Mazda CX-60 Diesel review

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec (

We get behind the wheel of an intriguing new version of Mazda’s big SUV…

I can’t remember the last time I tested a new diesel. There’s an avalanche of new hybrids and EVs, but diesels are a bit niche these days.

Diesel once accounted for more than half of UK car sales, but the market has now collapsed closer to 10%.

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec (

However, diesels are still the car of choice for commercial drivers, towing, farmers and rescue services, plus many high-mileage motorists yet to make the switch to hybrids and electric vehicles.

The latest addition to the Mazda CX-60 range (there’s already a petrol plug-in hybrid version) is powered by a big, clean and efficient all-new e-Skyactiv D diesel engine.

Apparently, the 3.3-litre in-line six-cylinder features Distribution-Controlled Partially Premixed Compression Ignition (DCPCI) Technology. Mazda claims this advanced combustion technology makes it one of the cleanest diesel engines in the world, achieving a thermal efficiency of over 40%.

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec (

The Mazda CX-60 turbo diesel is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and is offered with a choice of two power outputs. The more powerful version has 251bhp and 550Nm (406lb ft) delivered through all four wheels, while the lower spec engine has 197bhp and 450Nm (332lb ft) fed through the rear axle only.

With the help of a 48-volt mild-hybrid boost set-up, the 197bhp engine has an official fuel economy of 56.5mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 129g/km, while the all-wheel drive comes in at 54.3mpg with a CO2 output of 137g/km.

Performance from the two is similar with the smaller output engine managing a 0-62mph acceleration time of 8.4 seconds (top speed 132mph), while the 251bhp unit tops out at 136mph and sprints to 62mph in 7.4 seconds.

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec (

Apart from the new engine, Mazda’s flagship SUV is much the same as its petrol and PHEV siblings, which is no bad thing, because its blend of equipment, tech, classy materials and build quality closes the gap on premium rivals from Europe, such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Range Rover and Volvo.

Externally, the CX-60 is very similar to the slightly smaller CX-5, but can be distinguished by its more athletic stance and bluff nose, which polarises opinion. Let’s just say that it’s not the most attractive Mazda head-on.

There’s nothing revolutionary inside the cabin. It’s still very much a Mazda, which means there’s a large centrally-located 12.3-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard and a rotary controller near the gear selector. So, rather than dabbing and swiping a touchscreen, much of the car’s functionality is accessed by a twist and click of the controller or via voice recognition.

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec (

If you’re not used to a touchscreen, it works well from the off (though using a ‘daisy wheel’ to input a place name in the sat nav is tiresome).

Thankfully, Mazda has also kept some buttons and dials, so the climate control can be accessed separately and there’s still an audio volume knob. Additionally, there’s extra functionality, such as cruise control via the steering wheel, while the clear head-up display is one of the best.

The cabin itself is spacious, though little different to the CX-5 in the back, so while adults can sit comfortably in the rear, there’s not class-leading legroom.

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec (

That said, the boot is a substantial 570 litres, expanding to 1,726 litres with the rear seats folded down.

The driving position is great, with plenty of adjustment available (unusually for an SUV, it is possible to sit lower if you prefer). Whichever you choose, there’s a commanding view of the road.

Mazda isn’t pretending it’s a hardcore 4×4, but the extra traction and raised ride height should help you out at festivals and on those rare extreme weather events.

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec

I tested the all-wheel drive version of the Mazda CX-60 diesel in mid-range Homura trim.

It seemed incongruous to be driving a big new diesel like this, but once I got some serious miles under my belt, it was easy to appreciate the advantages of a diesel again.

There’s stacks of torque and I achieved more than 50mpg on a long journey, mostly consisting of A roads and motorways.

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec

It may be cleaner and more efficient, but there’s no mistaking the fact that it’s a diesel. For the most part it’s smooth, but it clatters a bit until it’s up to temperature and under heavy acceleration.

The smooth and responsive automatic gearbox works nicely, and is only hesitant when you put your foot down after the mild-hybrid system has shut off the engine for brief periods when coasting.

For instance, when using adaptive cruise control set at 70mph on the motorway, it’s usually possible to indicate and move out to the fast lane to overtake, but the CX-60 diesel seemed reluctant to kick down.

Initially, the CX-60 feels big and heavy, but you soon settle in, and it feels surprisingly agile and controlled in more challenging corners.

Mazda CX-60 Diesel - Takumi spec

There’s plenty of grip and traction, while the steering is light and precise, and the brakes are reassuringly effective.

The ride is on the firm side though, and it’s at its most relaxed and refined best cruising along. My test car came with big 20-inch wheels, which probably didn’t help in the comfort stakes, so it might be worth trying an entry-level Exclusive-Line which sits on 18-inch rubber.

