Few new cars have been subject to as much polarising commentary as the Mazda CX-60.
The brand’s latest attempt at a premium brand competitor divides opinion for its looks, pricing, powertrains and more. Perhaps, that’s exactly what Mazda wanted all along…
From a critical standpoint, global media have had mixed opinions. We’ve read your comments too, where some have actually put their hard-earned down and love it… and others not so much.
Mazda Australia has gone on the record to say that the CX-60 is an alternative to premium SUVs, but the target is actually existing Mazda owners who want something a little nicer than the ageing CX-5 and CX-8.
From this angle you can see why Mazda hasn’t done anything drastic in terms of design – instead keeping things relatively familiar in a package that looks and feels a little more upmarket.
Here on test we have the flagship mild-hybrid petrol version: the 2024 Mazda CX-60 G40e Azami.
Don’t buy into the “All-Hybrid” marketing campaign, as this won’t drive you for short stints on electric power like a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, nor will this big 3.3-litre inline six petrol achieve similar fuel figures.
But, the six-cylinder petrol is something of a unicorn these days, with no mainstream competition offering an inline six under the bonnet, while the remaining German rivals with six-cylinder options will charge you over $100,000.
Is this range-topper worth a look?
The CX-60 G40e Azami on test starts from $73,000 before on-road costs, and is equipped with the $2000 SP Package.
It’s the most affordable way into the flagship version of the range, with the D50e mild-hybrid diesel adding a further $2000 and the P50e plug-in hybrid commanding a $12,500 premium.
That’s in the same ballpark as a base Audi Q5 35 TDI (from $70,850) and Volvo XC60 ($73,990); and well under the cheapest BMW X3 (from $81,700) and Mercedes-Benz GLC (from $103,370). To get a six-cylinder in the Q5 or X3 you need to pay more than $100,000.
The five-seat Volkswagen Touareg is the original mainstream-gone-premium family SUV and offers exclusively V6 diesel power, as well as shared underpinnings with the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, and Porsche Cayenne. The most affordable variant on sale in Australia is the 170TDI, priced from $89,240 plus on-road costs.
Mazda CX-60 pricing:
- G40e M Hybrid: $59,800
- D50e M Hybrid: $61,800
- P50e PHEV: $72,300
- G40e M Hybrid: $67,800
- D50e M Hybrid: $69,800
- P50e PHEV: $80,300
- G40e M Hybrid: $73,000
- D50e M Hybrid: $75,000
- P50e PHEV: $85,500
Prices exclude on-road costs
The SP Package’s tan Nappa leather interior is quite sexy.
With a two-tone steering wheel reminiscent of a Range Rover or Bentley, as well as quilting on the seats, there’s a very high-end look about it for something that comes in at the mid-$75,000 mark. Perhaps only Genesis offers this kind of wow factor for the same money.
The front seats are pretty comfortable and offer 10-way adjustment for the driver (including lumbar and memory) as well as eight-way adjustment for the passenger. They’re also heated and ventilated in the Azami, which is a nice touch.
Ahead of the driver are a pair of 12.3-inch displays; the instrument cluster and the central infotainment system, which only offers touch functionality when you’re stationary. Otherwise, you use the BMW iDrive-style rotary controller on the centre console.
As we’ve previously noted, the instrument binnacle has a standard view that mimics conventional dials, as well as a driver assist view which is automatically activated each time you turn on the cruise. It’s a shame there’s no further customisation beyond a small widget with a couple of readouts in the right-hand dial.
The graphics are swish with high-resolution and snappy load times, the animations are smooth, and switching drive modes changes up the colour theme and some of the animations.
If you’re hoping for something drastically different from other Mazdas in terms of the overall experience, you might be disappointed. The Mazda Connect interface is basically the same as in other models on a larger display, and there’s no extended online functions like there are in other markets… yet.
There’s satellite navigation, AM/FM/DAB radio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. It covers those bases pretty well, and I spent most of my time using smartphone mirroring which worked flawlessly – after an annoying bug that meant it took a couple of attempts to pair first time.
GT and Azami grades come fitted with a 12-speaker Bose audio system which offers good audio, and can be adjusted to offer a surround sound experience and thumping bass. It’s not quite on the level of Lexus’s benchmark Mark Levinson sound systems.
Mazda has stuck to physical switchgear for the climate controls, which is great. There’s a nice solid feel and action to them, helping to uphold that perception of quality.
Speaking of quality, the fit and finish is pretty darn good. Everything feels solidly screwed together, and there’s a decent ratio of soft-touch materials to hard surfaces.
