We get behind the wheel of an intriguing new model of Mazda’s large SUV…
I can’t bear in mind the final time I examined a brand new diesel. There’s an avalanche of recent hybrids and EVs, however diesels are a bit area of interest as of late.
Diesel as soon as accounted for greater than half of UK automotive gross sales, however the market has now collapsed nearer to 10%.
Nevertheless, diesels are nonetheless the automotive of selection for industrial drivers, towing, farmers and rescue providers, plus many high-mileage motorists but to make the swap to hybrids and electrical autos.
The most recent addition to the Mazda CX-60 vary (there’s already a petroleum plug-in hybrid model) is powered by an enormous, clear and environment friendly all-new e-Skyactiv D diesel engine.
Apparently, the three.3-litre in-line six-cylinder options Distribution-Managed Partially Premixed Compression Ignition (DCPCI) Expertise. Mazda claims this superior combustion know-how makes it one of many cleanest diesel engines on the planet, reaching a thermal effectivity of over 40%.
The Mazda CX-60 turbo diesel is mated to an eight-speed automated gearbox and is obtainable with a selection of two energy outputs. The extra highly effective model has 251bhp and 550Nm (406lb ft) delivered by means of all 4 wheels, whereas the decrease spec engine has 197bhp and 450Nm (332lb ft) fed by means of the rear axle solely.
With the assistance of a 48-volt mild-hybrid enhance set-up, the 197bhp engine has an official gas economic system of 56.5mpg with CO2 emissions as little as 129g/km, whereas the all-wheel drive is available in at 54.3mpg with a CO2 output of 137g/km.
Efficiency from the 2 is comparable with the smaller output engine managing a 0-62mph acceleration time of 8.4 seconds (high velocity 132mph), whereas the 251bhp unit tops out at 136mph and sprints to 62mph in 7.4 seconds.
Other than the brand new engine, Mazda’s flagship SUV is way the identical as its petrol and PHEV siblings, which is not any dangerous factor, as a result of its mix of apparatus, tech, elegant supplies and construct high quality closes the hole on premium rivals from Europe, resembling Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Vary Rover and Volvo.
Externally, the CX-60 is similar to the marginally smaller CX-5, however may be distinguished by its extra athletic stance and bluff nostril, which polarises opinion. Let’s simply say that it’s not probably the most enticing Mazda head-on.
There’s nothing revolutionary contained in the cabin. It’s nonetheless very a lot a Mazda, which implies there’s a big centrally-located 12.3-inch infotainment display on high of the dashboard and a rotary controller close to the gear selector. So, moderately than dabbing and swiping a touchscreen, a lot of the automotive’s performance is accessed by a twist and click on of the controller or through voice recognition.
For those who’re not used to a touchscreen, it really works properly from the off (although utilizing a ‘daisy wheel’ to enter a spot identify within the sat nav is tiresome).
Fortunately, Mazda has additionally saved some buttons and dials, so the local weather management may be accessed individually and there’s nonetheless an audio quantity knob. Moreover, there’s further performance, resembling cruise management through the steering wheel, whereas the clear head-up show is likely one of the greatest.
The cabin itself is spacious, although little totally different to the CX-5 within the again, so whereas adults can sit comfortably within the rear, there’s not class-leading legroom.
That mentioned, the boot is a considerable 570 litres, increasing to 1,726 litres with the rear seats folded down.
The driving place is nice, with loads of adjustment out there (unusually for an SUV, it’s potential to take a seat decrease if you happen to favor). Whichever you select, there’s a commanding view of the street.
Mazda isn’t pretending it’s a hardcore 4×4, however the further traction and raised journey top ought to enable you to out at festivals and on these uncommon excessive climate occasions.
I examined the all-wheel drive model of the Mazda CX-60 diesel in mid-range Homura trim.
It appeared incongruous to be driving an enormous new diesel like this, however as soon as I obtained some critical miles beneath my belt, it was straightforward to understand the benefits of a diesel once more.
There’s stacks of torque and I achieved greater than 50mpg on an extended journey, principally consisting of A roads and motorways.
It could be cleaner and extra environment friendly, however there’s no mistaking the truth that it’s a diesel. For probably the most half it’s clean, nevertheless it clatters a bit till it’s as much as temperature and beneath heavy acceleration.
The graceful and responsive automated gearbox works properly, and is barely hesitant if you put your foot down after the mild-hybrid system has shut off the engine for temporary intervals when coasting.
As an illustration, when utilizing adaptive cruise management set at 70mph on the motorway, it’s often potential to point and transfer out to the quick lane to overhaul, however the CX-60 diesel appeared reluctant to kick down.
Initially, the CX-60 feels large and heavy, however you quickly settle in, and it feels surprisingly agile and managed in tougher corners.
There’s loads of grip and traction, whereas the steering is mild and exact, and the brakes are reassuringly efficient.
The journey is on the agency aspect although, and it’s at its most relaxed and refined greatest cruising alongside. My check automotive got here with large 20-inch wheels, which in all probability didn’t assist in the consolation stakes, so it is perhaps value making an attempt an entry-level Unique-Line which sits on 18-inch rubber.
It’s additionally value noting that the CX-60 has an honest towing capability of two,500kg.
The Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv D vary is priced from £43,010 (the 251bhp prices £45,655) and its rivals (when it comes to measurement) embody the Volvo XC60, Lexus NX, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Genesis GV70.
Verdict: The mild-hybrid diesel model of the fashionable, boldly-styled Mazda CX-60 is a strong, frugal and surprisingly participating large SUV. A automotive that proves there’s nonetheless mileage in diesels, however it’s a shrinking market.