Review of the 2023 Mazda CX-60 D50e Azami

Mazda’s transformation from a mainstream player to a premium brand is exemplified by the new CX-60 range. The top-spec CX-60 Azami showcases Mazda’s upscale aspirations, although there are some remnants of Mazda’s past that hold this new model back.

The CX-60 represents Mazda’s unique approach to engineering. While other brands are downsizing engines and embracing electrification, Mazda has introduced a range of new six-cylinder engines and a different type of automatic transmission. The brand has also focused on improving interior fit-out and technology to rival that of prestigious brands.

Mazda’s decision to use six-cylinder engines and a multi-clutch pack transmission is not entirely unconventional. However, the brand has embraced electrification with a 48-volt mild hybrid system on six-cylinder petrol and diesel models and a plug-in hybrid four-cylinder option. Surprisingly, there is no pure EV option in the CX-60 range.

Despite these unique features, Mazda has carefully honed every aspect of the CX-60 to enhance its strengths and attract more affluent buyers. However, the brand’s driver-oriented focus could potentially hold it back from competing with premium brands.

The flagship CX-60 Azami grade paired with the new 3.3-litre turbo-diesel six-cylinder engine was put to the test to see if the CX-60 lives up to its premium positioning while maintaining Mazda’s strong-selling medium SUV sales success.

The CX-60 range starts at $59,800 for the entry-level CX-60 P50e Evolve petrol and goes up to $73,000 for the top-spec Azami. The CX-60 Azami, paired with the diesel engine, starts at $75,000. There are options available such as the Takumi or SP design packages and premium paint options, which can push the price up further.

The CX-60 faces competition from both mainstream and luxury brands. Mainstream alternatives include the Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid, Nissan X-Trail Ti-L e-Power, and Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line. Luxury alternatives include the Audi Q5 40 TDI, BMW X3 xDrive 20d, and Genesis GV70 2.2d. However, the Mazda’s six-cylinder diesel offers more power and performance compared to its luxury competitors.

The interior of the CX-60 is spacious and offers a premium presentation. The Azami grade with the SP package adds touches like tan-colored nappa leather, faux-suede inserts, quilted seat detailing, and dark finishes to the interior brightwork. The attention to detail in the cabin rivals established luxury brands.

The driver and front passenger have plenty of room, although storage options are limited. The rear seat passengers will appreciate the increased space compared to the CX-5, but it is still not suitable for long journeys.

Despite its premium positioning, the CX-60 lacks some practical interior touches, such as rear sun blinds and third-zone climate control for rear seat passengers.

Overall, the CX-60 represents Mazda’s evolution towards a premium brand. With its unique engineering features and attention to detail in the interior, the CX-60 competes with both mainstream and luxury brands. However, its driver-focused approach may limit its appeal to families looking for a well-rounded SUV.