It’s also worth noting that the CX-60 has a decent towing capacity of 2,500kg.

The Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv D range is priced from £43,010 (the 251bhp costs £45,655) and its rivals (in terms of size) include the Volvo XC60, Lexus NX, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Genesis GV70.

Verdict: The mild-hybrid diesel version of the classy, boldly-styled Mazda CX-60 is a powerful, frugal and surprisingly engaging big SUV. A car that proves there’s still mileage in diesels, but it is a shrinking market.

Mazda UK

1,200 HP Audi TT RS Takes on Wicked RX-7 in Intriguing Drag Race

1,200 HP Audi TT RS vs 1,000 HP Mazda RX-7

This heavily modified Audi TT RS proves to be a close match for the equally wicked Mazda, making for some exciting action.

Outside of our world, the Audi TT RS is somewhat of an unknown, a special performance machine that few are aware of, which is obviously a shame. We’ve always felt like the high-performance version of the already-cool TT is an amazing all-rounder, one that delivers a muscle car experience in a comfortable, luxurious, and handsome package. However, if you throw a couple turbos at it, the Audi TT RS can be taken to the next level, as we can see in this new video from Hoonigan’s This vs, That series.

The Audi TT RS in this video has been modified in a number of ways, giving its 2.5-liter inline-five cylinder powerplant a rather hefty output of 1,200 horsepower. Built by Iroz Motorsport, the little Audi features the company’s IMS 1000 kit, a huge air intake, billet manifold, nitrous, and some massive 2600cc injectors. A pair of carbon fiber seats help shed some pounds, along with a rear seat delete, but the stock dual-clutch transmission handles all that extra power with no modifications, while the suspension gets KW lowering springs.

1,200 HP Audi TT RS vs 1,000 HP Mazda RX-7

In the other lane on this particular day is an equally wicked Mazda RX-7 powered by a billet four rotor rotary powerplant with a 94mm Garrett turbo, sending its 1,000 horsepower to all four wheels (thanks to an AWD conversion) via a sequential six-speed transmission. The addition of that extra gear does give the RX-7 a bit of a weight penalty, however, as it tips the scales at 3,500 pounds versus the TT RS at just 3,000 pounds.

1,200 HP Audi TT RS vs 1,000 HP Mazda RX-7

So how does all of this translate to straight line performance? In the first race from a dig, the Mazda uses its traction advantage to get a jump on the Audi, which hangs right with it until the very end, though it ultimately loses out by a small margin. The rotary-powered beast isn’t quite as lucky in round two, however, as the Mazda struggles to find traction and the TT RS takes an easy win, setting up the third and final showdown to determine a winner.

This time around, it’s no contest, as the Audi TT RS rockets out to an early lead and holds it to the finish line, winning by the largest margin of the day. But these Hoonigan-hosted races are rarely this close, nor do they require a tie-breaker, so we can’t help but be impressed by how well these two very different machines match up.

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Revealed: The UK’s most reliable car brands

Gareth Herincx

23 hours ago
Auto News


Honda

Japanese and Korean car manufacturers have once again dominated an annual Top 10 of most reliable marques.

Honda topped the table, scoring an impressive 96.8/100 overall, according to Warrantywise – the UK’s leading extended car warranty provider,

The Reliability Index is compiled from more than 131,000 active extended car warranty plans between 2021 and 2022,

It ranks every car on a combination of factors, including the cost to carry out repairs and the frequency rate of those repairs.

With an impressive overall score of 96.8/100, Honda’s solid reputation for being ultra-dependable seems unshakeable, and as shown in previous Warrantywise data, the Honda Jazz was named the most reliable used car in this year’s Reliability Index.

Toyota came a close second, scoring 91.2/100 overall, followed by Suzuki.

Top 10 most reliable car brands 2022

  1. Honda – 96.8
  2. Toyota – 91.2
  3. Suzuki 88.7
  4. Kia 86.2
  5. Hyundai 80.5
  6. Fiat 79.9
  7. Citroën 74.3
  8. Renault 73.2
  9. Mazda 73.1
  10. Ford 73.1

“As the cost of living continues to rise, it’s important to keep things like reliability at the forefront of our minds when choosing a used car to buy,” said Lawrence Whittaker, CEO of Warrantywise.

“By collecting and collating all this data into an index like this one, we’re able to further help our customers with their purchases by arming them with information to try and help lessen the burden as much as we can.”

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Mazda CX-60 review

Mazda CX-60

We road test the plug-in hybrid version of the classy new Mazda CX-60 mid-sized SUV…

Slotting in above the slightly smaller CX-5, the all-new CX-60 is Mazda’s new flagship SUV.

