MAZDA has entered new territory with its first plug-in hybrid vehicle – resulting in a flagship SUV worthy of its billing.

The CX-60 combines a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a 129kW electric motor and a 17.8kWh high-capacity battery.

That produces a meaty 323bhp and 500Nm of torque - making it the most powerful road car Mazda has ever produced. To get that down on the road, power is sent to all four wheels.

You certainly feel and hear the electric boost under heavy acceleration, with the car capable of a 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds, which feels very swift for a sizeable family vehicle.

Mazda is keen to point out that its first PHEV has strong environmental credentials, with WLTP combined fuel consumption of 188mpg and CO2 emissions of 33g/km.

Central Fife Times: Mazda CX-60 Exclusive-line

To come close to those figures, you’d need to keep the battery well-charged and not engage in too many spirited spells of driving, letting the eight speed automatic gearbox do its thing in the most relaxed way possible.

The CX-60 feels well-planted when cornering, offering excellent grip, poise and balance.

The feeling of the car being stuck to the road is brought about by a particularly low centre of gravity, created by the fact the high voltage battery is positioned at the centre of the car and as low as possible.

The permanent all-wheel drive system incorporating shaft-driven transfer of torque between the axles is a further boost to grip levels.

The Mazda Intelligent Drive Select offers a choice of drive modes: Normal, Sport, Off-Road, Towing and EV, with the latter making it possible to drive under electric power alone.

Mazda estimates a 39-mile all-electric range is possible with a full battery, although I found this to be closer to 30 miles in real-world driving.

Central Fife Times: Mazda CX-60 Exclusive-line

When you step inside, you’re met with a high-standard interior in terms of design, quality and technology, feeling quite luxurious.

The CX-60 shares the same carefully-considered cockpit design you come to associate with Mazda, with a symmetrical layout focused on the driver. There’s a good driving position and excellent visibility.

The seats are comfortable and supportive, offering bags of legroom and headroom for front and back seat occupants, while the 570-litre boot ensures it’s the most practical car in Mazda’s line up.

There’s a big centre console and all models have a head up display as standard.

At a time when many rivals are leaning towards touchscreen-operated car interiors, the CX-60 offers a button-adorned dashboard that helps ease of use, with a dial down to your left controlling most of the functions on the large infotainment screen.

Central Fife Times: The interior

My test car came with the Convenience Pack, including privacy glass, a 360 view monitor with see through view and wireless phone charging.

The all-new Mazda CX-60 is the first of two new models from the company’s Large Product group to be introduced throughout Europe during the next two years, with the second being the three-row Mazda CX-80.

In terms of looks, the CX-60 has a classy and curvaceous appearance.

It uses Mazda’s ’s familiar ‘Kodo’ design language, with the emphasis on smooth edges and subtle details instead of heavy creases.

Three trim levels are offered in the UK: Exclusive Line, Homura and Takumi. Even entry-level Exclusive Line.

With great acceleration, a nice interior and appealing looks, the CX-60 is an excellent all-rounder.

Mazda CX-60 Exclusive-line

ENGINE: 2.5-litre petrol engine with a 129kW electric motor

0-62 MPH: 5.8 seconds

FUEL TYPE: Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid


MPG: Official overall fuel economy figure 188.3


PRICE: From £45,420