The new Mazda CX-60 meets its brother, the slightly more compact CX-5. What can the newcomer do better and what not? Is the climb worth it? A first comparison of the two Japanese.
Who remembers the first Mazda 6 from 2002? With him, the Japanese brand was suddenly also in the focus of design fans. At the latest, the first generation of the compact SUV CX-5 from 2012 also caught the zeitgeist. The Japanese have persistently fine-tuned their image with their Kodo design language, high quality interior and their own ways with the technology (keyword: naturally aspirated engines).
Now is the time to stretch higher. Above the bestseller CX-5, the second generation of which has been on the road since 2017, the Mazda CX-60 has recently been parked in the price list as a mid-range SUV with a premium claim. It is the first model to stand on a new platform for rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive cars. As the first Mazda, it will also have new straight-six diesel and petrol engines under the hood. At the market launch, the newcomer is only available as a plug-in hybrid. With pre-sales, dealers and their customers were able to benefit from the subsidy for plug-in hybrids, which expires at the end of 2022. The importer is currently granting all customers who sign a leasing contract for the top Homura and Takumi versions by the end of September 2022 a discount in the amount of the environmental bonus, even if they are delivered in the coming year.,
Under the hood of the Mazda CX-60 plug-in Hybrid, officially called e-Skyactiv PHEV, has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with 191 hp. His teammate is an electric motor with 129 kW (175 hp) that sits on the eight-speed automatic transmission. The system output of 241 kW /327 hp makes the all-wheel drive CX-60 plug-in hybrid the most powerful production Mazda.
In the German model range, this was previously the case for the CX-5 Skyactiv-G 194. It has the same suction cup behind the steep grille. Installed transversely, it delivers 194 hp and, depending on the version, drives the front axle or all four wheels. In addition to the engine, the two SUVs have other things in common. Reason enough to compare the CX-5 to its new big brother. Because in addition to customers from premium brands, who are the focus of the sales strategists, one or the other CX-5 owner should also be thinking about switching and upgrading to the CX-60.
The CX-60 has firm suspension
To refresh the memories, we take a ride in the Mazda CX-5. The six-speed automatic changes gears without hesitation, which suits the relaxed character of the petrol engine. Despite the 19-inch rims, which are part of the highest equipment line, Sports-Line Plus, the chassis studiously irons away asphalt patches and transverse joints. The constantly revised seats also contribute to the comfort of the suspension.However, tall people continue to complain about a rather narrow backrest.
Switch to the CX-60. Here you sit on wider armchairs, which can also be ventilated depending on the equipment. With electricity in the battery, the Japanese drives off electrically. The power of the electric motor is easily enough to keep up with traffic. If you put a heavy foot on the accelerator pedal, however, the software overrides the EV mode previously selected with the toggle switch, and the petrol engine switches on. The first plug-in hybrid that Mazda engineers have developed masters the interaction of the two drive types well. Nothing jerks.,
20-inch rims, which are standard for the Mazda CX-60 from the second Exclusive Line equipment line, look good on the SUV. But he rolls on them quite stubbornly. At least at city speed, the newcomer looks very tight, it does not reach the comfort of the CX-5. Driving comfort increases outside built-up areas, i.e. at higher speeds. Measured values for range (according to the WLTP standard 63 kilometers) and more are provided by later tests. In this comparison of the two brand brothers, we are initially interested in the practical aspects, including the space available.
Tie in the back
A surprise is waiting in the back. Despite a wheelbase that is 17 centimeters longer and a body that is longer by this value, the Mazda CX-60 does not offer more freedom of movement in the rear than the smaller CX-5. This shows a disadvantage of the layout with the engine installed lengthways. The technology requires more space than in the CX-5 with a transverse engine. The battery installed in the vehicle floor with a storage capacity of 17.8 kWh in the Mazda CX-60 is flat enough that a sufficient distance between the seat surface and the inner floor could be created.
The CX-60 collects plus points when it comes to charging. Its trunk holds 570 instead of 522 liters on the raised backrest of the rear seat. It can also tow trailers weighing up to 2.5 tons, the CX-5 has a towing capacity of 2.1 tons. The vertical load, an important value for the assembly of bicycle racks, is also higher with the hybrid: 100 to 84 kilograms.
Intuitive operation in the cockpit
Mazda is going the usual way with the cockpit design of the CX-60. It adopts the architecture of the dashboard with a free-standing display, an intuitive rotary pushbutton control instead of a touchscreen and a separate control element for the automatic air conditioning. However, everything is a bit larger than in the CX-5. The central monitor in the larger car measures 12.3 inches. The fully digital instruments behind the three-spoke steering wheel have the same format and change their appearance depending on the driving mode. Both Mazdas have a high-resolution head-up display that reflects its information directly onto the windshield.
In the Mazda CX-60, white nappa leather with dark inlays stretches over the seats. Fine fabric with a complicated braided seam stretches across the cockpit, and the interior also has wood inlays.It's classy in the top model of the series. The CX-5 Sports-Line Plus cannot quite keep up with that. But here, too, you sit on well-made nappa leather, but have more of a look at dark plastic.
And the prices?
Now at the latest it's time to talk about the prices. The basic price of the Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-G 194 Sports-Line Plus with front-wheel drive is 44,640 euros. The four-wheel drive version is 2,000 euros more expensive.
The Mazda CX-60 as a plug-in hybrid in the fine Takumi thread has a list price of 56,250 euros before deducting the subsidy. Bose sound system, charging cradle with inductive charging function for the smartphone and a 360-degree camera view are available as part of the "Convenience & Sound" package, which costs 2,800 euros. The CX-5 Sports-Line Plus comes with these three niceties as standard. But there is no seat ventilation for the driver and front passenger.
Successful models like the CX-5 have played their part in the constant rise of the Mazda brand. Now the Japanese are taking a step towards the premium stage with the CX-60, wanting to attract customers from Audi, BMW and Volvo. As this first comparison shows, CX-5 customers from our own warehouse should also feel addressed. Above all, a planned switch from petrol (or diesel) to a plug-in hybrid could play a role here. If you load consistently and take into account the still valid halving of the tax rate for company cars, you might get over the steep surcharge of the CX-60. Surprising: The space in the rear is almost the same for both. As far as suspension comfort at slow speeds is concerned, the established CX-5 is the more comfortable alternative.