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Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD Review

The Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV has stylish Mazda design, both inside and out, as well as featuring the brand’s first plug-in hybrid powertrain with an electric range of 39 miles.

  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
  • Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV
Green Car Guide Rating: 7/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:  Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD Takumi
  • Fuel:  Petrol-electric plug-in hybrid
  • Fuel economy combined (WLTP):  188.3 mpg
  • Electric range (WLTP):  39 miles

Summary

  • Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid
  • Looks good inside and out
  • Practical size
  • Doesn’t progress PHEV technology

Background

Mazda has brought us some iconic cars such as the MX-5, which is great to drive, but the company has not embraced electrification. There’s the Mazda MX-30, which is a pure EV, but it’s small, and only has a short electric driving range. Now we have the Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV – if you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid SUV, should this be on your shortlist?

Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEVMazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV

Design & Engineering

We think Mazda has some of the best-looking cars on sale. This also applies to the CX-60, both on the outside, and in the interior, which feels very premium. The CX-60 is spacious, with a large 570-litre boot (or 1,726 litres with the rear seats folded), but it’s only a five-seater.

The CX-60 e-SKYACTIV has a 4-cylinder, 2.5-litre (non-turbo) petrol engine, a 129kW electric motor powered by a 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery, an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The total system power is 327PS, with 500Nm of torque.

Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEVMazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV

Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD Driving Experience

The Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD has an ‘Mi-DRIVE’ button; when you press it, it changes between the driving modes of Sport, Normal, EV and Off-Road. ‘Normal’ actually means ‘Hybrid’, in other words the CX-60 operates on electric power until it needs to use the petrol engine.

If you select EV mode the CX-60 seems to stay on electric power, which is good. EV mode is better than the petrol engine for driving around town, although the car does change gear while on electric power, so progress isn’t as smooth as it should be, and the 129kW electric motor doesn’t endow the 2,146kg car with huge performance. There’s no obvious way of saving battery charge for later, which isn’t ideal for a PHEV.

Unlike virtually every other new car on sale with a petrol engine, Mazda’s 2-5-litre engine isn’t turbocharged, so rather than delivering effortless responses, the engine can feel strained and noisy under acceleration.

Ride quality is decent on smooth roads but this isn’t the case on bumpy roads – the large alloy wheels are likely to be a key reason for this.

The CX-60’s overall driving experience can’t be described as agile, and the 2,146kg weight is a main factor here.

The interior features a wide touchscreen with a BMW iDrive-like rotary controller and shortcut buttons in the centre console to control items on the screen, which works much better than systems that rely just on the touchscreen. There are separate controls for heating and ventilation, which again is a good thing.

Most previous Mazdas have a button to switch off the lane departure warning system. Not so in the CX-60. The driving experience is ruined by the steering wheel being wrenched from your control if you head towards a white line, and there’s no obvious way of switching the system off.

One other thing to watch out for is when you get in and out of the car, you can easily knock your leg on an air vent which sticks out from the right-hand side of the dashboard.

Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEVMazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV

Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD Economy and Emissions

The Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD has an official electric range of 39 miles and WLTP combined fuel economy of 188.3mpg. During a week of mixed driving with the CX-60 it averaged 37 miles of electric range, and 44.9mpg. Total petrol and electric range was displayed as 330 miles.

The CX-60 e-SKYACTIV has a 7.2kW onboard charger which enables a 0% to 100% charge from a 7.2kW home charger in 2 hours 20 minutes.

Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEVMazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV

Price and Model Range

The Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD Takumi costs £49,520. Our test car had the options of Convenience Pack (£1,000), Driver Assistance Pack (£1,100) and Panoramic Roof (£1,000).

There are three trim levels: Exclusive-Line, Homura and Takumi.

The Mazda CX-60 is also available as an e-SKYACTIV D diesel model, with a 3.3-litre in-line six-cylinder engine with a choice of a 200PS rear-wheel drive powertrain or with 254PS and Mazda i-Activ all-wheel drive.

Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEVMazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV

Conclusion

Motorists who are loyal to the Mazda brand and who want a plug-in hybrid SUV are likely to be pleased with the CX-60. The exterior is well designed, like all current Mazdas, and the interior is stylish and upmarket. The CX-60 is spacious, and of course it offers up to 39 miles of electric range. What it doesn’t do is progress PHEV technology – apart from the longer electric driving range, it’s still a similar recipe to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV that went on sale in the UK in 2014. It also falls short of being a driver’s car, key reasons for this being the car’s 2,146kg weight and the lack of immediate responses from the non-turbocharged petrol engine. The Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD gets a Green Car Guide rating of 7/10.

Car facts and figures Mazda CX-60 e-SKYACTIV PHEV AWD Review

  • Test economy: 44.9 mpg
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 33 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):  TBC
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2022/23): 12%
  • Price:  £49,520
  • Insurance group:  39A
  • Power:  327 PS (Engine)
  • Torque:  500 Nm (Engine)
  • Max speed:  124 mph
  • 0-62 mph:  5.8 seconds
  • Weight:  2,146 kg
  • Towing capacity: TBC kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor