Mazda CX-60 PHEV: long-term test review

Mazda CX-60 PHEV: long-term test review

12/26/2022

First report: The large Mazda CX-60 premium hybrid SUV slips effortlessly into family life on our fleet


  • 4.0 out of 5

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    Verdict

    It’s early days with the Mazda CX-60, but it has settled into family life very quickly. We’re very impressed by the space, quality and tech it offers, and while it does have a few rough edges, time will tell just how much of an issue they’ll be.

    • Mileage: 1,860
    • Economy: 40.2mpg
    • It’s not often that I can be accused of being an early adopter. But given that my new fleet car, a Mazda CX-60, registers
      a couple of notable firsts for the Japanese company, I have to plead guilty.

      You see, not only does this car represent the first time Mazda has targeted the UK’s premium SUV market, it’s also the company’s first plug-in hybrid. And that makes the CX-60 a fascinating model to put through a long-term evaluation.

      • Top 10 best hybrid SUVs to buy 2022

      We assessed the car in a group test, and although it narrowly lost out to the victorious Lexus NX, the “impressive” Mazda did claim the notable scalp of the Volvo XC60. Our testers had plenty of positive things to say about the CX-60, so I eagerly awaited the arrival of my new car. And when the day came, I went and collected it from Mazda HQ, where I could find out more about the car – and the company’s aspirations for it.

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      The first thing I learned from product specialist Stephen Bird was that very few CX-60 buyers were coming to the car from other Mazdas. In fact, the company has seen a high proportion of buyers trading in Volkswagens, BMWs and Mercedes. Which means it came as no surprise to hear that the average price of the 600 CX-60s Mazda UK had sold by mid-November was more than £50,000.

      In that sense, both I and my car are very typical. Not only have I never run a Mazda, this car is also in top-spec Takumi trim, with a price tag of £53,520, including options. Just over a third of buyers have chosen the same trim (mid-range Homura is the biggest seller, taking 52 per cent of sales), but the Soul Red paint on my car is far and away the most popular colour among buyers. Despite being a £900 option (the most expensive of the optional finishes), it’s being chosen by 33 per cent of owners.

      So far, there’s no real pattern to CX-60 owners, so my wife, our eight-year-old daughter and I can’t necessarily claim to have much in common with other customers. But what I can say is that the big Mazda has adapted very quickly to the demands of this relatively small family.

      Above all, having been used to more compact cars in the past, we’ve been delighted by the sheer amount of space on offer. The two adults up front have plenty of room, and our daughter relaxing in the equally accommodating back soon learned to drop the central armrest to put her soft toys within easier reach. The big boot, too, has been a godsend, first on a half-term trip to north Wales and then on regular visits to Sussex, where I’m helping to clear my parents’ house after my mother died last year.

      My hope is that we’ll find the plug-in hybrid powertrain equally suited to our lifestyle. The theory is that, with my wife and I both almost exclusively working from home, our weekly mileage will be pretty low, and easily done on electric power alone. We have off-street parking and can run a charge cable out under the garage door. We don’t have a wallbox, but even from a regular, three-pin domestic socket, it’s easy to do a full charge overnight.

      One top-up is usually enough for our pottering around in the week, and then we have the petrol engine to help out on longer trips. But even I will confess that in the car’s first few weeks with us, the balance of the mileage was on long trips. With that in mind, 40.2mpg isn’t too bad from a 2.5-litre petrol SUV, but I fully expect that figure to improve as the balance shifts back to shorter journeys.

      Mind you, I have no issue with the CX-60 over long distances. On the contrary, our after-work trip to Wales on a Friday evening through dreadful traffic and even worse weather was a clear demonstration of the Mazda’s abilities and its excellent driver-assistance tech. Our daughter was happy listening to her audiobook via Apple CarPlay, while I was delighted that the adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist made such light work of the heavy traffic.

      Some of these features are included in the £1,100 optional Driver Assistance Pack, and the amount I use them has already confirmed that it was money well spent. The same goes for the Convenience Pack, which includes a 360-degree monitor, wireless phone charging and rear privacy glass.

      I’m less convinced about the Panoramic sunroof, especially given that I chose the white interior trim, which instantly makes the cabin feel more airy than the alternative black colour scheme. However, we’re yet to see how that pale material copes with the kind of onslaught that only family life and an eight-year-old armed with a pack of Mini Cheddars can muster. As is always the case with these tests, time will tell…

      Model:Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV Takumi
      On fleet since:October 2022
      Price new:£49,520 (£53,520 with options)
      Engine:2.5-litre petrol + e-motor, 323bhp
      CO2/tax:33g/km/12%
      Options:Soul Red Crystal paint (£900), Convenience pack (£1,000), Driver Assistance Pack (£1,100), Panoramic sunroof (£1,000) 
      Insurance*:Group: 44/Quote: £1,021
      Mileage:1,860
      Economy:40.2mpg
      Any problems?None so far

      *Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

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