Mazda CX 60 vs Kia Sorento – First-time car buyers and experienced drivers alike have to consider which SUV they should choose when they’re in the market for one.
There are a lot of factors that come into play, including price, gas mileage, and safety features. Let’s take a closer look at the Mazda CX 60 vs Kia Sorento comparison to help you decide which new car is right for you.
Summary: Mazda CX 60 vs Kia Sorento
Mazda has been wanting to compete with the Germans for a long time. The business has already achieved massive success in this market, and now it has introduced the all-new CX-60, which it labels as “Mazda Premium,” as a path to future expansion.
Mazda was already massacring the German marques, but its all-new big architecture, which includes longitudinally mounted engines – some of which will be straight-six cylinders, petrol, and diesel – rear-wheel drive, and a new suspension setup, double-wishbone front, multilink rear appears to have been plagiarized from the Best Hits of Europe album.
We flew to Portugal to investigate why Mazda is branding the CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV the most significant vehicle (okay, it’s a crossover SUV, so it’s not a car) that it has introduced in over a decade. That sounds pretty appealing, too, because it’s also the most powerful Mazda production vehicle ever.
The Sorento is at the heart of Kia’s lineup. Despite being an excellent value for money, the last decade has seen a huge seven-seater SUV win over Australian families for its space, safety technology, and driving abilities.
The Sorento has just been updated, and it seems to be sexier and more muscular than the previous version. So, has its luster worn off, or has it grown in popularity?
I don’t believe Mazda intentionally sought to imitate anybody – the firm is far too proud of its design skills to do so – but there’s a lot about this automobile that reminds me of a Jaguar F-Pace, and I believe that’s quite a high compliment.
Mazda claims that the CX-60 is the result of more than a decade of effort aimed at bringing Mazda to “design quality levels we never achieved in recent memory.”
While it produced some very cool, and award-winning, concept cars and a lovely Mazda 3 during the decade, several of those projects were more wrinkles and knots than a 1980s pop star.
The Mazda CX-60 is a non-ordinary vehicle. Mazda’s objective was to use the fewest possible components to generate “motion and emotion.” As part of an effort to play up its rear-drive credentials, the cabin has been pushed back with that long nose in front of it, and a short front overhang.
To make it seem like it is moving while remaining still, in classic designer jargon. What I mean is that it’s difficult to make something this large look appealing, but they’ve done an excellent job. The inside didn’t seem to be as unique as Mazda said it would, although we weren’t seeing the final product, supposedly.
The new Sorento has little resemblance to the previous model… nothing at all. Apart from that, there is the same angle on the back window as before, which is an intentional reference to the previous model.
In comparison to the muscular, angular, new-generation Sorento, the outgoing version was premium and friendly looking. Its proportions appeared bloated. It seems to have undergone a personality shift as well.
There are muscle-car characteristics throughout this vehicle, from the Camaro-style headlights flanking that cliff face to the Mustang-esque tail lights, with everything in between filled with sharp edges.
With its cheese-grater textures in the dash and doors, a large center console with chrome trim, and a rotary shifter, the cabin is even more striking.
The most intriguing I’ve seen on any vehicle I’ve tested is the 10.25-inch media display, which is standard in Sport class and above. With its neon people, fonts, and icons, incandescent light bulb effect for radio frequencies, and even the ‘streetlight’ mode for navigation, it is clear that a great deal of care has gone into it.
It’s also one of the simplest-to-operate systems I’ve encountered. With its fully-digital instrument cluster and Nappa leather seats, the top-grade GT-Line elevates the premium look.
The construction quality appears to be high, and the finish is excellent. The SUV has grown to 4810mm long, 1900mm broad, and 1700mm tall since its initial measurements.
Only clear white, which costs $695, is available in seven colors; the rest of the options, including ‘Silky Silver,’ ‘Steel Grey,’ ‘Mineral Blue,’ ‘Aurora Black,’ and ‘Gravity Blue’ are all available in my video above.
Mazda CX 60
There is a sense of space from the driver’s seat, which is more comfortable than full Euro luxury, with 1504mm of shoulder room (44mm more than a CX-5) and plenty in the back (1,441 mm, or 50mm more than the CX-5).
