MAZDA is moving upmarket as it launches a large SUV that has all the versatility of its much-loved CX-5 but with a heap more equipment, a sensational new engine range — including a hybrid, and a real sense of prestige usually missing in the family wagon segment.
It perfectly fits Mazda’s growing upmarket image and with its expanded feature list, hits the nail on the luxury-SUV head.
But it comes at a price, especially if you’re a CX-5 buyer wanting to move into a new model with a bit of extra equipment.
On the upside, there’s not much need to visit the option list as petty much everything you’d want is standard.
Although similar in size to the CX-5 and with the same five-seat capacity, the CX-60 is completely different under the skin and reflects Mazda’s technology evolution.
The CX-60 opens at $59,800 (plus on-road costs) for the ‘Evolve’ all-wheel drive (AWD) 3.3-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol. The petrol prices increase through the GT to the Azami at $73,345. By comparison, an AWD CX-5 petrol ranges from $41,810 to $54,000 (plus costs), the latter for the turbo-petrol model.
There are also three CX-60 diesels, also 3.3-litre six-cylinder units, priced from $61,800 to $75,000. CX-5 equivalents are $47,000 to $54,500.
Unlike the CX-5, Mazda options the CX-60 with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) edition that also comes in three grades from $72,300 to $85,675 (plus costs). Unlike the other CX-60s, the PHEV uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (based on the units fitted to the CX-5) and electric motors. The benefits are equivalent performance but far less fuel use.
Buyers looking for a more upmarket badge in the same price bracket can be lured to the Audi Q5 diesel ($67,900) and petrol ($75,800); Genesis GV70 (from $68,500); Lexus NX (from $61,900); and Volvo XC60 that comes in from $72,990 plus costs.
The CX-60 sits in between the CX-5 and seven-seat CX-8 at 4740mm long (165mm longer than the CX-5). It is also wider (by 45mm); lower (by 5mm); and sits on a much wider track (up 170mm) and a much longer wheelbase of 2870mm, 170mm longer than the CX-5 and shorter than the CX-8.
If you’re trading up from a CX-5, for example, it should still fit the available garage space and not make a big difference when parking. The turning circle of up to 11.7m is the same.
The introduction of inline six-cylinder engines - the first time for a Mazda passenger vehicle — is designed for smoothness. Mazda has used V6 engines (coming from Ford which was a partner in earlier years) previously and adopted turbocharging on its four-cylinder engines to produce similar performance.
Now, it’s all about power plants that are smooth, quiet and powerful.
The 3.3-litre petrol engine is rated at 209kW/450Nm; the 3.3-litre diesel engine is 187kW/550Nm; and the PHEV - with the four-cylinder petrol plus an electric motor — has a combined 241kW/500Nm.
The six-cylinder engined models have a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that assists in starting (when stop-start is used) and has a regeneration system to kerp the battery charged.
All engines are mated to an eight-speed torque converter automatic and all have all-wheel drive.
Mazda claims an average of 7.4 litres/100km for the petrol; 4.9 L/100km for the diesel and 2.1 L/100km for the PHEV. It also says the PHEV will run for 76km range on its battery alone. This plug-in battery will take about eight-and-a-half hours to recharge at home and two-and-a-half hours at a 7kW charger.
Theoretically, you could commute on the 76km and rarely use fuel. Remember that the PHEV is up to $10,675 more expensive than the diesel model and $12,330 up on the petrol — which is a difference that could be put aside to buy up to about 12 years of ‘free’ diesel or petrol.
Features vary between the three grades (Evolve, GT and Azami) but the base versions get equipment such as: 360-degree cameras; 10.25-inch infotainment screen; 7.0-inch driver screen; smartphone connectivity; digital radio with eight-speakers; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; sat-nav; LED headlights; electric tail gate; leather-look upholstery; and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The GT adds:12.3-inch infotainment screen; 12.3-inch driver screen; 20-inch black-metallic alloy wheels; panoramic sunroof; electric steering wheel adjustment; heated steering wheel; leather heated seats (four seats); Bose audio with 12 speakers; wireless phone charger; and rear aircon vents.
Then the Azami tops those with additional features including: Nappa leather seats; adaptive LD headlights; ventilated front seats; and ‘see through’ parking monitor.
How much room?
The CX-60 is a five-seater (buyers go to the CX-8 or CX-9 for seven seats) but thanks to its longer wheelbase, has more cabin space and especially rear passenger leg room, than the CX-5.
The boot can store from 477 litres (all seats in place) to 1726 litres (rear seats folded). The rear seats have a 40/20/40 split. The volume compares with the CX-5 at 438-1340 litres.
If you buy the PHEV model, there’s no spare wheel (others get a space-saver wheel). It also has a smaller fuel tank (but the fuel economy is better, so swings and roundabouts) by 8-litres, so it’s down to 50 litres.
The space where the spare wheel should be is taken by the PHEV’s storage battery.
The CX-60 has recently been awarded a top-score five-star ANCAP safety rating that has an impressive 91 per cent for adult occupant protection and 93 per cent for child occupant protection. Pedestrian safety is an 89 per cent protection rating.
The safety inventory includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection; lane-keep assistance with blind-spot recognition; blind-spot monitoring; rear cross-traffic alert; vehicle exit alert; automatic high beams, forward collision warning, tyre pressure monitoring, traffic sign recognition, eight airbags (including driver knee bag and front-centre airbag), 360-degree camera and front and rear parking sensors.
Mazda offers a five-year, unlimited distance warranty.
Service intervals are a generous 15,000km or 15 months. It also has a five-year capped-price service program. Prices are:
Petrol: $1669 (3 years) and $2881 (five years)
Diesel: $2096 (3 years) and $3217 (5 years)
PHEV: $1561 (3 years) and $2590 (5 years).
Audi Q5 AWD 40TDI (diesel): $81,500
BMW X3 AWD 2.0 (diesel): $86,100
Genesis GV70 AWD 2.5 (petrol): $70,900
Lexus NX350h (petrol-hybrid) AWD: $73,000
Tesla Model Y AWD (EV): $82,300
Volvo XC60 AWD (petrol): $72,990
* plus on-road costs
* plus on-road costs
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