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2023 Mazda CX-60 to start north of $60,000? New-gen engines including PHEV mean premium SUV will be closer to Lexus, Genesis pricing

auto, autos, car, cars, genesis, lexus, mazda, 2023 mazda cx-60 to start north of $60,000? new-gen engines including phev mean premium suv will be closer to lexus, genesis pricing
The Mazda CX-60 will now hit showrooms in the first half of 2023.

It’s going to be one of the biggest model launches of 2023, and it could signal the future of the Mazda brand.

The CX-60 marks Mazda’s first shift into true premium territory, ahead of a number of other new SUV models that will take the brand even further upmarket.

We now know it will hit Australian dealerships in the first half of 2023, and Mazda has confirmed the powertrains and model grades, but pricing is still under wraps.

However, CarsGuide understands the new SUV’s pricing should line up against other entry-level medium-sized SUVs from newer premium brands like Genesis and Lexus, rather than the usual European marques.

As a result, expect pricing to kick off north of $60,000 for the all-new nameplate.

In the Mazda line-up, the CX-60 will sit above the other medium SUV, the CX-5, which will continue on as a mainstream offering priced from $32,390 to $53,880.

But the CX-60 won’t be pitched as an alternative to higher grade SUVs from mainstream brands like the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and Nissan X-Trail.

As Mazda recently confirmed, the company has decided to launch the CX-60 with three new powertrains, including a pair of mild hybrid 3.3-litre six-cylinder units – one petrol and one diesel – as well as a new 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

auto, autos, car, cars, genesis, lexus, mazda, 2023 mazda cx-60 to start north of $60,000? new-gen engines including phev mean premium suv will be closer to lexus, genesis pricing
Pricing of the new CX-60 is expected to kick off north of $60,000.

Initially Mazda Australia was considering launching with the old 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine found in a bunch of its existing models like the CX-5, CX-9 and Mazda6, but it changed tack earlier this month and opted for the new powertrains instead.

Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak acknowledged that the change in strategy has meant that CX-60 pricing will be higher than initially thought, as the 2.5L was going to be the range opener.

“We haven’t signed off on pricing yet. But yes, you would assume there would be some sort of increase. We did consider the 2.5. I think we were pretty open about that, but we’ve decided not to do that, and go for the 48-volt [mild hybrid] and the PHEV. I mean there’s consequences of that, but we’re pretty comfortable with where we’re at with it. And we have CX-5 and CX-5 continues.”

Rather than targeting the big hitters from Germany in the premium SUV space, Mazda is expected to be more in line with other more affordable high-end offerings.

The BMW X3 now starts from the mid $70,000 mark, and the upcoming new-gen Mercedes-Benz GLC is all but confirmed to start north of $100,000.

auto, autos, car, cars, genesis, lexus, mazda, 2023 mazda cx-60 to start north of $60,000? new-gen engines including phev mean premium suv will be closer to lexus, genesis pricing
The CX-60 is expected to be more in line with other more affordable high-end offerings.

Instead, the CX-60 could fight for space against models like the freshly launched new Lexus NX that starts from $60,800 before on-road costs for the NX250 Luxury, as well as the Genesis GV70 from $68,500 for the 2.5T.

Other models at the more affordable end of that segment include the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (from $64,950), Audi Q5 (from $68,350) and the Volvo XC60 (from $72,990).

However, Mr Doak said Mazda wasn’t deliberately competing with any of these brands.

“We’re not targeting those brands at all. This is really an extension of our brand. And the real question is, how do we do that with our portfolio? And how do we do that with our customer base? We know that there’ll be a cohort of CX-5 and Mazda6 [owners] and a few of them that we lose because they say, ‘there’s nothing else from Mazda, I have to go somewhere else’. So we really need to take them with us.”

While the company is not expecting the CX-60 to be a top-selling model within its portfolio, Mr Doak said he does think it is capable of meaningful volume.

“I mean, it’ll be a decent volume. But if you look at the market and look at the volume, Australia has got this funny market where you go over that $55,000, $60,000 [mark] and the volume falls for everybody quite significantly. So it’s not going to challenge CX-5 to be our top-selling model or anything like that, but it will absolutely have decent volume.”

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