Mazda CX-60 SUV review
“The Mazda CX-60 is the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and is an interesting alternative to premium PHEVs from BMW and Audi”
- Premium feel
- Decent electric range
- Drab engine note
- Limited engine range
- Few clever practicality touches
Mazda’s most powerful road-going car to date isn’t a hotted up MX-5 or a successor to the Mazda RX-8 sports car. No, the new Mazda CX-60 is a surprisingly potent SUV with plug-in hybrid power. With a 2.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor on hand, the CX-60 offers 323bhp. The most powerful Mazda CX-5 gets 191bhp.
Similarly punchy diesel and petrol engines will join the range later on, but for now the plug-in hybrid is your sole option. Its statistics are certainly impressive; up to 39 miles of electric range is promised from a full charge and its 0-62mph time is quick enough to embarrass several hot hatches. Its low CO2 output will make it very appealing to company-car drivers.
Business users are likely to be the biggest market for the CX-60 at first. The plug-in hybrid is expensive compared to other Mazda models, although it compares well to premium PHEV SUVs such as the BMW X3 xDrive30e and Audi Q5 TFSI e. These are the sorts of car Mazda is hoping you’ll compare the CX-60 to, rather than cars such as the Toyota RAV4 PHEV, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid.
Inside, the CX-60 feels high quality enough to compete with the aforementioned German cars, with the fit and finish being generally excellent. The switchgear has a satisfying feel, and the crisp screen can be controlled by a handy rotary dial. Tech is good, too. There’s even a driver profile system that uses facial recognition to automatically switch to your preferred settings; it can also suggest the optimum driving position based on your height.
That feature comes in on the middle of the three trim levels initially available. Instead of Mazda’s recent tradition of using SE-L and Sport grades, the CX-60 can be ordered in Exclusive-Line, Homura and Takumi grades.
Exclusive-Line is generously equipped, with heated seats, automatic LED headlights, a reversing camera and a windscreen-projected head-up display. Homura adds bigger wheels, body-coloured wheel arches, electric seats, heated rear seats and a Bose sound system. Top-spec Takumi gets design and trim upgrades like white Nappa leather and a maple console.
The CX-60 is a little longer than the CX-5, so rear-seat space and boot space are both generous despite the packaging required for the plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Incidentally, the CX-60 won’t replace the CX-5. Its hybrid engine makes it the second phase of the brand’s indignant electrification push, after the launch of the quirky yet flawed Mazda MX-30 EV in 2021.