For extended journeys, this is a very suitable place for four adults. You get a huge and fantastic Head-up Display as well as a spacious instrument panel that emphasizes the car’s width visually.
With a 2870mm wheelbase, the CX-60 measures 4745mm long, 1890mm wide, and 1680mm high. With the rear seats folded flat, the boot holds 570 liters, climbing to 1148 liters with the roof raised to 1726 liters.
The Sorento features more interior room, a bigger boot, and additional charging ports for devices. With a 35mm longer wheelbase and a second row that slides further forward, climbing into the third row is now even easier.
Even I, at 191 cm (6’3″) and with my terrible lack of coordination, can get in. To see how effortlessly I perform it, watch the video.
I can sit behind my driving position in the second row, and behind that in the third row, without my knees brushing any of the seatbacks because legroom is excellent throughout.
You also have more boot space now. There are 187 liters (up by 45 liters) in place with the third row in position and 616 liters (up by 11 liters) when the third row is flat.
There are eight cupholders in the doors up front and back, allowing for a total of twelve drinks, and it only fits seven people.
The charging stations are then added. All grades feature three USBs up front and two 12V outlets, with the GT Line and Sport+ featuring additional USB ports in the third and second rows.
The GT-Line also features wireless charging. All three rows have directional air vents. Nobody is thirsty, smelly, or charging for anything.
The GT-Line’s Remote Smart Parking Assist feature gets a particular shout-out as well. The Sorento’s practicality is enhanced even more by the system.
Price and features
Mazda has not revealed pricing for the CX-60 in Australia but only said that it will arrive before the end of the year.
The first version we’ll see, which is expected to cost around $55,000, does not seem to be the PHEV that will go on sale in Europe a few months later, possibly in early 2023.
The same naturally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine presently found in the Mazda 3, 6, CX-5, and CX-8 will almost certainly be used in our launch version.
That will make it lighter than the PHEV we tested in Europe, with no big battery beneath the floor and no electric motor, but we’ll have to wait and see how well it performs.
At $55,000, it would still seem like a huge vehicle. It will also arrive with the redesigned interior, which is expected to take Mazda to new heights of quality materials and refinement,’ according to reports.
We didn’t get to experience all of this awesomeness since the cars we drove were “pre-production,” but we did get photos of some really nice design features that’ll be available in the Takumi variant, such as genuine maple wood panels, chrome detailing, and a kimono-inspired textile on the door panels.
Talking up Japanese craftsmanship while trying to make Mazda seem more premium is a Lexus approach; this is all reminiscent of the Lexus way.
The new Driver Personalization System, which has to be both a world-first and a brilliant concept since too many individuals don’t appear to understand how to set up a decent driving position, is sure to be included as one cold selling point. It does it all for you, Mazda.
Your eyeliner is measured with a camera (and your height is requested so that the CX-60 knows how long your legs are) and the seat height, distance from the wheel, mirrors, steering wheel location, and tilt of the head-up display are all adjusted at once for the first time you drive it.
This data is saved, and each time you get in the vehicle, it will use face-recognition technology to recognize who’s driving and restore your settings.
It also holds 250 “personalization values,” such as your desired air condition temperature and your favorite radio station, in addition to the seating arrangement.
I tried it, and I had to adjust the seat just a little bit to feel completely comfortable; the mirrors and head-up display were bang on.
That was impressive. While the new engines are expected to come, it’s too soon to say where the price point will fall in the overall range, especially once those arrive.
The redesigned Kia Sorento is about $3,000 more than the previous model, yet it offers additional capabilities and technology.
The Sorento range includes four levels: S, Sport, Sport +, and the ultimate GT-Line. A diesel or gasoline engine can be had in all grades.
The bad news is that the diesel variant has all-wheel drive, whereas the petrol variant just has front-wheel drive.
The S starts at $45,850, followed by the Sport at $48,480, the Sport+ at $52,850, and finally the GT-Line at $60,070.
All prices are for the petrol line-up. Do you want diesel? Each price will now cost $3000 more. Kia offers drive-away pricing nearly constantly, which will save you money on vehicle registration and other on-road expenses.
You could purchase a GT-Line diesel for a $63,070 driveaway at the time of this writing. What do you get for your money?
The S grade comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, textured seats, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Sport grade has 18-inch alloy wheels, a huge 10.25-inch screen, sat nav, dual-zone climate control, and power adjustable driver’s seat, even though it has cloth seats.
