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In-depth reviews

Mazda CX-60 review - Engines, performance and drive

The CX-60 isn’t great to drive, although the plug-in hybrid model offers decent pace

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

3.8 out of 5

Price
£45,290 to £55,265
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Mazda has introduced an all-new platform and engine range for the CX-60, while the mid-size SUV is the first of the Japanese manufacturer's models to feature a plug-in hybrid option.

The CX-60 PHEV uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor and 17.8kWh battery for a combined power output of 323bhp and a healthy 500Nm of torque. The CX-60 PHEV also benefits from all-wheel-drive, although Mazda states its layout is rear-biased – hinting at a sportier drive.

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A suggestion of sportiness is all you get, however, because while the CX-60 handles well enough compared with some of its premium rivals, the plug-in model doesn’t offer the same driving dynamics we’ve come to expect from a Mazda. With a kerb weight of almost two tonnes, it feels a little compromised and isn’t that great to drive.

Positives include the plug-in hybrid’s decent straight-line performance, along with its accurate, well-weighted steering. However, if you venture out onto twistier B-roads you’ll find the CX-60’s chassis struggles to keep up with quicker steering inputs, while there is a noticeable amount of body roll.

The hybrid system itself isn’t the smoothest, either. The electric motor emits a distinct whine which is more apparent during in-town driving, although this is mainly because noise from the 2.5-litre petrol engine is so well suppressed.

The only alternative in the CX-60’s limited engine lineup is a 3.3-litre, six-cylinder diesel – an unlikely choice given greater demand for electrification these days. Nevertheless, there's a 197bhp, rear-wheel drive and a more powerful 250bhp all-wheel drive variant – both of which use an eight-speed automatic transmission, just like the CX-60 PHEV.

We tested the more potent 250bhp diesel model, and while it doesn’t feel astonishingly quick, it does gather speed at a respectable pace for such a bulky SUV. The engine sound is even surprisingly enjoyable during the process, too. 

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

For a family SUV, the CX-60 provides a decent turn of pace, particularly in plug-in hybrid form. The PHEV manages 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 124mph, while the 250bhp diesel version needs 7.4 seconds to hit 62mph from a standstill. The slowest sprinter in the CX-60 lineup is the 197bhp diesel which takes 8.4 seconds to travel from 0-62mph.

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