2022 Mazda CX-60

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MAZDA has unveiled its CX-60 medium SUV, which is based on a new rear- and all-wheel-drive architecture and will be offered with plug-in hybrid and straight-six petrol and diesel powertrains.

The five-seater is due to arrive in Australia later this year, where it will likely be offered as an upmarket complement to the CX-5.

Since the introduction of the CX-30 – Mazda’s (now popular) small SUV offering that sits above the CX-3 light SUV – the market has anticipated a barrage of new CX-prefixed crossover and SUV models from the Hiroshima-based car-maker.

Although the recently unveiled CX-50 is reserved for North America, the CX-60, which is based on Mazda’s Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable (Large Vehicle) Architecture, is a different story – it is confirmed for introduction Down Under, where it will sit above the long-serving CX-5 medium SUV, well, at least initially.  

The two-row, mid-size CX-60 is slightly larger than the CX-50 and notably longer and wider than its CX-5 sibling, riding on a 2870mm wheelbase.

Its exterior dimensions – 4745mm long, 1890mm wide and 1680mm tall – suggest it may be classified as a large SUV in Australia, a segment already occupied by Mazda’s CX-8 and CX-9 three-row models.

The CX-60’s eye-catching exterior appearance is characterised by several cues from Mazda’s Kodo design language, such as a bold grille with chrome wings that flare out to meet almost nugget-like LED headlamps (with L-shaped daytime running lights).

Apart from sporting chunkier, more masculine detailing than most of its stablemates, the model’s extended dimensions make it look more slab-sided and upright in stance than the current crop of Mazda family cars. 

Its expansive dimensions facilitate a rather roomy interior, Mazda claiming the CX-60 offers 1504mm of shoulder room for front occupants (44mm more than in the CX-5), with 1441mm afforded to those in the back (which is 50mm more than in the brand’s medium SUV).

The rear seats are said to offer “enough legroom for passengers to sit with their legs straight – even those with a large physique can maintain a comfortable and stable posture whilst seated”. 

Including underfloor storage, the CX-60 is claimed to have 570 litres of boot capacity, which can increase up to 1148 litres with the rear seats folded flat. Compared with the CX-5, the width of the load bay aperture has increased to 1082mm (35 mm wider) while the height of the opening is 758mm.

The new model’s cabin has an eminently upmarket execution, replete with an elegant, minimalist fascia and dashboard plus raised centre console.

Up-spec versions feature Nappa leather trim, maple wood inlays and woven textiles with decorative Kakenui stitching.

The instrument cluster is a full TFT-LCD digital display, complemented with a 12.3-inch infotainment screen (with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio and integral satellite navigation), as well as an upsized head-up display (HUD) that is claimed to be three times larger than that of the CX-30.

Other notable grade- or variant-dependent features include an electrically adjustable steering column and front seats (the latter 10-way with heating and ventilation), heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, eight-speaker audio setup or 12-speaker Bose surround sound system, a 1500W power outlet (on plug-in hybrid versions), as well as a remote opening power tailgate.

An interesting new addition is the Driver Personalisation System, which similar to that in the Subaru Forester uses facial recognition technology to adjust the driver’s seat, steering column, HUD and side-mirror mirrors to memorised positions.

The CX-60, which is the first mainstream Mazda with a rear-wheel-drive configuration for a while – others include the MX-5 roadster and Isuzu-based BT-50 ute – rides on double-wishbone front and a multi-link rear suspension, enhanced by Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control system as recently debuted on the MX-5. 

Although the powertrain line-up for the CX-60 in the Australian market has yet to be confirmed, the introduction of a 241kW/500Nm plug-in hybrid power unit is notable, given the growing popularity of petrol-electric medium SUVs.

It combines a 141kW/261Nm 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol engine with a 100kW/250Nm electric motor that is fed by a 17.8 kWh lithium-ion battery. 

Mazda says the PHEV version can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds and achieve a top speed of 200km/h, but more impressively, travel 60km on battery power alone.

The WLTP combined fuel consumption figure is 1.5-1.6 litres/100km depending on which size alloys are fitted, and the battery can be fully charged from depleted in four hours from an AC outlet.

Mazda is yet to release peak output figures for its inline six-cylinder engines – a 3.0-litre e-SkyActive X naturally aspirated petrol and a 3.3-litre e-Skyactive turbo-diesel – but both are offered in conjunction with 48V mild-hybrid systems.

A new eight-speed automatic transmission with a multi-plate clutch makes its debut on the CX-60, which will be available in rear- and i-Activ all-wheel drive guises.

Drive modes include Normal, Sport, Off-Road, Towing (and EV), while the braked towing capacity is said to be 2500kg.

Numerous safety features are slated for the European-market model, including updated adaptive cruise control, driver-drowsiness detection, traffic-sign recognition, advanced smart city brake assist with pedestrian and cyclist detection and intersection function, rear emergency-brake assist with pedestrian detection, rear-cross traffic alert, lane-keep and with steering assist, blind-spot monitoring, hill launch assist and descent control, as well as vehicle exit warning.

Notably, the PHEV version features additional protection for its high-voltage battery. The 360-degree camera system (if specified) now incorporates “See-Through View” technology, while additional front centre and rear side airbags to augment the curtain units are also fitted.

Production of the CX-60 will commence at the Hofu Plant No 2 in the Yamaguchi prefecture this week and the Japanese-spec model will be introduced early next month.

Mazda Australia will release further details, including price and local specification, closer to the local launch.

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