I will say, the lack of softer surfaces below the dashboard, as well as textured soft plastic instead of stitched leather-like door tops (which you get in the CX-5) is disappointing, and doesn’t give the CX-60 Azami the plush feel of a Genesis GV70.
There’s a pair of cupholders alongside the shift-by-wire selector first seen in the MX-30, and ahead of are the wireless phone charger and USB-C inputs. Storage elsewhere up front includes decent door bins and a deep cubby underneath the dual-lid centre armrest – so you can open half of it without disturbing your passenger.
The second row isn’t massive but it’s noticeably larger than a CX-5, and is closer to an Audi Q5 or Mercedes-Benz GLC – if not quite BMW X3 or Volvo XC60 good.
Behind my driving position (I’m 6’1) I had enough head-, knee- and toe room to get comfortable, with a good view out the rear windows. I’d wager two adults will be fine, three would be a pinch. The minimal centre tunnel at least means a centre passenger isn’t too impeded in terms of foot space.
Amenities include rear air vents – though no separate climate controls – as well as USB-C and 150W AC outlets to keep devices charged. The GT and Azami also score heated outboard seats.
There’s a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, map pockets behind the front seats, as well as ISOFIX anchors on the outer positions and top-tethers across all three rear seats. Bottle holders in the doors round out the notable practicality features.
Cargo volume is quoted at 477 litres “to rear package tray” with all seats up, expanding to 1726 litres “to ceiling with underfloor storage space” with the rear seats folded.
That’s just under 40 litres better than the CX-5 with five seats in use, and nearly 400 litres better with the rear seats folded. Not bad, but somewhat off the pace of premium rivals like the Audi Q5 (520L-1520L), BMW X3 (550L-1600L) and Mercedes-Benz GLC (620L) with all seats in use.
Remote levers to drop the rear seats feature in the cargo area, and PHEV models have a 1500W AC outlet there too. Mild-hybrid versions get a space-saver spare wheel, though PHEVs get a tyre repair kit.
The G40e 3.3-litre turbocharged inline six petrol features 48V mild-hybrid technology which can shut off the combustion engine under low load and also assist under hard acceleration.
The e-Skyactiv G 3.3 develops 209kW (5000-6000rpm) and 450Nm (2000-3500rpm), and sends drive to a rear-biased all-wheel drive system as standard via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
In MHEV versions, the 48V system comprises a 12.4kW/153Nm electric motor and a 0.33kWh lithium battery. Mazda claims the CX-60 G40e will accelerate from 0-100 in 6.9 seconds, and can run on cheaper 91 RON unleaded fuel.
Further, the company says the CX-60 G40e is nearly a second quicker to 100km/h than a CX-5 G35 Turbo, while also being as efficient as a naturally-aspirated CX-5 G25 petrol (7.4L/100km).
Mazda’s new eight-speed automatic features a multi-plate clutch and integrated electric motor-generator in place of a hydraulic converter as an input clutch. In essence, the electric motor in both mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions and mechanical clutch take place of a conventional torque converter.
Mazda claims this helps to improve fuel efficiency and throttle response over a conventional automatic.
After having the CX-60 in more regular day-to-day conditions in Melbourne, I can say some of my complaints from the launch drive are no where near as significant.
First, the ride. It’s still a touch firmer than I’d like for something marketed as ‘premium’. But with that said, it came together much better in the city, surprisingly.
There’s a firmness to the CX-60 that constantly reminds you of its more dynamic bent, but unlike the choppy high-speed blacktop we drove on between Canberra and Jervis Bay, the CX-60 felt much more sorted on Melbourne’s and city streets.
It communicates imperfections in the road surface and occasionally will thud over sharper hits which isn’t great, but I never found it uncomfortable. At worst it was a bit busy or unsettled at times.
This firmness has a positive trade-off in how the CX-60 feels on the highway and in the bends. It’s super tied down and feels particularly dynamic compared the bulk of mid-sized SUVs both mainstream and premium.
The heavy steering and the firm chassis set up make for quite a keen steer, and the way the CX-60 feels hunkered down at 100 or 110km/h on the freeway is very European. It actually inspires a lot of confidence.
Mazda’s team confirmed that each powertrain variant has slight variations in their suspension tuning. The G40e feels a little more lighter on its feet than the D50e diesel – which is firmer, particularly up front – while the P50 plug-in hybrid is a bit softer in tune and perhaps lacks the petrol’s finesse when it comes to body control.
The performance from the turbocharged inline six is very strong, and quite addictive. While the plug-in hybrid has the quickest 0-100, the 3.3-litre inline six petrol has more character and an almost BMW-like personality in its linear acceleration and brassy engine note.
