► Prices start from £43,950
► Fuel economy of up to 188mpg…
►… and a 0–62mph in 5.8 seconds
It’s been a long time coming, but Mazda has finally jumped on the plug-in hybrid bandwagon with this – the CX-60. It sits above the CX-5 in the company’s range, and it was designed to rival the plug-in versions of premium SUVs such as the Volvo XC60 and BMW X3.
Mazda’s performance figures certainly suggest the CX-60 can box with the current heavyweights. Its powertrain comprises a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a 100kW electric motor, which churn out a combined output of 323bhp and 369ft/lbs of torque. Drive is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
This is enough, says Mazda, for a 0–62mph time of 5.8 seconds – and that puts the CX-60’s performance on level-footing with the considerably more expensive Volvo XC60 T6. It’s also faster than the BMW X3 xDrive30e, which manages the same sprint in 6.1 seconds.
Mazda has more than just straight-line speed to shout about, though. The electrical side of the CX-60’s drivetrain is powered by a 17.8kWh battery pack, which can hold enough charge for an electric-only range of 39 miles on the open road, or 42 miles in the city.
Keep the battery topped up, and Mazda says its PHEV system will return up to 188mpg. And there’s more good news come registration time, as the powertrain’s CO2 emissions sit at just 33g/km, which puts the car in the lowest paid road tax bracket.
Premium, you say? Well, what’s the equipment like?
It’ll probably suffice for all but those residing in the highest echelons of the aristocracy. The most basic Exclusive-Line variant comes with LED headlights, a power-operated tailgate, heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel and a 12.3-inch infotainment system.
You can improve the base-model’s level of equipment by specifying Mazda’s optional Comfort Pack. It costs £1,400 and adds 20-inch alloy wheels, electrically adjustable and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and memory settings for the door mirrors.
The package also includes Mazda’s Driver Personalisation System. It uses an interior camera to recognise the person sitting in the driver’s seat and then automatically adjusts the steering wheel, seat position, climate control and radio to their preferences.
Stepping up a rung, there’s the mid-range CX-60 Homura. Prices start from £46,700 – and upgrades over the base-model include 20-inch alloy wheels, body coloured wheel arches and black chrome replacements for the exterior brightwork. Inside, buyers get all of the technology found in the Comfort Pack, along with an ambient lighting system.
The range-topping Takumi variant is priced from £48,050 (which, by the way, is still around £4,000 less than the cheapest X3 plug-in) and features a different set of 20-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim and a model-specific radiator grille. Oh, and you get some cream leather and wood trim for the interior, as shown by the car in our gallery.
Homura and Takumi versions of the CX-60 can also be specified with a further pair of option packs. The £1,000 Convenience Pack adds privacy glass and some handy technology such as 360-degree parking camera and a wireless phone charger.
The somewhat self-explanatory Driver Assistance Pack includes (you guessed it) a host of additional driver assistance technology. It costs an extra £1,100 and adds adaptive LED headlights, front cross-traffic alert, rear cross-traffic braking and adaptive cruise control.
That’s a lot to take in. Anything else I should know about?
As it happens, there is – so pay attention. In addition to all the usual driver assistance and infotainment technology, Mazda has fitted the CX-60 with Kinetic Posture Control. Basically, it’s a stability control system that brakes the inside rear wheel when cornering to help manage body roll and settle the car.
This handling-focussed tech seems like a strange addition to a large family SUV – especially given that the same system is found on the latest versions of the MX-5 sports car. However, Mazda’s motive is to make the CX-60 as much fun to drive as possible.
Mazda says the system is complemented by multi-link rear suspension, a plethora of drive modes and a low centre of gravity. The firm’s engineers achieved this latter point by mounting the heavy battery pack along the car’s spine, between the front and rear axles.
But what if I don’t want a PHEV?
Mazda’s got you covered. The brand has already announced it’ll follow-up the launch of the plug-in hybrid CX-60 with a pair of straight-six-powered derivatives later this year. One will be a 3.0-litre petrol unit; the other a 3.3-litre diesel – and both will feature 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance for some added efficiency.
Performance specifications haven’t yet been confirmed. However, Mazda has said the two engines will be compatible with the same eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive system found on the plug-in hybrid variant, as well as a new rear-driven setup.
And what if I have an enormous family?
Mazda’s thought of that, too. In the next two years, the firm will launch the CX-80, which will basically be an extended wheelbase, seven-seat version of the CX-60. It’ll occupy the top spot in Mazda’s line-up and rival everything from the Skoda Kodiaq to the Volvo XC90.
The CX-60 should be spacious enough for most families, though. Mazda says it’s the most practical model in its range so far, with a boot capacity of 570 litres and seating for five.