Mazda CX-60 long-term review: a continental road trip after a quick fix
Words: Andy Franklin & Greg Potts
AF: Those that read my introduction to the CX-60 last month may remember that I mentioned an early problem with the big Mazda. Upon first driving the car there was a squeaking sound coming from the suspension, both at full lock and over large bumps at slow speeds. Initially I thought that perhaps it was just a new-car niggle and it would go away, but it didn’t. In fact, it was getting louder – like the single mouse who had been living in one of the front wheelarches had met their Mr Right and started a family. Thankfully, without even seeing the car, Mazda reckoned they could fix it in a day, so presumably this was a known issue. And, guess what, they did! Apparently a suspension bush just needed regreasing. A simple fix, although it wasn’t lost on me that the replacement CX-60 they provided while ‘mine’ was away had the same squeak.
And one big thing I’m currently struggling with is the steering. For me it just doesn’t feel right, it’s all too mechanical and the CX-60 moves around far too much on the road. Whether this is just me, or if it’s related to the supposedly fixed issue, I don’t know, so I’m handing over to Greg Potts to test on a slightly longer journey…
GP: Yeah, thanks Andy for that hospital pass. They often say that there’s no better way to test a suspension fix than with a 500-mile road trip through three different countries. Still, at least I’ll get a good sense of the CX-60 having not driven one before.
Initial impressions are very good. As Andy mentioned last month the interior is a lovely place to be. The materials are all top quality and it’s a lovely, light cabin. Plenty of room in the 570-litre boot too, which comprehensively beats the plug-in hybrid BMW X3’s 450 litres. Not that I’ll need all that luggage space – this is a whistle stop dash to Brussels to see Mazda whip the covers off its second PHEV, the MX-30 R-EV complete with its fabled range-extending rotary engine.
On the move, things with the CX-60 aren’t quite as positive. At low speed the calibration between petrol and electric power is a little clunky, with some alarming noises as the internal combustion engine and auto gearbox sort themselves out. There’s no trouble from the suspension though, so it’d seem that Mazda has fixed that.
We meet other CX-60s at the Eurotunnel before navigating a small section of northern France and a whole heap of Belgian motorway. I have to agree with Andy on the steering. At high speeds it can sometimes feel like you’re in a constant crosswind or like you’re trying to steer with a joystick on an old school racing game. You’re constantly having to make small corrections, and most of the time over-correcting. It doesn’t feel natural. Surely just a calibration issue though.
Other than that, the Mazda is a strong road-trip companion, with its chunky tyre sidewall making for a comfortable ride and road noise kept to a minimum. There’s nowhere to plug in overnight at our impossibly-tight underground car park though, so in 500 miles with limited electrical assistance I’ve averaged 31.7mpg.