MAZDA CX-60 AWD: upmarket big diesel that bucks the trend

NEVER let it be said that Mazda simple follow the rest of the motoring herd – because they don’t.

While the rest are tearing up the rule book and heading down the electrification route, abandoning the diesel engine in a layby on the way, the Japanese manufacturer is heading for the hills with an all new six cylinder in-line 3.3 litre derv drinker.It’s fitted – quite snugly – under the bonnet of the new CX-60, Mazda’s mid size SUV that is fairly and squarely aimed at some of the more upmarket SUVs on offer.

The massive front grille gives it a high degree of road presence, particularly if one’s coming up behind you, which it will do quite briskly. There’s no lack of power from under the bonnet – not ‘whoah-like’ but a smooth increase with accompanying sounds from the tailpipes, and the smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox making the most of the 3.3-litre unit’s powerband.This version is a mild hybrid with a 48 volt battery providing a bit of electrical assistance to boost the vehicle’s efficiency. The claimed 50 plus mpg (our average was a shade over 48) gives it a mile munching range from its 58 litre tank.

For the more technically minded the piston design divides the air-fuel mixture into two parts of the cylinders, which gives a leaner burn and thus makes the engine a tad more frugal. For the rest of us, it equates to big car, big distances.Mazda has always been focussed on making cars that are great to drive and the CX-60 lives up to the billing. The steering gives you a good connection with the front wheels, and the all wheel drive system is biased towards the rear so it can feel as if its being pushed through corners. Obviously loads of grip, but there’s also a degree of body roll if you press on, and the big 20 inch wheels here – while very smart – detract a bit from the ride quality on less than perfect roads, of which you can come across plenty here in the UK.

CX-60 comes with a very agreeable interior, in this instance with Nappa leather seats, a plethora of quality trim and an absence of any cheap plastics to marr what is a top quality finish. Befitting of the up-market move Mazda have made with this model. It really is a comfortable experience.

Seats are electrically adjustable, there’s a powered tailgate, big panoramic sunroof and an excellent Bose surround system.

Other variants of the CX-60 are available, including a plug in hybrid, which will give you just shy of 40 miles of pure electric motoring.

But the big diesel proves there is still a place in the range for a torquey, frugal powerplant to satisfy high-mileage private buyers, and people who need to tow.


Mazda CX-60 AWD Homura

Price: £48,405
Engine: 3.3 litre, 6 cylinder, diesel
Power: 250bhp
Torque: 405lb/ft
Transmission: 8 speed automatic AWD
Top speed: 136mph
0-62mph: 7.4 seconds
Economy: 54.3mpg
CO2 emissions: 138g/km

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