Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV under test

Suction cups instead of a turbine, a Wankel instead of a piston motor, soon as a range extender instead of a big battery or practically no touchscreen — Mazda likes to do things a lot differently than everyone else. The CX-60 is now almost a conventional SUV. The first electric hybrid with 327 hp is the most powerful road model from the Japanese.

If you prefer, tell your Mazda CX-60 your height. 1.74 meters? Well, please don’t be upset! The seat and steering wheel are automatically adjusted to their size with a soft sound. Ok, the driver’s seat is a bit loose, but the fully air conditioned isn’t quite in the perfect spot right away. So you move the leather chair to the desired position in the classic way using the electric buttons. Now turn your head left and right, the desired position is saved and the CX-60 recognizes your face the next time you enter. I over-engineered a little, don’t you think? Probably. But you immediately feel the CX-60, right?

“Ma” Japanese emptiness beauty

Certainly, because the 4.75-meter SUV, which not only visually rises above the CX-5 by about 20 cm, takes care of you in a lot of black leather. This is standard with the test car Homura from 51,390 euros. Additionally, Mazda covers the door panels with cold aluminum and soft plastic mostly even in the roomy rear. Yes, all this not only looks good right away, but it is also well made and functional. The three-piece rear seat backrest, for example, folds almost flat when opened remotely. The trunk then grows from 570 to 1723 liters behind an electric swinging fender. But it’s better to get comfortable here at the back and enjoy the view through the optional panoramic roof on heated seats with a reclining backrest with enough legroom and legroom.

Buttons, rotation and pressing: this is how good operation works

David Smith

Touch operation does not exist. There are still (fortunately) buttons, switches, and selectors.

The only thing missing here in the back is a separate climate control system. It’s only available on the front, but it has two-zone air conditioning as standard and can be operated almost blindly with real buttons and switches and its own screen. The same applies to the precise and clear steering wheel buttons and the infotainment system. The system no longer reacts to touches; But still not mistaken when turning around and pressing, but rather incomprehensible when talking to her. In theory, the system connects wirelessly to Android or Apple and releases these functions via the touch screen when it’s stationary. This cannot be verified in practice with pre-string models.

First of all, stream quietly

But we finally want to leave, right? Now, if you want to buckle up, we’ll walk around. After all, the CX-60 is the first Japanese plug-in hybrid. And thanks to the 17.8 kWh high-voltage batteries in the vehicle’s floor, it can achieve an electric range of up to 63 kilometers according to WLTP. No great value, as you’ll discover it right away on the first loop along the Portuguese coast west of Lisbon. Pregnancy? It works in two phases on an 11 kW wall box with a 7.2 kW charger in about two and a half hours.

Despite the 129 kW electric motor, things move at a slow pace with pure electricity. You always hear a slight groan from the S-Bahn. No wonder, after all, that the electric motor adapts to the company’s new eight-speed automatic transmission, working directly on the input shaft, thus replacing the torque converter via the wet multi-plate clutch. In addition, the electronic machine not only recovers power when braking, but also feeds the batteries via a combustion engine if the electric juice runs out prematurely.

Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV, charging socket

David Smith

The plug-in can’t do DC fast charging, but charges from zero to 100 percent in about 2.5 hours in an 11 kW AC wall box with a 7.2 kW maximum charge capacity.

Complicated sounds? that it. At least the electric motor and combustion units in pre-chain vehicles don’t run very smoothly together. So it vibrates every now and then once the combustion engine is turned on or off. Driver assistance, which flashed so badly in the first test car, also does not work smoothly. Only after switching to the CX-60 for seconds, the systems then operate reliably, keeping the SUV safely in its lane even in traffic jams and keeping it at a distance from other holiday-goers.

At under six to 100 km/h, but at 200, it’s over

Where do the Portuguese want to go today? Well, to the sea of ​​course. Fortunately, however, traffic lights up on Portugal’s national holiday when roads in the hinterland get winding. Now flip the drive mode switch from EV to normal to sport, and the fully digital clear cockpit turns red. The 2.5-liter vacuum cleaner located under the infinity-edge hood wakes up and blows its unfiltered four-cylinder screeching through an inward flap. When starting quickly, you can immediately feel that a conventional all-wheel drive system with a center transfer case typically pushes about 90 percent of the power to the rear. According to Mazda, it now has 327 hp and 500 Nm performance in 5.8 seconds to 100 km / h, which is believable. However, the speed limit in Japan is not limited to 200 km/h. But even this cannot be exhausted in Portugal anyway. Mazda allows for coherent shift strategy interventions via shift paddles, and even shifting gears outward without automatic shifts.

Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV, engine

David Smith

The Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV combines a 2.5-liter high-pressure four-cylinder petrol engine with a 129 kW permanent magnet synchronous motor and a 355-volt 17.8 kWh battery.

The structure is out of control

looks athletic? Unfortunately, I don’t feel like it. Although the 2.1-ton SUV is neatly oriented and tends only to underestimate the lagging thrust, the chassis dampens sporting ambitions from the start. In cornering, braking interventions on the rear inner wheel should dampen the rollover motions – but you hardly feel them. Whether driving fast or slow, the CX-60 stumbles over potholes and manhole covers, navigating on long waves and hops over short bumps.

Six row for dessert

Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV

David Smith

Dreams of the future: The 3.0 e-Skyactiv X engine is coming soon. The 48-volt light-hybrid engine uses Mazda’s high-intensity Skyactiv-X process to convert gasoline into diesel. For true diesel lovers, the Japanese are currently developing a 3.3-liter straight diesel.

So let’s take a quick turn towards the sea, on one of the craggy cliffs so typical of the rugged Atlantic coast. Of course, SUVs aren’t really off-road despite the off-road setting. However, Mazda does offer Landrover-like features such as a 360-degree camera that pans the front of the SUV in the immediate vicinity.

Let’s take a quick look into the future: the SUV will soon be available with a 3.0-liter V6 engine. The 48-volt mild hybrid uses Mazda’s high-density Skyactiv-X process to convert gasoline into diesel. For true self-ignition fans, the Japanese are currently developing a 3.3-liter, tightly-sealed six-cylinder diesel engine whose combustion efficiency is said to be as high as 40 percent – which is remarkable at a time when many manufacturers are constantly opting for electric motors. But Mazda likes to do things differently than everyone else.

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High quality and well-made as well as intuitive because it can be operated without touching it, the CX-60 is a true Mazda. Remarkably, in times of electric mobility, the Japanese rely on a rear-wheel drive platform, which will soon provide us with a high-pressure inline six-cylinder petrol engine and a turbo diesel engine. Until then, Mazda still has to work on the chassis, fine-tuning the plug-in hybrid drive and fixing software bugs. After all, the Japanese guarantee that everything will work for six years, or even 150,000 kilometers.

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