Mazda CX-60 - long term review - Report No:3 2023 | Top Gear
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Long-term review

Mazda CX-60 - long term review

£49,520 / as tested £53,270
Published: 18 Apr 2023

Does the Mazda CX-60 SUV work better in full EV mode?

You might not have seen but recently Mazda Europe’s CEO Martijn ten Brink has criticised the European union’s ban on the internal combustion engine set to come in in 2035. He said: “Personally I find it extremely difficult to get my head around”. You’re not wrong there Martijn. And it's not that he has a problem with EVs either.

“I have a problem with the fact that they’ve (the politicians) decided how to get there. And that is only electric. You’re really going to just discard everything else? Even the stuff that you don’t know exists yet. I think that is a disgrace of the politicians. That is not their job. Their job is to demand a zero-emission future, but how you get there should rely on entrepreneurship and creativity.”

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Let’s face it, this isn’t the first-time politicians have set a pathway only for it to be the wrong route. Diesel, anyone? I guess the clue was in the name there.

But ten Brink is right. EVs can’t be the only solution and I have faith that technology will find a way to perhaps even prolong the ICE, but for now we are where we are. And while I’m freely in ten Brink's camp I find myself for the first time wanting to use the electric more and more on the CX60’s hybrid system. But probably not for the reason you think.

You see, the engine is nosier than my five year-old who's just come back from a party loaded with sweets, having fallen out with her best friend. The engine, the gearbox and hybrid system just don’t seem to talk to each other - cue lots of awkward jerking. But in EV-only mode it works much better.

Though the electric range isn't huge and it takes just under four hours for a full charge on my home box (7kW). Mazda says it'll do 55 miles, but in the real world this varies a lot - especially in colder months. I get around 20 miles out of it using just the battery before the engine cuts back in, despite showing around a quarter of battery charge left. Presumably some witchcraft happens and it saves the battery for mixed use. I am hoping in the warmer months this improves.

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A full tank of fuel costs around £60, which is tiny for a car of this size, but it works. There are three modes - Sport, Normal and EV. In Sport it will charge the battery, while in Normal it's very minimal. I’ve often found the EV mode will cancel itself out even though its saying five or seven miles left on the range. At standstill there’s lots of whining noise from the EV system which bizarrely I find quite comforting, like I’m in a spaceship.

As this is Mazda’s first attempt at a hybrid system it's OK, but in reality, it feels very much behind the curve. In fact I’m yet to drive a hybrid car that I really like. On paper they sounds like a good compromise, but the experience isn’t brilliant.

I’ll be comparing this to the BMW X3 later down the line, which will be a big test for the CX-60. Check back to see how it fared.

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