A well-composed arrangement, or just one of many plug-in hybrids? The Mazda CX60 combines several fine qualities without coming up with anything new. Are they late to the party or are they right, Ny Teknik has tested.
In Sweden, Mazda is a marginal brand. You live in the shadow of the established European alternatives as well as the big Asians Toyota and Hyundai/Kia. However, Mazda is appreciated by those who dare to make the choice, and now they have launched the CX60 – which is slightly larger and more expensive than what they previously had. And to top it all off, it also comes as a plug-in hybrid. Is it a stroke of genius, or have you gone too far from your roots?
Mazda has succeeded in establishing its shape design over the years. You can see what kind of brand it is that comes rolling, and the stripped-down design is more European than what the other Japanese brands have. Classy if I do say so myself.
Inside the car, you are also met here by a straight and “simple” design. It is conventional, which is by no means a bad thing – quite the opposite. Mazda has the good taste to retain some physical controls, such as heating, ventilation and climate control. The fact that you also have a knob and four menu buttons for the infotainment system doesn’t feel wrong either.
You sit high in the driver’s seat. Initially, having jumped over from the Toyota Rav4, I find the seat quite hard – but it doesn’t take long to get used to.
An exciting feature is that the car has face recognition to set the driving position. This means that as soon as you sit down, the car adjusts the steering wheel, seat, head up display and side mirrors as preprogrammed. A really nice technique if you share a car in the family and there is a big difference in length.
A bit odd is that the car has steering wheel heating as standard – but not seat heating. However, the car we are testing is equipped with this and ventilated seats. And it is precisely with slightly more luxurious finesse and interior quality that Mazda will assert itself in the future. Premium ambitions seem to exist here.
In the back seat, it’s ok with room for the knees, but a little tight around the fossas. The middle seat is hard and perhaps not something you transport people in on longer journeys. However, those who occupy the outer seats get seat heating (optional).
At the very back, there should be room for 570 liters in all, then with some stowage space included. A positive thing is that the seat folding is 40/20/40, which gives flexibility. Another important thing is that the Mazda hybrid can tow 2.5 tons – enough for many boat owners, and something that, for example, the competitor Toyota Rav4 is nowhere near.
The CX60 is the first car from Mazda to be built on the new “Skyactive Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture”. So a new platform. The model is also the first plug-in hybrid to try. To put it mildly – there is a lot of new technology for the manufacturer here.
If we look at the drivetrain, a set has been chosen where a 2.5-liter petrol engine works together with an electric motor and sends the power via a new eight-speed gearbox to all four wheels. In terms of power, 191 horsepower is provided via fossil combustion and the corresponding 175 hp should be obtained from the electric machine. When they work together, the system should be able to provide 241 kW or 327 horsepower.
The energy for the electric motor comes from a 17.8 kWh battery and under good conditions with careful driving it should be possible to get up to 63 km on one charge. Even in colder conditions, it should be possible to get quite far, thanks to the fact that a PTC element has been installed for heat regulation.
When it comes to the infotainment system in the Mazda, the controls are reminiscent of the system used by BMW. It means a bigger knob to navigate – and it works well.
The fact that the car has wireless connection of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is also very nice. In addition to the center screen for infotainment and driver instrumentation, the car has a head up display as standard
Mazda has chosen to equip the charging hybrid with an on-board charger of 7.2 kW. This means that you can get a full battery in around three hours. Here it is noticeable that the manufacturer has learned from previous mistakes. Because when they launched their MX30 electric car, it only had 6.6 kW single-phase charging technology – which gave very long charging times at the charging box.
On the road
Mazda has had “Zoom zoom” as its slogan and said that they are the standard-bearers for Asian driving pleasure. How does it stand now when you ship a crossover with technology you have not previously worked with?
We start by rolling off on a pure electric car tour. So to see what the CX60 can perform if you don’t trouble the petrol engine. The first thing that strikes me is that the electric motor “whining” a lot. It sounds close all the time, which is annoying.
Something that is also very clearly noticeable is the gearbox. When driving on electricity, you can feel clear notches when the mechanics have to match the revolutions. Personally, I think this detracts a bit from the feeling and here Mazda has not at all received the same refinement in the powertrain as, for example, BMW has.
But how far did we get with electricity? Officially, the CX60 will cover up to 63 kilometers. During the days we are testing, it is between 6 and 13 degrees outside, which resulted in the car showing between 42 and 57 km on the meter when it was fully charged. When we then tested on our test loop, the car performed well. Admittedly, we never got more than 55 km, but most of the time the range estimate the car made at the beginning was close to what we ended up with.
The car has 327 horsepower and on paper the acceleration from 0-100 km/h is something you should be able to do in 5.8 seconds. These are by no means numbers to snort at, but at the same time perhaps not the type of driving you engage in in a CX60. However, the car moves better than most competitors can manage.
The more everyday perception is mixed. If you drive on electricity and push to overtake – there is a lot of waiting time before the two engines agree and you get access to the power. If you switch to sport mode instead, you get the power, but then the car hangs on the gears long after you stop accelerating.
When it is not a motorway and we instead test a bit more “windy” driving, the result is quite mixed. The steering in the Mazda is well weighted and a little on the heavier side. The car generally feels more classic large crossover than electrified lightweight.
Mazda has wanted the CX60 to feel sporty, and while driving pleasure might not be the word to apply to the car – there is good balance between steering, throttle response and chassis. It is more on the comfortable side compared to, for example, a BMW X3, but at the same time much tighter and more linear in its behavior than a Toyota Rav4 is.
The fact that the car in normal operation mainly drives the rear wheels also gives a different feeling when driving.
Not the sportiest option, but also not a car that simply loses its way when it needs to go fast.
After testing the car in the mentioned scenarios, it was time to look at the driving economy. Plug-in hybrids are attractive because the charging should save large amounts of petrol money. And in the CX60’s case, that’s true. Trips of less than ten miles resulted in a consumption of a low 0.18 l/mile. However, longer drives ended up with a consumption of 0.77 l/mile.
Mazda’s plug-in hybrid is late to the party. But even if it is not innovative, it is not a bad option. Here you get a large crossover with good performance in both driving characteristics and electrification – this at a good price in the segment.
Compared to, for example, the Rav4, the car is much nicer to drive and the feeling is definitely more premium both behind the wheel, in the infotainment system and in the interior quality. However, the electrification part is not as good.
Facts Mazda CX60
Price: from SEK 517,500
Price of the test car SEK 623,100
Driveline: 2.5-liter gasoline engine + electric motor
Maximum power internal combustion engine: 141 kW / 191 horsepower
Maximum output electric motor: 129 kW / 175 horsepower
System output: 241 kW / 327 horsepower
Max torque: 500 Nm
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 5.8 seconds
Top speed: 200 km/h
Top speed on electricity:
Battery capacity: 17.8 kWh/16.9 kWh net
On-board charger: 7.2 kW
Electric range: 63 km
Official consumption: 0.15 l/mile, 2.3 kWh/mile
Consumption during test:
Official emission: 33 g/km
Annual tax: SEK 360
Luggage space: 570 liters / 1,726 liters with folded seats
Max trailer weight: 2,500 kg
Length: 4,745 mm
Width: 1,890 mm (without rear-view mirrors)
Height: 1,686 mm
Weight: 2071 kg