Driving report: Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV: long-distance runner

Mazda likes to go its own way.

Driving report: Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV: long-distance runner

Mazda likes to go its own way. Most of the time, this works pretty well and earns the Japanese manufacturer a lot of sympathy. And you can almost set the clock when the corporate strategists in Hiroshima put on the Frank Sinatra classic “I did it my way” and decide to swim against the tide once again.

For example, with the diesel, which many manufacturers unload on the junkyard of automotive history, while the Japanese will soon pack a newly developed 3.3-liter six-cylinder diesel into the engine compartment. The situation is similar with the plug-in hybrid drive. In Germany, the requiem is slowly being intoned and Mazda fires its new flagship CX-60 with the combination of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with 241 kW / 327 hp and an electric motor that contributes 129 kW / 175 hp to the propulsion . The electrical energy reserves come from a 17.8-kilowatt-hour battery, which is 100 percent recharged on an 11 kW wall box in 2:20 hours with a charging capacity of 7.2 kW.

And because everyone is being tricked, the CX-60 is driven along what is said to be the most dangerous road in the world: the Turkish D915 connects Of (on the Black Sea coast) with Bayburt and is considered the most dangerous road in the world. This front-runner position is mainly due to the notorious Derebaşı curves. Those 13 hairpin bends, which overcome an altitude difference of more than 320 meters within five kilometers before ending at 2,330 meters above sea level, demand a lot from man and machine. The gravel road usually only offers space for one car and any mistake can have fatal consequences, as it goes steeply downhill next to the road. We activate the off-road mode, which monitors traction more strictly, and set off. In the case of oncoming traffic, you have to back up to the next wider spot, which can only be found in curves. At a maximum speed of 20 km/h, it advances meter by meter. The Mazda SUV does a great job and climbs the mountain with ease.

But the usual area of ​​​​application of the Japanese SUV is not adventurous gravel roads, but asphalt aisles, which we were also on the road. The chassis is not consistently harmonious, as you can clearly feel the efforts of the Japanese engineers to conceal the weight of 2,147 kilograms. The suspension reliably reports every bump in the road, but then teeters on longer asphalt bumps.

You will look in vain for an auto-hybrid program in the Off-Road, EV, Normal and Sport driving modes, as the system in the Mazda CX-60 PHEV takes the reins in the Normal setting and decides which drive type is most efficient. Since you can drive up to 140 km/h purely electrically, you often drive electrically. According to the Japanese carmaker, the range is then up to 63 kilometers. If you want, you can also charge the battery while driving using the combustion engine, but this is not very efficient. The strength of the Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV lies in long stages, which you can complete in a relaxed manner with the 4.74 meter long SUV and enjoy the good workmanship of the interior, the space on both rows and the low noise level .

The four-cylinder only speaks up if you want to quickly access performance in the normal program and the eight-speed automatic falls a little into the CVT rubber band mode appreciated in Asia. If you want to have fun, activate sport. Then a little Mazda MX 5 roadster feeling wafts through the cockpit and the electrified crossover gets the most out of its 327 hp. The four-cylinder combustion engine makes every effort to underline the propulsion in a sporty and robust manner and the electric motor integrated in the transmission jumps in whenever possible and tries to plug shift gaps. Since the all-wheel drive prefers the rear-wheel drive and the electronically controlled multi-plate wet clutch engages the front axle only when required, the CX-60 PHEV allows you to circle the corners with elation and the tendency to understeer is quickly and effectively suppressed by the very vigilant control systems. If you are in a hurry, however, you have to be satisfied with a top speed of 200 km/h. After all, the standard sprint from zero to 100 km/h is completed in 5.8 seconds. Mazda specifies the average consumption as 1.5 liters per 100 kilometers and 23 kWh/100 km.

The two 12.3-inch monitors help in the cockpit. One for the virtual instruments and one for the infotainment to keep an eye on all the information. But the Mazda technicians can't quite get out of their skin and remain true to the good rotary push-button actuator. Especially since the touch control is deactivated when the car is moving. If you want, you can integrate your smartphone into the infotainment system via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. For a base price of 47,390 euros you get an SUV that does a lot well, but does not reach the driving dynamics of a BMW X5.

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