If you're looking for an SUV that's different from the crowd, the Mazda CX-60 3.3 e-Skyactiv D AWD is worth exploring. It's unlike anything else out there, with its 3.3-litre turbodiesel straight six engine that natively drives the rear axle.
At a time when most automakers are downsizing and using hybrid or electric powertrains, Mazda has taken a different approach. And it's not just for show - there are solid reasons for the CX-60's existence. In everyday driving, the high-capacity diesel engine does everything a 2.0-litre four does, but at lower load and temperatures.
Thanks to its atypical combustion technology, the CX-60's thermal efficiency surpasses 40%, allowing it to get 54.3mpg and emit 139g/km of CO2. That's better than many competitors, including the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and BMW X3.
But how does it drive? The engine can be a bit noisy at low temperatures, but it quickly improves as it warms up. The mid-range torque is impressive, and the chassis balance and steering weight are better than the class average. The gearbox is well calibrated, too.
Where the Mazda CX-60 falls short is in ride quality. The coil springs and passive dampers don't provide enough isolation from road noise, making it feel a bit rough on town roads. The back axle also lacks the control and precision of competitors from BMW and Audi.
However, if you're looking for a handsome, spacious, and uncommon SUV that's rewarding to drive on the right road and can get 50mpg, the CX-60 is worth considering. Plus, with a petrol version in development, it could get even better.
Ultimately, the Mazda CX-60 3.3 e-Skyactiv D AWD is proof that Mazda isn't afraid to do things differently. By creating an SUV with a revolutionary powertrain and a unique driving experience, Mazda has once again shown why it's a brand worth paying attention to.