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2024 Mazda CX-60 review – Australian launch (video)

This is how you tear up the typical recipe for a premium mid-size SUV and instead produce something with fresh and tasty appeal. Mazda Australia has launched the 2023 CX-60 with a new layer of luxury, a brand new inline-six engine family and its first ever plug-in hybrid package.

That’s right, the CX-60 mid-sizer features an inline-six engine. How? It rides on the company’s all-new platform that supports a longitudinal engine configuration. It’s also described as a predominately rear-wheel drive platform that also accommodates all-wheel drive running gear.

2023 Mazda CX-60 D50e: Specifications

Engine: 3.3-litre turbo-diesel inline-six mild-hybrid
Output: 187kW@3750rpm / 550Nm@1500-2400rpm
Gearbox: Eight-speed auto
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Official consumption: 4.9L/100km
Official 0-100km/h: 7.3 seconds
Tested 0-100km/h: 7.18 seconds
Starting price (Evolve): $61,800

2023 Mazda CX-60 G40e: Specifications

Engine: 3.3-litre turbo-petrol inline-six mild-hybrid
Output: 209kW@5000rpm / 450Nm@2000-3500rpm
Gearbox: Eight-speed auto
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Official consumption: 7.4L/100km
Official 0-100km/h: 6.9 seconds
Tested 0-100km/h: 6.68 seconds
Starting price (Evolve): $59,800

2023 Mazda CX-60 P50e: Specifications

Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder plug-in hybrid
Output: 241kW@6000rpm / 500Nm@4000rpm
Gearbox: Eight-speed auto
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Official consumption: 2.1L/100km
Official 0-100km/h: 5.9 seconds
Tested 0-100km/h: 6.09 seconds
Starting price (Evolve): $72,300

2023 Mazda CX-60: How much does it cost?

Mazda is pitching the CX-60 as a more up-market alternative to the CX-5, but positioned below the CX-9 in terms of size. The lineup is very simple, spanning from the Evolve, GT, and Azami trim levels, and each of these is available with the G40e petrol, D50e diesel, and P50e hybrid.

Yep, all engines are available on the base Evolve. That’s a very cool move in our books, because it means special engines are not reserved for bigger spenders. Although, each engine does have a slightly different price tag attached. A number of option packs can be added on in certain trim levels as well. See below for the full list:

G40e: $59,800
D50e: $61,800
P50e: $72,300
G40e: $67,800
D50e: $69,800
P50e: $80,300
G40e: $73,000
D50e: $75,000
P50e: $85,500

2023 Mazda CX-60: Interior & packaging

As usual with Mazda, the interior design and layout is one of the most attractive in its class. It all feels very well made, too. Going for the SP option pack adds a classy suede-lined dash (pictured above) and matching door trims which look and feel very elegant indeed.

The cabin is a little bit bigger than the CX-5. And the exterior dimensions reflect that, because it stands at the same height as the CX-5 (1680), but stretches 45mm wider and 165mm longer. The wheelbase is also 40mm longer.

Some of that added wheelbase obviously provides extra length on the inside, with more legroom in the back seat for that luxury approach. Sitting in the front, it feels a bit more spacious than the CX-5 in that it’s comfortable yet intimate and sporty, but the attention to detail in the design and the higher concentration of premium materials pushes it up a level.

As standard the Evolve comes with a 10.25-inch touch-screen media interface running the traditional Mazda Connect hand controller on the console. It’s paired with an eight-speaker stereo and digital radio, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a wireless phone charger. However, the wireless pad is quite small and it doesn’t grip your phone from sliding about.

Moving up to the GT and Azami switches the main screen to a 12.3-inch unit, with another large display screen of the same size for the instrument cluster (up from 7.0 inches in the Evolve). Both upper-spec levels also come with 20-inch wheels, power steering column adjustment and front seats, and a 12-speaker Bose sound system.

It’s easy to see the GT is likely to be the most popular of the bunch, as it packages in plenty of luxury and added features while the prices don’t climb as high as the Azami. It’s a shame you can’t option up to some of the enhancement packs with the GT, such as the sporty SP pack. However, the GT adds some of the fashionable black exterior highlights by default anyway.

Boot space is rated at 477L, which, again, is a fraction bigger than what you get in the CX-5 (438L). It features pull-tabs on the sidewall for folding down the rear seats, as well as a 12-volt socket and space-saver spare under the floor.

2023 Mazda CX-60: Powertrain & handling

Now for the exciting part. Mazda recently developed a brand-new 3.3-litre inline-six engine, equipped with 48V mild-hybrid technology and a turbocharger. You can get it in petrol or diesel form.

