It's goodbye hybrid and hello diesel for our long-term Mazda CX-60
No, your eyes do not deceive you: there are two CX-60s in this picture and yes, we’re running another one. It’s goodbye hybrid and hello diesel. Why? Well, I’ve been a bit disappointed with the hybrid but always had this underlying feeling that deep down there’s a decent car in there somewhere. We’ve always been a fan of Mazda – let’s face it if you don’t like the RX-7 then you’re not really a petrolhead – and the majority of the cars we’ve run have also had good reviews. In fact, I was reminded of its strong heritage while I was swapping cars at Mazda HQ thanks to the fantastic array of cars in the lobby.
On paper the CX-60 hybrid had everything going for it: good looks, loads of space, decent range and enough Japanese style and grace that’s refreshing from the usual European cars. A lovely interior too, perhaps a bit Eighties in its colour scheme but extremely relaxing. But it was the driving experience that wasn’t relaxing. Super-heavy steering that constantly felt like you were fighting it, a jerky transmission, and a very bouncy ride. It was almost as if it wasn’t a finished car. I felt it could be a good car with a few final tweaks, which is why I was keen to try another version. This time we’ve gone for the 3.3d AWD Homura Auto in Deep Crystal Blue, which on paper is a lower spec than the top spec PHEV we were running. But actually I think this one looks better. I love the black wheels and the slightly different grille, and that deep blue really suits the shape. We’ve also added a tow bar (more on that in a future report) and a roof box to aid with some longer trips, which all contribute to a more rugged feel.
Is it any better? Well, it took me precisely three corners from leaving Mazda's HQ to answer the question, and if initial impressions are to go by, I think I’m going to enjoy it. Phew. Roll on the next six months.