REVIEW: Mazda’s dad-bod CX-60 has grown up in more ways than one

Published Jun 4, 2024


I’ve always loved the Mazda brand.

Their designs are iconic, their motors reliable, their build quality solid, and their engines always up to the task, albeit sometimes underpowered.

Mazda’s MX-5 is the best-selling roadster of all time. The RX-8 was revolutionary with its rotary engine. The CX-5 remains one of my top choices of mid-size SUV.

With the introduction of the chunkier CX-60, Mazda made no bones about wanting to move a bit more upmarket.

@lancethewit10 I tested the Mazda CX-60 for you. Honestly, there are better, quicker options in this price range, but you’ve got the peace of mind of Mazda’s build quality and reliability, and it’s packed with standard features, without many of the loud, distracting nanny warnings most of the Chinese options have. It’s hella comfortable, built for cruising, not speed, and will eat up kilometres… until you need to refill the small fuel tank (only 58 litres) to keep the 2.5l engine happy. I averaged a touch under 10l/100km. Honestly, great car, but I wouldn’t buy it - it does feel smaller than its size, especially when parking, but was a little too grown up and sensible for me. #Mazda #CX60 #carsoftiktok #car #review @IOLNEWS ♬ original sound - Lance Witten450

You can tell so from the minute you climb into the cavernous cabin.

The materials used in the interior and on the dash are of the plush variety. It’s tastefully appointed. The graphics on the digital instrument cluster are crystal clear and easy to read and adjust. And the controls for the infotainment system are equally easy enough to navigate.

The CX-60’s seats are large and comfortable; the kind that invite you to hit the long road.

But herein lies the challenge — not only is it not the most economical SUV around, the fuel tank is also not the biggest, making long road trips a bit of a struggle.

The CX-60 comes with two engine options: there’s a 2.5 litre naturally aspirated petrol, and a 3.3 litre straight six turbodiesel. The oil-burner is the one I’d pick after spending a week in the 2.5l petrol model.

Mazda’s are known for their free-revving engines, and you really need to wring the neck of the petrol model to eke out each of its 141kW on offer. It’s got 261Nm of torque, which is not much considering the vehicle’s size, and you’ll really only get the best of the engine over 5,000RPM.

2024 Mazda CX-60 Takumi

But that’s not really what it’s for, is it?

No, the CX-60 is for arriving with everything you need in style. And for that, nearly 500 litres of boot space is on offer, as well as plenty of nooks for storage pretty much everywhere in the cabin.

2024 Mazda CX-60 Takumi rear

The rear doors also open to almost 90°, making ingress and egress a cinch, especially when you’ve got to lean in to attach car seats and buckle little ones up.

The interior has also clearly been designed around the driver, with everything within easy reach, including the MiDrive rocker switch and scrollwheel to operate the infotainment system. There’s also a handy array of occular sensors that will pick up and alert you when your eyes aren’t focused on the road, or it detects drowsiness.

It’s not athletic, though, and that’s where my main concern lies. Mazda has always made cars that inspire movement, with dynamic suspension setups that delivered driving pleasure.

The CX-60 wafts more than it moves with urgency, despite the swiftness and agility still seemingly lurking in its DNA.

Basically, with the CX-60, Mazda SUVs have entered their dad-bod era.

And that’s not entirely a bad thing. The CX-5 was, for me at least, a working-class Jaguar F-Pace in terms of looks. The CX-60 pits Mazda against more grown-up and sensible rivals.

No doubt the upcoming CX-80 will add more in terms of practicality, but I’m unsure the CX-60 has enough going for it to justify its price tag.

The Dynamic RWD 2.5l goes for R739,800, the Individual AWD petrol will set you back R844,500, and the 3.3l diesel AWD with 187kW on tap costs R1,049,200.

There are more attractive-looking, well-specced options below this price range if I’m quite honest, with perkier engines to boot, that would put the 8-speed AT and 58 litre fuel tank to better use.

But if what you’re looking for is a spacious, airy, feature-laden soft-roader that will get you where you want to be in comfort and style, the CX-60 is for you.

IOL Motoring