Mazda CX-60 PHEV AWD Takumi review.
**** out of 5
Price – £51,800
For – luxurious, fast, well-equipped, handsome, frugal around town, competitively priced
Against – battery-only range lags competition, fuel consumption claim laughable
Competition – BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Hyundai Sant Fe, Toyota RAV4
“the most important piece of data for me is the fact that if I used the CX-60 PHEV for my usual motoring, I would never use any petrol at all”
Mazda’s new CX-60 SUV boasts its first plug-in hybrid but disappoints with its claimed 39 miles of electric-only range, which turns out to be only an average of 31.2 miles in real-world action.
The latest plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), like the Suzuki Across/Toyota RAV4, make closer to 50 miles, but despite this Mazda shortfall the concept works given this ability will still be well within the average daily use of a vehicle for local commuting, shopping and the school run. PHEVs have bigger batteries than regular hybrids which allow battery-only operation usually of at least 30 miles. Traditional “self-charging” hybrids like the Toyota Prius mix a petrol engine with a battery, which work together to improve fuel consumption and cut carbon dioxide (CO2). They typically have less than a mile of battery-only operation.
Mazda claims the overall fuel consumption of its CX-60 PHEV is 188.3 mpg, and the company offers no details as to how this fantastical efficiency can be attained. Mazda is not alone in this and just about all other manufacturers’ claims for PHEV average fuel consumption brag about fuel efficiency which is not of this world. None of them explain how this is achieved but it is clearly a result of some test dictated by unworldly European Union (EU) officials. My overall fuel consumption in the Mazda was 71.6 mpg over a week and 325 miles. That was a mixture of local, urban and highway driving, but I fear long-range, high (and legal) motorway journeys without benefit of the battery would only reach about 35 mpg.
I plugged in this CX-60 every day for a week, mostly in very cold weather, and it filled the battery ranging from 29 miles to 35, often insisting, curiously on my app, that it had actually pumped in 51 miles. But the most important piece of data for me is the fact that if I used the CX-60 PHEV for my usual motoring, I would never use any petrol at all. Surely that is the most important fact if you are interested in buying a vehicle that keeps carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to a minimum, but you feel battery electric vehicles (BEV) are not yet ready for primetime and the motorway.
“an aggressive growl should aggravate axe-grinders who want to ban PHEVs”
BEVs are clearly not up to the job, yet. They are fine if you always plug-in at home, but if you need to go further afield, my experience shows they are not up to it. Any PHEV will keep you CO2 free in everyday use but can readily take on the annual race to the sun without inducing a nervous breakdown or tripling the time taken for the journey, or both. Overall range was about 300 miles.
The CX-60 all-wheel drive Takumi is a lot of car even for £50,000. It looks handsome and well-built. Inside the quality is very impressive with leather and veneer; definitely up there with BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Lexus. Its exceptional performance, high level of specification and keen pricing will certainly win buyers. There’s a choice of four model grades: Prime-line, Exclusive-line, Takumi and Homura.
After you select D for drive, you can choose Sport, Normal, (which will switch between electric and ICE), Electric only and Offroad. The performance was top class too. When it ran out of electricity and switched to the 2.5 litre direct injection petrol engine, it boasted an aggressive growl which should aggravate green axe-grinders who want to ban PHEVs.
Green lobby groups like Brussels-based Transport & Environment (T&E) want to ban PHEVs because some fleet operators have bought them with big government subsidies. But their drivers, who charge the petrol cost to the company, have no incentive to actually plug the things in, so don’t bother. This means that PHEVs used like this will use more fuel than a standard ICE because of the extra weight. This “problem” could be solved by making sure operatives plugged them in daily. Geo-fencing could also make sure when used in cities they ran on battery-power only.
“The automatic warning system had an annoying habit of flashing and barking “Brake! Brake!” for no apparent reason”
T&E clearly doesn’t understand that private motorists who pay through the nose for their own fuel, will certainly plug in at every opportunity. But T&E is more interested in gestures and insists these evil machines must be banned. But why should private motorists who very much pay for their own fuel be denied the flexibility and the banishment of range anxiety that PHEVs can provide?
Mazdas always drive and ride well and the CX-60 was no exception. I found the entertainment selection process opaque and the switches were too small, but regular use will solve any difficulties. The automatic warning system had an annoying habit of flashing red and barking “Brake! Brake!” for no apparent reason. I loved the Head Up Display and remotely operated rear door.
What to buy?
Mazda’s new CX-60 models mark the start of a move up-market into the territory long dominated by BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Porsche. A bigger SUV will follow in Europe with the CX-80. These models will be available with either petrol, diesel, mild hybrid, hybrid or plug-in hybrid electric power. By 2030, 25% of Mazda’s global product offering will be BEVs. Mazda refuses to be cowed into giving up ICE power prematurely, and it says it will carry on globally improving the fuel efficiency of its gasoline and diesel engines.
Mazda’s CX-60 range is well qualified to challenge the conventional choices in the premium segment. Watch out you Germans!
Mazda CX-60 PHEV AWD Takumi
|Mazda CX-60 PHEV AWD Takumi|
|Engine:||2.5 litre, 4-cylinder, direct injection petrol|
|Total Power:||323 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Total Torque:||500 Nm @ 4,000|
|Battery Capacity:||17.8 kWH|
|Battery-Only Range:||claimed 39 miles –
WintonsWorld test average 31.2 miles
|Fuel Consumption:||claimed average 188.3 mpg -
WintonsWorld test average 71.6 mpg
|Top Speed:||124 mph|
|Acceleration:||0 to 60 mph – 5.5 seconds|
|CO2:||33 g/km Euro stage 6d|
|Service Intervals:||12,500 miles or 12 months|
|Warranty:||3 years, 60,000 miles Battery warranty – 8 years|
|Boot capacity:||570/1,726 litres|
|PHEV Competition:||includes BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Hyundai Sant Fe, Toyota RAV 4|
|Rating:||**** out of 5|
|Price:||£51,800 (£48,050 plus Convenience Pack £1,000, Driver Assistance Pack £1,000, Sunroof £1,000)|
|For:||luxurious, fast, well-equipped, handsome, frugal around town, competitively priced|
|Against:||battery range lags competition, fuel consumption claim laughable|
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