Die-hard petrolheads have a deep-down hatred for SUV’s. I’m far more lenient with this quite outdated view and accept that SUV’s aren’t going to go out of fashion any time soon. However, there are a lot of SUV’s I’m not very fond for. The problem is that the high driving position causes havoc to other areas of the car, including comfort, styling, handling and of course, pricing. This means it is far more difficult for a manufacturer to develop a good SUV than it is to make a good saloon. The main thing SUV’s lack is a soul though, some just feel like they are made to make money, and not to excite or interest the buyer. Words such as ‘Sorento’, ‘Santa-Fe’ and ‘X-trail’ spring to mind. Sure, they might be well praised by the magazines, but you’ll never dream on owning one. This is where the Mazda CX-60 comes in, I think it could be an SUV from East Asia, which could be soulful, so lets find out.
The CX-60 is yet to be sold in the UK, but we do have pictures of the car we can see. Overall, I think Mazda has pulled it out the bag with this one. It’s not trying to be all butch and ‘Range Rover like’, it’s honest. The chrome at the front makes it look elegant and premium, while also looking modern and crisp. The big vents and grill make it look muscular too. There are 3 trim levels and clearly the trim Mazda is show-casing in the images is the highest trim – Takumi, so lesser models could be less attractive. From the side, there is more chrome, creases in the arches and large alloys. The back is my favourite angle, where there are sleek, thin taillights, a muscular bumper and probably fake quad exhausts.
Performance, engines and driving
The CX-60 will first, be available as a PHEV, This will be a 2.5l four cylinder with an electric motor to produce 323BHP, which is impressive. The electric range is said to be 37 miles, which should be enough to do shopping trip. Speaking of shopping, the boot is well-sixed at 570 litres, but if you wait, a stretched version, imaginatively named the CX-80 will arrive next year. Back to the engines, there will also be two straight six engines – a 3.0l petrol and 3.3l diesel. Both will come with hybrid assistance. All engines come with an eight speed automatic gearbox too. Knowing that the CX-5 is a class leader, when it came to handling, there is a lot on the CX-60’s shoulders. The CX-5 was on the firm side though, so it is a question if this bigger model will fix that.
The highlight of this CX-60 is the interior though. It oozes style. I’d rather spend my time sat in this than a BMW, Audi, or Mercedes and that is saying something. I love the maple wood. In other cars wood is a tad old fashioned but in this it looks thoroughly modern. The textured, protruding fabric on the dash is a great touch too. A panoramic glass roof is well worth having as it finishes the cabin off well. The infotainment isn’t huge and certainly isn’t tall. It reminds me of the Genesis GV-80 screen. Hopefully it is better than the rather hopeless systems in current Mazda’s. I’m also told the materials aren’t just good to look at and are of good quality too.
In terms of costs, it will undercut most of its rivals at £43,950 for Exclusive-line. I would probably be intensified to go for Takumi though, at £48,050. Great value when you consider its competing in BMW X5 territory and has lots of kit. It should also be cheap to run, vital in times when fuel prices are at record highs. Overall then, your getting yourself a very unique, well-equipped car with a fabulous interior for not great expense. I also get the impression it has soul inside too.