The petrol runs a high 12:1 compression ratio and produces 209kW and 450Nm. It offers a claimed 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds and official fuel consumption rate of 7.4L/100km. We did some 0-100km/h testing with the Vbox during this test and recorded a real-world figure of 6.68 seconds on a flat bit of deserted road.

For the D50e diesel, the engine runs a higher 15.3:1 compression ratio and develops 187kW and a strong 550Nm. Mazda claims 0-100km/h in a brisk 7.3 seconds while returning a class-leading (for an inline-six) fuel consumption rate of just 4.9L/100km. We clocked a best 0-100 run in 7.18 seconds with the Vbox.

As for the P50e, it pairs Mazda’s long-running 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder with a 100kW/250Nm electric motor system mounted between the engine and gearbox. Peak power is an impressive 241kW, with 500Nm, allowing for a claimed 0-100km/h run of just 5.9 seconds. It also returns an official fuel consumption rate of 2.1L/100km thanks to 76km of EV driving range. We timed 0-100 in 6.09 seconds.

Which engine do we like the most? During this launch event we had the opportunity to drive the G40e petrol and D50e the most, with a short drive in the P50e PHEV. To be honest, I was expecting the PHEV to operate more smoothly, especially during the transition from electric to hybrid blend.

There were some definite shunts and clunks going on during our test. Part of this is due to the electric motor actually feeding through the eight-speed gearbox. This is not a conventional way for an EV system, but it is quite interesting. In EV mode you can feel it going up through the gears, which is a familiar sensation, only here it is almost silent.

The 2.5L four-cylinder engine is also pretty harsh and noisy in other Mazda applications, and some of that trait is carried across here, unfortunately. It doesn’t feel as refined as the rest of the vehicle, and certainly not as refined and smooth as the inline-six engines in my opinion.

Having the battery and electric motor tech also adds over 150kg in weight (195kg above G40e, 160kg above D50e), and you can feel it on the road. The suspension isn’t as supple, with some crashing-out experienced during our test.

The D50e diesel is clattery and a bit noisier than the German six-cylinder rivals from BMW and Audi, according to our tests, especially when it’s not yet up to normal operating temperature. But that 550Nm of torque feels great and it’s impossible to ignore the 4.9L/100km fuel economy claim. Although, we’d have to give it a proper test over an extended period to see if that figure is attainable.

Lastly, what a sweet engine. The G40e is our pick of the bunch. It’s creamy smooth and develops a good amount of punch and performance. We saw an indicated consumption rate of 9.0L/100km during testing as well, which means you could expect lower than that in regular conditions. That’s a lot lower than what we’ve seen in similar V6 petrol SUVs.

It sounds like there is some fake engine sound enhancement going on through the speakers, particularly in Sport mode, which is disappointing to hear. It doesn’t need it. The natural soundtrack is nicer, even if the volume is lower in comparison.

In terms of ride and handling, Mazda strikes a superb balance between comfort and agility with the G40e and D50e. Turn-in feels sharp and confident, and while there is some minor body-roll, the platform rarely seems upset even when flicking between alternate directions swiftly. The steering (and steering wheel) offers an inviting characteristic that makes driving quite enjoyable.

2023 Mazda CX-60: Key attractions/reasons to buy

It has to be the inline-six engines. These are a real point of difference in this market, and a good point of difference; very encouraging outputs and fuel economy claims, with great (but not class-leading) performance for both the diesel and petrol.

The interior is also beautifully presented and offers real attention to detail, especially if you opt for the SP pack which is unfortunately only available on the flagship Azami. Even so, it’s a practical space inside that could happily accommodate the family but thanks to its suave design it also presents well as an executive vehicle.

2023 Mazda CX-60: Key considerations before you buy

Not much, really. Mazda has a great reputation for reliability and servicing, and the CX-60 is offered in a variety of options so you aren’t cornered into getting a combination that isn’t quite right for you.

There is the CX-90 just around the corner which might suit some buyers too, if you’re after the same alluring detail and powertrains but in a bigger package. It’s priced not far above this.

We do have some hesitation in going for the PHEV. Just because it seemed a bit clunky during our test, and it isn’t as smooth or as nice to listen to as the G40e and D50e. The extra weight also brings down the vehicle dynamics to some degree.

2023 Mazda CX-60: Video

Brett Davis

Brett started out as a motor mechanic but eventually became frustrated working on cars that weren't his. He then earned a degree in journalism and scored a job at Top Gear Australia back in 2008, and then worked at Zoom/Extreme Performance magazines, CarAdvice, and started PerformanceDrive/PDriveTV in 2011 with Josh Bennis, and ran it for 12 years. He's now the owner and managing editor here at Driving Enthusiast.

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