver with the aim of delivering the uniquely Mazda sense of being at one with the car.

As its largest car, The Mazda CX-60 provides a 570-litre boot and room for five people. The design utilises strong bodyshell rigidity and a double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension set-up to deliver a sporting driving experience synonymous with Mazda. Putting the traction battery between the front and rear axles and as low as possible, further helps the CX-60’s centre of gravity and stability.

The all-new Mazda CX-60 PHEV’s e-Skyactiv powertrain is mated to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission and Mazda’s i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system.

Several new technologies debut in the Mazda CX-60: See-Through View – a next-generation 360-degree monitor with extended field of view at low speeds; Hill Descent Control (HDC), which assists in safely descending steep slopes with slippery or rough road surfaces; Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC), which can now incorporate speed limits from Traffic Sign Recognition.

Mazda Motors UK Ltd, Managing Director, Jeremy Thomson, said, “The Mazda CX-60 heralds the start of a new chapter for Mazda, not only is it our first car with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but it also sets new standards for interior quality, design and technology – highlighting Mazda’s uniquely Japanese premium brand direction.”

The all-new Mazda CX-60 is the first of two new models from the company’s Large Product group to be introduced throughout Europe during the next two years, with the second being the three-row Mazda CX-80. In addition, joining the 2.5-litre e-Skyactiv PHEV drivetrain in the CX-60 line-up at a later date will be two new Mazda engines that have been developed using the ‘right sizing’ concept which calls for optimised displacement for improved fuel and power efficiency.

The new generation straight-six 3.0-litre e-Skyactiv X petrol and 3.3-litre e-Skyactiv D diesel engines, which feature M Hybrid Boost – Mazda’s 48V mild hybrid system – combine high output with excellent fuel economy and emissions performance.

Both powerplants are mated to the same eight-speed automatic transmission and i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system as the PHEV, but the e-Skyactiv D diesel unit and the e-Skyactiv X petrol engine have also been developed to be equipped with rear-wheel drive only.

The all-new Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV heralds a new chapter in Mazda’s successful SUV history and joins the battery electric Mazda MX-30, Mazda M Hybrid mild-hybrid equipped Mazda CX-30 and recently updated 2022 Mazda CX-5 in Mazda’s comprehensive SUV line-up.

Prices of the three model grades go from £43,950, £46,700 and £48,050.

First Drive Views

The CX 60 is another big step up for Mazda launching as a five seater PHEV SUV. It will expand next year with two more seats and take on the CX 80 identifier.

For now we have the CX 60 at the flagship and it’s brimming with technology, both in the powertrain and also the driving and comfort areas.

We briefly tested all three trim levels from Exclusive to Homura and Takima and saw between 30 and 42 mpg over various main roads and some dual carriageway roads in North Wales.

The petrol engine was fairly quiet idling but noise level became more noticeable at higher revolutions while the electric motor hummed in the background adding some urge when the on-board computer considered necessary.

l liked the steering and braking action, smooth and precise, and the ability to move between modes reflected in the way the 8 gears worked. Sport, Normal EV and towing completely changed the character of the CX60 as you’d expect.

Using the column paddles also changed the modes and a driver can select what seems best but if necessary can almost instantly change to another mode or the system can do that for you.

Occasionally we thought the powertrain was hunting for the better mode and worked with a jerkiness but other times it was completely smooth.

The CX60 with 20-inch wheels and tyres was a bit bumpy on poor secondary roads, smooth enough on main roads, but it could struggle over a series of bad ridges or holes. The smaller standard wheels might be a comfier proposition.

Room is very good, both for luggage and occupants and it seemed to have abundant oddments space for a family.

It’s worth looking at the option packs to refine what you want on top of the individual trim levels, which are high in any case, but you need to carefully choose the features.

It’s a good flagship for the brand and hopefully it will become a rival to the best from Germany.

Fast facts:

Mazda CX-60 PHEV SUV

Price: £43,950

Mechanical: 327ps 4cyl 2.5 litre PHEV petrol/electric, 8sp & 4WD

0-62mph: 5.8 sec

Maximum: 124 mph

CO2 emissions: 33 gkm

Combined Cycle official WLTP mpg figure: 188.3

Insurance Group: 43

Tax costs: Bik rating 12%, VED £ZeroFY, £510SRx5 years

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles mechanical, 8yrs battery

Size: L4.75m, W2.14, H1.68m

Bootspace: 570 to 1726 litres

Kerb weight: 1981 kg

For: Spacious, strong performance and economy, well specified, excellent seats, dramatic styling inside and out

Against: Some jerkiness under engine load, large car for confined spaces, occasionally bumpy when larger wheels were specified, much lower real-life fuel economy figure recorded on our test drives, ungenerous mechanical warranty.

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