Not only does it close the gap on premium rivals from Europe, such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Range Rover and Volvo, but it’s available as Mazda’s first ever plug-in hybrid.

The Japanese company still hasn’t given up on the internal combustion engine and the PHEV version is a natural progression.

Mazda CX-60

What’s more, plug-in hybrids look like they will get a stay of execution for five years after the sales of new petrol and diesel cars are banned in 2030, so there’s life in the technology yet.

The CX-60 PHEV combines a normally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 100kW electric motor and a 17.8kWh battery.

The result is a total output of 323bhp and 369lb ft of torque, making it the most powerful road car Mazda has ever produced, capable of sprinting from standstill to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds.

What’s more, on paper, fuel economy could be as high as 188mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 33g/km.

Mazda CX-60

Offering up to 39 miles of pure electric driving from a full charge, your visits to a petrol station could be few and far between if you have a modest daily commute. And if you’re a business user, considerable tax advantages come with that meagre CO2 figure.

Further down the line, Mazda will also be offering the CX-60 with 3.3-litre diesel and 3.0-litre petrol engines – both six-cylinders paired with a 48V mild hybrid system.

Priced from £43,950, there’s a choice of three plush trim levels – Exclusive-Line, Homura and Takumi.

You can also choose from two option packs across all grades (Convenience Pack and Driver Assistance Pack), while a Comfort Pack is available on Exclusive-Line.

Mazda CX-60

Highlights of the £1,000 Convenience Pack include privacy glass, a 360 view monitor and wireless phone charging, while the Driver Assistance Pack adds extra active safety technology for £1,100.

The £1,400 Comfort Pack includes goodies such as 20-inch alloy wheels, electric front seats, front seat ventilation and heated rear seats.

Not only is the CX-60 PHEV well equipped, it’s superbly put together and the quality of the materials used inside the cabin is excellent.

Externally, the CX-60 is very similar to the CX-5, but can be distinguished by its bold nose, which polarises opinion. Let’s just say that it’s not the most attractive Mazda head-on.

Mazda CX-60

And at just 190mm longer, 50mm wider and about the same height, there’s not much between them in size, though the CX-60’s more athletic stance hides its height a little better.

There’s nothing revolutionary inside the cabin. It’s still very much a Mazda, which is no bad thing.

There’s a large centrally-located 12.3-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard, while Mazda’s sticking with its rotary controller near the gear selector. It’s not a touchscreen, and much of the car’s functionality is accessed by a twist and click.

If you’re not used to a touchscreen, it works well from the off, and even if you are, it becomes second nature after a few hours.

Mazda CX-60

Thankfully, Mazda has kept some buttons and dials, so the climate control can be accessed separately and there’s still an audio volume knob. Additionally, there’s extra functionality, such as cruise control via the steering wheel, while the clear head-up display is one of the best.

The cabin itself is spacious, though little different to the CX-5 in the back, so while adults can sit comfortably in the rear, there’s not class-leading legroom.

The CX-60’s substantial 570-litre boot is about 50 litres bigger than the CX-5’s, expanding to 1,726 litres with the rear seats folded down.

The driving position is great, with plenty of adjustment available (unusually for an SUV, it is possible to sit lower if you prefer). Whichever you choose, there’s a commanding view of the road.

Mazda CX-60

If you’ve had your CX-60 on charge (it takes 2hr 20 min via a 7kW home charger), or you have some charge left, it will start off in EV mode.

Unlike some PHEVs, there is a vague whine from the off, but it’s smooth going and, in theory, if you take it easy the petrol engine won’t kick in until you hit 62mph.

The transition from EV to petrol and vice versa is seamless if you’re not in a hurry. However, if you’re heavy with your right foot there’s a little hesitation and the petrol engine becomes more vocal.

There are four drive modes accessed by a selector (Mi-Drive) near the rotary controller – Normal, Sport, Off-Road and EV.

Mazda CX-60

Frankly, Normal is just fine. The driver’s display turns an angry red if you select Sport and the engine can get a little harsh, but it does firm up the throttle response and handling.

Obviously EV will keep you driving in electric mode until the battery runs out, while Off-Road will help you along if the going gets tough.

Mazda isn’t pretending it’s a hardcore 4×4, but the extra traction and raised ride height should help you out on those rare extreme weather occasions.

The petrol engine is mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and for the most part it works perfectly well. However, it can be hesitant on kickdown and hold onto a gear for a little longer on hills. Should that happen, it is possible to manually hurry things along via the steering wheel paddle shifters.

Initially, the CX-60 feels big and heavy, but thanks to that excellent driving position and Mazda’s “Kinetic Posture Control” technology, you soon settle in, and it feels surprisingly agile and controlled in more challenging corners.

