Nu0Y3hWk 2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 2
2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 2

Mazda CX-60: Price could be an issue

2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 6

What is it?

It appears the CX-60 has inveigled its way into the Mazda sports utility vehicle family with the bearing of an imperious European aristocrat.

Indeed, an industry specialist who deals with vehicle brands daily says, at first sight, the CX-60 reminded him a lot of a Jaguar. 

Mazda makes no bones about taking the Yellow Brick Road to a spot ‘over the rainbow’ inhabited by the best mid-size SUVs around.

CX-60 debuts with three sophisticated new powertrains — inline-six turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, in mild hybrid guise, plus Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid.

In keeping with Mazda’s Premium philosophy there are three highly specified grades.

2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 7

What’s it cost?

There’s Evolve, GT and Azami which can all be customised further with safety and styling option packs.

The Azami test vehicle included the SP Pack, adding even more luxury to the car’s character inside and out.

Naturally, this new-found Mazda style and sophistication come at a cost: $75,000 if you want the test equivalent.

In contrast, the similar grade cousin CX-5 peaks at around $55,000.

The flagship CX-60 petrol Azami plug-in hybrid – the e-SkyActiv PHEV — tips the scales at $85,500.

CX-60 Azami G40e SP M Hybrid is a handsome beast, worthy of the segment known as Japanese Premium.

Mazda never tires of telling us about traditional Kodo design principles and the new CX-60 is no exception.

Finished in Machine Grey Metallic, the test car, with front-engine and rear-biased all-wheel drive, exhibited a powerful connection to the road. 

The long bonnet provided more than ample cover for the workings of the in-line six-cylinder petrol engine, which was designated by a dark ‘In-line 6’ signature on both wings.

Rear combination lights provided signature illumination

The SP option pack, with 20-inch alloys in black metallic finish, dark-coloured side signature front bumper with gloss black honeycomb-type grille, gloss black exterior mirror and LED headlights with dark signature was well worth the $2000 extra.

While the 12.3-inch infotainment screen is new, it is still controlled by a knob/joystick behind the gearshift and not the touchscreen while on the move.

I’m a fan. At rest the screen comes to life, by touch, with Mazda Connect.

Satellite navigation and digital radio are included and there is a 12.3-inch TFT LCD multi-information meter, plus a head-up windscreen display. 

The Driver Personalisation System, another Mazda innovation, debuts, making it easy for drivers to achieve their ideal driving position.

Entering their height via the infotainment centre display, the automatic driving position camera detects the location of the eyes and automatically adjusts the seat, steering wheel, active driving display and door mirrors to match the driver’s eye position.

The system uses facial recognition to remember each driver’s preferences.

Once the driver is detected, the Mazda CX-60 automatically restores more than 250 stored settings.

Premium Bose audio boasts 12 speakers.

CX-60 recently won a five-star ANCAP rating thanks to such things as adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, with junction assist (turn-across traffic).

There’s also blind-spot monitoring, driver attention monitoring, forward obstruction warning, high beam control (auto high-beam), lane-keep assist, parking sensors front and  rear, cross-traffic alert, surround camera, traffic sign recognition, tyre pressure monitoring and vehicle exit warning.

Azami adds adaptive LED headlights, cruising and traffic support, adaptive cruise plus lane centring, front cross-traffic alert, 360-degree cameras, including see-through view.

CX-60 ‘wears’ 10 airbags, including. front-centre airbag across the range.

It’s covered by Mazda’s 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, with roadside assistance, and five years of fixed price servicing.   

2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 3

What’s it go like?

‘Clubby’ can best describe the cabin.

Luxury surroundings are matched by space, especially in the back, with the panoramic sunroof opening up the area.

Major leg and toe room complement the soft leather feel. 

As with the CX-60 Azami exterior finish, the SP pack added a suede-style dashboard panel, tan Nappa leather seat trim and contrasting stitching, plus a matching two-tone steering wheel.

Boot room is 407 litres with the rear seatbacks raised and 477 with them folded (not quite flat).

A hands-free remote operated power tailgate does the job when loading or unloading.

The six-cylinder 3.3-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are both first-timers, with each utilising Mazda’s 48V mild hybrid boost technology.

The large capacity improves efficiency with the higher volume of air enabling more complete combustion and a wider lean-burn range leading to lower fuel use and reduced nitrogen oxide emissions 

All engines in the range are mated with a newly developed Skyactiv-Drive eight-speed automatic transmission.

The e-Skyactiv turbo petrol engine is smooth and responsive, using a wider gear range that delivers a balance between driving and environmental performance.

However, the stubby gearshift lever requires firm action between ‘park’ and ‘drive’ positions.

The ride’s a bit lumpy too.

The use of a clutch in place of a torque converter is said to produce clean switching between gears, at the same time enabling accurate control of the hybrid boost electric motor in the 48V mild hybrid system.

Mazda CX-60’s unique composition, with front-engine and rear-biased all-wheel drive gives a feeling of stability and confidence with a powerful connection to the road.

Mi-Drive modes – Normal, Sport, Off-road and towing– bring a unique versatility to the CX-60.

Mazda claims fuel consumption of 7.4L/100km on the urban/highway cycle.

In city and suburbs, with i-Stop in action, the test CX-60 clocked up 9.6L and 8.8L when let loose on the motorway.

2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 1

What we like?

  • SP pack well worth it
  • Soft leather feel
  • Major leg and toe room
  • Smooth and responsive
  • Powerful connection to the road

2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 4

What we don’t like?

  • Ride a bit lumpy
  • Stubby gearshift requires firm action
  • Fuel use higher than claimed figure

2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 8

The bottom line?

There’s much (too much in this space) to say about the mid-size five-seat CX-60 and most of it is good.

The innovation and styling, plus little luxuries, have CX-60 vaulting into the premium SUV segment.

Pity the price bar might be a bit too high for some.

2023 Mazda CX 60 Azami SP 5


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Mazda CX-60 G40e Azami Hybrid, priced from $73,345
  • Looks - 9/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Safety - 8/10
  • Thirst - 7/10
  • Practicality - 8/10
  • Comfort - 6/10
  • Tech - 8/10
  • Value - 6/10

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