Revised Mazda CX-60 Test drive: diamond in the rough

You read that right: We have already written a test drive about the Mazda CX-60. Actually, I was too! We were invited to the European press launch of the Mazda CX-60 in Portugal at the time. We know we are having a hard time. But hey, it was a pre-production version, the one we tested now is just a production car. So how has the Mazda CX-60 changed (improved) compared to the test model from Portugal?

Forces Weaknesses
+ Design – Gearbox
+ Interior – Suspension
+ versatility – Spending

What is the Mazda CX-60?

The Mazda CX-60 is a new SUV from Mazda, which will compete in size and type with cars such as the Volvo XC60 and BMW X3. The car is spacious and has a high seating position. The design of the Mazda CX-60 is typical Mazda. The elegant lines that make the car move even when standing still are reflected in this design. Mazda has chosen a more aggressive front styling with a sharper design language. Furthermore, Mazda wants to use the same design language as they do with the current model range, but they will focus more on simplicity. It can be seen, for example, on the back of the CX-60.

The Mazda CX-60 is a large SUV with a sporty look. A short front overhang and a longer rear accentuate the XC-60’s sporty intentions. The long bonnet indicates big engines (six in a row!). The version we received is the Mazda CX-60 Homura E-Skyactiv PHEV. The same 2.5-liter uncooled four-cylinder as the test model lives in the front and together with the electric motor still produces 327 hp. Everything is sent to all wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.

How does he drive?

When you step up to the Mazda CX-60, you will be overwhelmed by its impressive looks. We really think he’s handsome. A very special combination of elegance and sportiness. The large bonnet in particular gives the impression of a lot of underlying power.

When you get into the big Mazda, you will be surprised by the simple interior. The interior is structured horizontally and has only one modestly sized screen at the top center of your dashboard. You can tap this screen, but nothing happens. The infotainment system is operated only by the buttons in the center console, below the automatic handle.

The Mazda CX-60 will initially only be available with the 2.5 liter four-cylinder with PHEV system tested by us. The petrol engine itself produces 191 hp, the electric motor produces 175 hp. This brings the total system output to 327 hp and 500 Nm of torque. Later in 2023 and 2024, respectively, the 3.3 liter diesel and the 3.0 liter petrol six-cylinder will be on the market.

The Mazda CX-60 stays flat under steering and hardly leans in corners. Mazda states that, due to their new suspension system, the car no longer dives and bends. That’s correct, but he jumps a lot. More on this later. The gearbox shifts a little late up and down and sometimes a little insensitively, but generally it works fine. Usually, anyway. More on this later. There is enough visibility, comfort too.

Forces

The first very strong point of the Mazda CX-60 is the design of the car. In Portugal I drove a gray version with normal rims, so the beauty of the car was not very noticeable. The version that I now received was the sporty Homura version. It is equipped with a stunning metallic-red paintwork and stunning, large and shiny black rims. Both things greatly benefit the design. What an eye catcher!

One of the biggest pluses and selling points of the Mazda CX-60 (and also the other Mazdas) is the quality of the materials and the calm that the car’s interior exudes. The interior is made of beautiful materials, provided you choose the right version. The Homura version has a sporty touch, which translates into black leather with sporty accents. The design is incredibly simple, sleek and easy. The interior is also very comfortable and spacious, also tidy and relaxing.

As we mentioned earlier, the versatility of the CX-60 is immense. The trunk is, even for a PHEV, very large. There is enough space for front and rear passengers and they can also store all sorts of important things, such as their legs for example. There’s plenty of comfort, so nice long road trips with all your family members and their luggage to the cold Alps (heated seats all around!) shouldn’t be a problem. The power is always there, even if you fill it with people. In addition, you can also tow a lot, namely up to 2500 kg.

Weak points

The 2.5 is located longitudinally in the CX-60. The electric motor is placed between the petrol engine and the eight-speed automatic gearbox. This means that the car also switches during electric driving. We don’t know exactly what it is, but sometimes the gearbox is simply uncomfortable. When changing between gears or from electric to petrol (or vice versa), the car sometimes jerks enormously. This changes from a small nudge to a very noticeable jolt. There have even been times when the box made such a big bang, both in sound and feel, that I honestly thought something had broken. That does not seem to us to be the intention.

The new suspension of the CX-60 ensures that the car remains very flat when driving and cornering. In addition, the car hardly squats and dives. Unfortunately, the Mazda CX-60’s suspension is extremely stiff. You bounce around quite a bit, expecting a large SUV from a brand that is becoming a premium brand to have a nice comfortable suspension. You don’t feel it on motorways and mountain passes, but as soon as the road is poorly maintained or you have to deal with traffic hills, it’s an unpleasant intention. A strange contrast is that when the car is full of people, the car is soft and unstable at times.

I think PHEVs are the end of the line. I love them, the growl of an exploding dinosaur combined with saving the planet. Great. Usually PHEVs are also very economical on fuel, so we’ve been able to average around 1 in 40 with some cars at times. But unfortunately it’s a different story with the CX-60. Gasoline and electric motor work awkwardly together, so the flow is quite fast and the fuel motor gets quite thirsty. We are sorry. With charging point discipline, we arrive at a consumption of 1 in 16. With slightly less charging, we are around 1 in 11.

Equipment

Our test model is decorated with many options. Think in particular of the well-known driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistant and Mazda’s new see through parking cameras. In the interior you will find a nice, horizontal screen with a decent size. The screen is operated with a rotary and push button, not with a touchscreen. We think it’s perfectly fine. The comfortable seats have ventilation and heating, the latter is also present in the back. The Humura version is therefore included Shiny black exterior details and the nice big rims. The cherry red color is also optional.

Conclusion driving test Mazda CX-60

The Mazda CX-60 is a large SUV with many sides. It has an elegant and sporty design, both indoors and outdoors. You can also really work your way up in a world of luxury if you choose the right options. The car is versatile and spacious and it drives very tightly and predictably. Unfortunately, the suspension is a little hard and sometimes a little too soft, oddly enough. The gearbox also sometimes does crazy things. We believe that the CX-60 will be a good and worthy competitor to similar cars on the market today. A real, beautiful, stylish SUV with a lot of potential that might need a touch up.

The Mazda CX-60 is available from 53,890 euros. Our test model costs a little more, namely around 65,000 euros.

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