Mazda CX-60

There’s plenty of grip and traction, while the steering is light and precise. As with most hybrids, the brakes aren’t the most progressive, but they are effective, and you soon get used to them.

The ride is on the firm side, and even though there’s plenty of power on tap, it is at its most relaxed and refined best cruising along.

As with any PHEV, fuel economy will depend on whether you keep the battery charged up, journey length, speed and driving style. So, while 100mpg is quite possible on shorter runs where the petrol engine is hardly used, your MPG can dip into the 30s on longer trips when the battery charge is used up and the 2.5-litre petrol engine does the heavy lifting.

It’s also worth noting that the CX-60 is one of the few PHEVs able to pull a caravan or trailer with a decent towing capacity of 2,500kg.

The CX-60 is a welcome addition to the plug-in hybrid club that includes some formidable opposition in the shape of the Toyota RAV4, Volvo XC60, Lexus NX, Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

Verdict: The boldly styled new Mazda CX-60 is a class act. Practical, powerful, engaging to drive, generously equipped and well put together with quality materials, it’s very much a premium SUV.

Mazda UK

Mazda CX-5 review

Mazda CX-5 review

We’ve been driving the new, improved Mazda CX-5 – still one of the best mid-sized SUVs on the market

Originally launched in 2017 and treated to a refresh for 2022, Mazda has done just enough to keep the CX-5 competitive against fierce new opposition from the likes of the latest Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4.

At first glance the “new” CX-5 is almost identical to the 2021 model, for this is the most subtle of facelifts.

Mazda CX-5 review

There are new headlight and taillight clusters, while the front and rear bumpers have been tweaked, along with the front grille.

Elsewhere, there’s a new drive mode selector on selected models and an expanded range of safety features, while Mazda claims there’s reduced road noise and enhanced driving dynamics.

There are five trim levels: SE-L, Newground, Sport, Sport Black and GT Sport. Newground is new for 2022, featuring a slightly more rugged look with front and rear silver underguard trims matched to silver lower body side skirts, black door mirrors and 19-inch black diamond cut alloy wheels, plus subtle lime green accents in the grille, which are replicated inside.

Mazda CX-5 review

Priced from £28,145, the CX-5 range is certainly not at the bargain end of the sector. In fact, the top-of-the-range GT Sport, complete with a 2.5-litre petrol engine and all-wheel drive, is the wrong side of £38,000 all in with optional extras.

That said, it’s hard to fault the build quality, while the overall feel is nudging premium rivals such as the Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40.

Inside, the spacious interior is attractive and intuitively laid out. However, it is traditional and light years away from the dual-screen infotainment set-up on the new Sportage, for instance.

Mazda CX-5 review

The seats are comfortable and supportive, there’s a commanding driving position and there’s space for five adults with plenty of rear leg and headroom. The boot is a useful 510 litres, expanding to 1,626 litres with the rear seats folded.

As I say, the technology isn’t class-leading, but easy to use and it’s good to see that Mazda has stuck with a rotary controller (next to the gear-shifter) for accessing frequently used infotainment functions – no need for all that distracting swiping, pinching and finger-dabbing on the 10.25-inch screen.

Mind you, it’s a while since I’ve used a daisy wheel for letter/number selection on a sat nav.

Mazda CX-5 review

I tested three versions of the new CX-5 – the flagship 2.5-litre (191bhp) petrol model with 6-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive, plus the entry-level 2.0-litre (163bhp) petrol and 2.2-litre (148bhp) diesel – both front-wheel drive and blessed with Mazda’s slick six-speed manual box.

The CX-5 is at its dynamic best on challenging country roads, where it’s also surprisingly agile for a substantial crossover. And of course, it will also cruise comfortably on the motorway.

But here’s the thing, there’s no need to pay extra for the big 2.5-litre engine. When pushed, it’s a tad vocal, and there isn’t as much pulling power as you’d expect. Economy is also disappointing, while the auto box is a little hesitant at times and tends to hold onto lower gears under acceleration.

Mazda CX-5 review

If you’re not put off by diesels, then opt for that engine option because it delivers the best combination of performance and economy. That said, the basic petrol works well too, and the sporty six-speed manual is a gem.

It’s worth mentioning that I tested out the big petrol variant’s all-wheel drive. Simply select the Off-Road setting on the new Mazda Intelligent Drive Select (Mi Drive) beside the gear lever and off it goes.

With standard road tyres, it can cope with a muddy field and the raised ride keeps the car clear of trouble, but we’re not talking serious all-terrain capability.

Verdict: The new Mazda CX-5 is starting to show its age when it comes to technology and the lack of hybrid powertrain options, but it’s still one of the best handing SUVs on the market. Distinctive, stylish, comfortable, practical and well built, it’s a class act.

Mazda CX-5 review