Mazda’s 6.9-second 0-100 claim feels entirely believable by the seat of the pants, and it definitely feels more eager and responsive than the torquey D50 3.3-litre diesel. The oiler kills the petrol for fuel efficiency, though.
That rear-drive balance gives the feeling of being pushed rather than pulled, allowing the front wheels to prioritise steering rather than accelerating.
On the roll Mazda’s new eight-speed automatic is snappy, but lower speed shifts can be iffy, occasionally jerking like when you mess up a manual shift. It can clunk if you catch it napping when you need a quick burst of acceleration, lacking the layer of polish that you’d usually expect of a premium SUV.
Speaking of polish, the SP Package (and CX-60 GT) appear to get noisier tyres than the standard Azami. The 235/50 R20 Toyo Proxes Sport performance tyres wrapped around the gloss black wheels transmit road noise into the cabin than what I remember of the standard Azami wearing Bridgestone Alenza tyres.
During the Drive Against Depression Winter Drive, which took us from Lilydale through some of the winding roads by the Silvan Dam, I trialled the paddle shifters and manual transmission mode which proved more responsive than a number of other drivetrains – including the Mazda CX-5 G35 2.5T.
Flicking it into Sport mode, the throttle sharpens up and the steering weighs up a bit. The CX-60 is truly quite a fun thing to punt down a B-road, and the singing petrol inline six makes for quite an engaging experience.
All versions of the CX-60 come with an array of driver assistance systems as you’d expect, but Azami is decked out with everything Mazda can possibly throw at it – even if some of the beeps and bongs are a little annoying.
Adaptive cruise control with Cruising & Traffic Support offers semi-autonomous capability on the highway and in traffic; and as we’ve come to expect it works smoothly and intuitively. The lane centring function works well, and activating the cruise control switches the layout of the cluster to show an assistance system menu front and centre with the dials spread to each side. I wish you could go back to the normal look.
Blind-spot assist will actively steer you back into your lane to avoid a collision with an approaching vehicle, and there’s front and rear cross-traffic alert to help when entering intersections or reversing out of blind parking spots. Even better, there’s Turn-across Traffic Assist in the AEB system to stop you if you attempt an unsafe turn into oncoming traffic.
CX-60 Evolve highlights:
- 18-inch alloy wheels, Grey
- Auto LED headlights
- Auto high-beam
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Body colour exterior mirrors
- Side mirrors with:
- Power adjustment
- Auto folding
- Honeycomb grille design
- Black wheel arches and lower cladding
- Remote operated power tailgate (open/close)
- G-Vectoring Control Plus
- 10.25-inch Mazda Connect infotainment system
- 7.0-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster (G40e, D50e)
- 12.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster (P50e)
- Head-up display
- DAB+ digital radio
- Satellite navigation
- 8-speaker sound system
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Wireless phone charger
- Front USB-C charging points
- Rear console incl. USB-C, 150W AC outlets
- Rear 1500W AC power outlet socket (PHEV)
- Keyless entry, push-button start
- Dual-zone climate control
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Electric park brake with auto-hold
- One-touch power windows
- Leather steering wheel
- Leather shift knob
- Black Maztex upholstery
- Manual front seat adjustment
CX-60 GT adds:
- 20-inch alloy wheels, Black metallic
- LED headlights with ‘dark signature’
- Rear combination lights incl. signature illumination
- Power sliding panoramic sunroof
- Gloss black exterior mirrors
- 2-position memory, side mirrors
- Body colour wheel arches, lower cladding
- Gloss black honeycomb grille
- Exterior mirror position memory
- Hands-free power tailgate (open/close)
- 12.3-inch TFT LCD digital instrument cluster
- 12.3-inch infotainment system
- 12-speaker Bose premium sound system incl. amplifier
- Driver monitor system
- Personalise system
- Electric steering wheel adjustment
- Heated steering wheel
- Black leather upholstery
- 10-way power driver seat
- incl. lumbar adjustment
- incl. 2-position driver memory
- 8-way power passenger seat
- Heated front seats
- Heated outer rear seats
- Surround-view cameras
CX-60 Azami adds:
- 20-inch machined alloy wheels
- Adaptive LED headlights with ‘bright signature’
- Body colour exterior mirrors
- Front bumper with bar-type grille
- Cruising & Traffic Support
- Front cross-traffic alert
- Surround-view cameras incl. see-through view
- Personalise system with ‘Easy Entry & Driving’
- LED ambient lighting
- Frameless interior mirror
- Black Nappa leather upholstery
- Ventilated front seats
- Leather side door trim with courtesy lamp
SP Package: $2000 (Azami)
- 20-inch alloy wheels, Black metallic
- Dark-coloured side signature
- Gloss black honeycomb-type grille
- Gloss black exterior mirrors
- LED headlights with dark signature
- Suede dashboard panel
- Tan Nappa leather upholstery
- Two-tone steering wheel
Takumi Package: $2000 (Azami)
- Bright decoration panel
- Cloth dashboard panel with ‘Kakenui’ stitching
- White Maple Wood console panel
- White Nappa leather upholstery
- Sonic Silver Metallic
- Platinum Quartz Metallic
- Deep Crystal Blue Mica
- Jet Black Mica
- Black Maztex (Evolve)
- Black leather (Evolve Luxury, GT)
- Revera Stone leather (GT)
- Black Nappa leather (Azami)
- Tan Nappa leather (Azami SP)
- Pure White Nappa leather (Azami Takumi)
The CX-60 wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on tests conducted by Euro NCAP in 2022.
