Driving CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV: Mazda comes with a new size

If you have high demands when it comes to performance, space and comfort, you could definitely find what you are looking for at Mazda.

Driving CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV: Mazda comes with a new size

If you have high demands when it comes to performance, space and comfort, you could definitely find what you are looking for at Mazda. In any case, the CX-60, the big brother of the SUV classic CX-5, has a lot to offer. However, it is not a savings miracle, neither in terms of consumption nor the purchase price.

Mazda's SUV classic CX-5 got a big brother. CX-60 is the name of the new series, which is also based on a new rear-wheel drive platform. The substructure allows a larger body with a correspondingly generous amount of space in the interior. In addition, the new Nobel Mazda pleases with comfort-oriented innovations, optical finesse outside and inside as well as electric driving options in the case of the initially available e-Skyactiv PHEV.

Before you can start, the driver's seat must first be positioned. As befits a luxury SUV that is almost 4.80 meters long and costs at least 47,390 euros, this is done electrically using buttons. However, you can alternatively entrust the Driver Personalization System with this task, which can be found in the "Settings" sub-menu. Here you only have to enter your height and have your eye level scanned by a camera.

If the assistant has this information, the seat and steering wheel then move as if by magic and are positioned together with mirrors and the head-up display. In our case, no readjustment was necessary, which is experienced as a real gain in comfort, especially since the position is saved in the driver's profile and is also automatically recalled thanks to camera recognition. The technology should help some drivers to finally find a correct seating position in the car.

The cockpit of the CX-60 is also experienced as progressive compared to the smaller CX-5. Everything appears more three-dimensional and finely worked out in many details. In the new steering wheel there are more practical control buttons, the control unit of the air conditioning or the gear shift lever are more delicate. The wide dashboard and the wide center console convey a feeling of comfort and space that the interior can actually offer.

As with most of its competitors, the ads are now completely digital. In addition, the connectivity solutions Apple Carplay and Android Auto can be integrated wirelessly instead of with cables as before. Mazda only continues to avoid a touchscreen and, as before, relies on a rotary pushbutton with a touch surface to operate the infotainment system. Even if you sometimes intuitively want to choose the direct route via the display, the operating logic of this classic solution still offers its advantages. You can keep an eye on the traffic better, you don't have to bend your right arm forward to the screen.

Thanks to the new platform, the CX-60 offers unusual proportions compared to Mazda's front-wheel drive models, such as a long snout and a passenger compartment that is set back accordingly. This layout is primarily intended to create space for the large in-line six-cylinder engines that will be available from 2023.

In our PHEV version, on the other hand, a 141 kW/191 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder and an electric motor with 129 kW/175 hp provide propulsion, which transmits their concentrated 241 kW/327 hp to all four via an eight-speed automatic transmission distribute wheels. This works largely unspectacularly and quietly. If you demand performance, the petrol engine brings a rough sound note into play, and when transitioning between electric and petrol drive, you can sometimes feel a jerking in the transmission. At least if you are hybrid. Here the driver can still choose between the driving modes Normal and Sport. If the latter is activated, the 2.1-tonne CX-60 with its double heart that releases up to 500 Newton meters storms from a standstill to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds if necessary.

Accompanied by a robust engine sound, the thick ship is amazingly agile in sport mode. The vehicle also handles spicy left-right maneuvers with composure thanks to a low center of gravity due to the large battery in the underbody. However, the CX-60 PHEV did not always react so calmly to bumps. In view of its overall high level of comfort, the Japanese could glide along a little more gently.

The power storage with around 18 kWh allows purely electric driving for more than 60 kilometers. The thrust of the electric motor is sufficient for all traffic situations. As a rule, you will drive hybrid, as was the case on our test lap over country roads in the Bergisches Land, where the on-board computer showed an average consumption of 3.4 liters of petrol and 22.6 kWh of electricity per 100 kilometers. The plug-in hybrid drive does not provide any savings, because many purely electrically powered SUVs require about the same amount of electricity without any additional fuel consumption.

In return, the CX-60 is fully suitable for long distances, comfortable, extensively equipped and spacious. Adult guests will also find plenty of head and legroom in the rear. The trunk can be expanded from 570 to 1726 liters. At the same time, the equipment is impressive. The basic version Prime-Line already offers two-zone automatic air conditioning, automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, the large infotainment system and distance cruise control.

If you invest 50,850 euros, you get the higher equipment Exclusive Line and thus also 20-inch wheels, head-up display and heating for seats and steering wheel. Homura (from 54,750 euros) also offers leather upholstery, seat climate and various black accents. The top version Takumi (from 56,250 euros) comes with a refined noble interior with white leather interior and real wood and textile applications. A sound and driving assistance package as well as a panoramic glass sunroof can then be ordered here. In this variant, the price of a fully equipped CX-60 PHEV increases to around 62,000 euros. This makes the large Mazda an interesting alternative to comparable premium SUVs from German manufacturers in terms of price.

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