Mazda CX-60 long-term test
The Mazda CX-60 is the Japanese brand's largest SUV and its first plug-in hybrid. Our consumer editor is finding out if it's a good alternative to a conventionally fuelled off-roader...
The car Mazda CX-60 2.5 Exclusive-Line | Run by Claire Evans, consumer editor
Why it's here To see if Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid should be on your shopping list if you’re after a well-furnished and frugal large SUV
Needs to Provide the practicality and luxurious ambience of a premium SUV, as well as good fuel efficiency and a comfortable ride
Mileage 4419 List price £45,420 Target Price £44,172 Price as tested £47,720 Test economy 50.7mpg Official economy 188.3mpg Dealer value now £41,043 Private value now £36,483 Running costs (excl. depreciation) Fuel £315
15 March 2023 – Flood, fire, famine and pestilence
Well, okay, the Mazda CX-60 and I haven’t encountered all the Biblical excesses, but we have made it through torrential rain, flooded and icy roads, thick snow and deep mud over the past few months.
I took delivery of the CX-60 at the start of winter because I wanted a vehicle that would be suitable for rural life during the toughest time of the year, and it turned out to be a good choice. The CX-60 is the automotive equivalent of a pair of Hunter wellies and a Barbour jacket – exactly what I needed to see me through the colder season.
The CX-60’s suite of country-friendly features include four-wheel drive, fairly good ground clearance and an off-road mode that enables it to cope off the Tarmac and in on-road conditions that would halt more conventional cars.
Yet the Mazda isn’t some agricultural 4x4. On the road, it has swift acceleration and remarkably little body roll through corners. There’s even a Sport mode that delivers an instant wedge of power should you need to accelerate from zero to 62mph in just 5.8sec.
All that makes it sound expensive to run, but as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) it has a 134bhp electric motor and a 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery to complement the 2.5-litre petrol engine, allowing it to run on electric power for up to 39 miles officially. I only managed to squeeze 30 miles out of it between charges, but that was enough for most of my local journeys.
The CX-60 worked well with my Myenergi Zappi home charger and as long as I put the car on charge after 10pm I could use my off-peak electricity rate. That meant I paid just £4.27 to replenish the battery, so my pure electric journeys cost around 14p per mile – significantly less than a comparable BMW X3 petrol, which would cost 24p.
Like many PHEVs the CX-60’s batteries can’t be replenished via a rapid charger, so I had to resort to petrol power once they’d gone flat, making longer journeys much more expensive. That said, doing a mixture of short electric and longer non-electric drives, my overall fuel economy has remained above 50mpg, which is respectable for a heavy large SUV.
Talking of size, the CX-60 only comes as a five-seater, unlike many of its rivals, but that means there is an abundance of room for all occupants, even feline ones. I managed to get two very large cat boxes, each containing two cats, on to the rear bench, so I only had to make two trips to our local vet to take our menagerie of seven cats for their annual check-ups.
Although the CX-60’s interior doesn’t have the opulent ambience of an Audi Q5 or X3, it’s still a pretty pleasant place to be and has some well-designed features.
Mazda hasn’t gone down the touchscreen infotainment system route, and still supplies owners with a rotary controller that’s much easier and less distracting to use on the move. And the reversing camera and rear automatic emergency braking system were able to detect cars and pedestrians before they came into my field of vision, making it far safer when I occasionally had to reverse out of a narrow lane.
Niggles? Well, there have been a few. The nearside wing mirror had a tendency to get stuck in the downward pointing position it adopts for reversing, limiting rear visibility until it was repositioned manually. And the radio often refused to play once the car had detected my mobile phone and connected it to Apple CarPlay. Simply turning the system off and on was the quickest way to fix that.
That said, the CX-60 has been a much appreciated country companion, keeping me comfortable, safe and mobile through the worst excesses of winter. And it’s been surprisingly affordable to live with, so it’s managed to excel at fulfilling the brief it was given at the outset.
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Mazda CX-60 long-term test: report 2
The Mazda CX-60 is the Japanese brand's largest SUV and its first plug-in hybrid. Our consumer editor is finding out if it's a good alternative to a conventionally fuelled off-roader