The Mazda CX-60 was tested against 2020-2022 criteria by sister organisation Euro NCAP.
It scored 91 per cent for adult occupant protection, 93 per cent for adult occupant protection, 89 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 77 per cent for safety assist.
“The lane support system fitted to the Mazda CX-60 showed some areas of Good performance, although performance in the more advanced emergency lane keeping (ELK) scenarios was assessed as Marginal,” ANCAP said in its media release.
“In the frontal offset (MPDB) test, Good results were seen for the front passenger, however Adequate and Marginal performance was recorded for the chest and legs of the driver in this test scenario with penalties applied for potential knee injury risk for occupants of different sizes/statures, and incorrect knee airbag deployment.”
Standard safety features include:
- 10 airbags incl. front-centre airbag
- Adaptive cruise control
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Forward incl. Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Junction assist (Turn-across Traffic)
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Driver attention monitoring
- Forward obstruction warning
- High Beam Control (auto high-beam)
- Lane-keep assist
- Parking sensors front, rear
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Surround camera system
- Traffic sign recognition
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Vehicle exit warning
CX-60 Azami adds:
- Adaptive LED Headlights
- Cruising & Traffic Support
- Adaptive cruise + lane centring
- Front cross-traffic alert
- 360-degree cameras incl. See Through View
Like the wider Mazda range, the CX-60 is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
Scheduled servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000 kilometres (whichever comes first) for the G40e M Hybrid and the P50e Plug-in Hybrid; while the D50e M Hybrid quotes shorter 10,000km intervals.
Pricing is on the high side, and is more expensive than the likes of BMW and Genesis.
Mazda CX-60 service pricing:
|Engine Variant||1st Service||2nd Service||3rd Service||4th Service||5th Service|
|P40e 3.3L i6 MHEV||$447||$654||$568||$749||$463|
|D50e 3.3L i6 MHEV||$478||$643||$975||$643||$478|
|P50e 2.5L i4 PHEV||$478||$643||$975||$643||$478|
The CX-60 G40e hovered around the high 8.0s to low 9.0s (L/100km), which is impressive given the engine’s size, the performance on offer, and the fact there was a good amount of peak-hour commuting mixed in with highway stints.
That’s about 2-3L per 100km less than what I’ve achieved in similar driving with the CX-5 G35 Turbo, showing the efficiency gains with Mazda’s new engines as well as that keen 48V M Hybrid system, which very regularly shuts the engine off under low engine load or when coasting to a stop.
There’s something special and charming about the CX-60, even if it’s far from perfect.
In flagship Azami specification with the optional SP Package, the CX-60 looks and feels high-end with its quilted tan Nappa leather interior and blacked out exterior accents. The G40e’s petrol inline six is a peach, and while it can’t match the hybrid-like economy of the diesel it offers peppy performance and a brassy engine note that requires substantially more money in rival makes’s showrooms.
With that said there’s no denying this is still an expensive car with some flaws – namely the polarising firm ride and a transmission that doesn’t always play ball with the engine and mild-hybrid system. I’d also like to see connected services and app-based remote functions that are increasingly expected at this end of the market.
Is this spec my pick? My favourite all-rounder is still the diesel, but keen drivers not fussed about the fuel economy will enjoy the G40e’s performance and dynamics. This Azami SP spec might look lush, but the GT with the same engine will save you nearly $6000, looks the same externally, and can be had with a no-cost option Revera Stone light interior.
Take it for a test drive first on road conditions you frequent to see if the ride quality works for you. It’s a fair bit of car for the money, and is definitely worth a look if you’re shopping at this end of the SUV market.
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MORE: Everything Mazda CX-60