Things are starting to get a little more unique with the Sport+ grade. Just a few of the Sport’s features include heated front seats, a proximity key with push-button ignition, a power tailgate, privacy glass, LED tail lights, and remote engine starting.
The GT-Line adds 20-inch alloy wheels, quilted Nappa leather seats, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, mood lighting, wireless phone charging, and heated front and second-row seats to the top of the tree.
The GT-Line’s ability to park itself without anyone in the car is by far the most impressive feature. That’s right. It’s for tight parking spaces and is called ‘Remote Smart Parking Assist.’
That’s incredible, and the video above shows how simple to use and benefit the feature is. Watch it for yourself to see how amazing it is.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Mazda e-Skyactiv PHEV employs a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine, a 100kW electric motor, and a 17.8kWh lithium-ion battery that offers “more than 60 kilometers” of EV driving range.
A total of 241kW and 500Nm of torque are produced by the combined outputs. It’s insane how much more powerful and efficient than a Mazda RX-8 (184kW and 215Nm).
The eight-speed automatic gearbox, which has a multi-plate wet clutch instead of a torque converter and is all about improving fuel economy, delivers all of the power.
When you’re in EV mode, it also kind of turns off. Mazda engineers, on the other hand, seemed hesitant to explain how it works, only saying that it uses “some” of those eight speeds in EV mode but not all.
The CX-60 has a top speed of 200 km/h and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds. We can report that it runs quietly at 140 km/h in Europe, where such things are done.
As in the past Sorento, a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 or a turbo-diesel four-cylinder is offered. With the diesel producing 148kW/440Nm and the petrol producing 206kW/336Nm, they are essentially the same engines as before.
The diesel version’s transmission is groundbreaking. The dual-clutch automatic gearbox has eight gears. The petrol engine comes standard with an eight-speed conventional automatic gearbox.
The all-wheel drive diesel Sorentos are available, but the front-wheel drive gasoline Sorentos are only available. The diesel engine can only tow 1898 kg while the petrol engine can only tow 1908.
The Mazda CX-60 PHEV model boasts a claimed fuel economy of just 1.5 liters per 100 kilometers, which is quite impressive. Of course, the amount of driving it in EV mode will influence that number, as it does with all such hybrids.
We saw a figure starting in the mid-5s and then falling into the 4s after I stuck with EV mode for a while during around 150 kilometers of driving on the launch (some of it quite enthusiastically).
By the time I finished my trip, however, the battery had been depleted and I had achieved a final figure of 5.4 liters per 100kilometers, which is much better than the stated number and more realistic than what was claimed.
The CX-60 has a 50-liter gasoline tank, hence the one fear is that the overall range will be a problem. To be sure, we’ll need a longer test. That would certainly suffice if it were 1.5 liters per 100 kilometers.
Both diesel and gasoline engines have reduced fuel consumption by a small amount. After a mix of open and urban roads, Kia claims the petrol engine should use 9.7L/100km. Kia claims that the diesel should get 6.1 miles per 100 kilometers.
I lived with the GT-Line diesel for a week, driving it everywhere I went: schools, shopping malls, city streets, and even highways. That came out to be a very real-world 9.5L/100km, thanks to my 195.1-kilometer ride and 18.6-liter consumption.
The cars we were driving were “pre-production models,” so there’s a disclaimer first. The trim was not fully completed, or flawless, and there were a few rattles and squeaks here and there, but they were minor in comparison to what is usually experienced.
Some of the stranger noises and driving peculiarities we noticed might well be fixed by the time the automobile reaches manufacturing, according to Mazda engineers.
They seemed to be implying that PHEV technology was still under development, which is odd, given that it’s already been developed.
When the car drives in Sport mode, with the engine constantly on and you are getting the greatest benefit of all that power and torque, it feels complete and enjoyable (even though I would theoretically run the battery flat to preserve performance).
If you push through the detente point and properly mash the throttle, it really does get up and go in Sport, which has a far quicker throttle response than in lower modes.
It was also supremely quiet and smooth on the freeway at cruising speed, but when an overtaking chance arose, I felt it shift from 80 to 140 kilometers per hour (be calm in Europe such speeds will not result in you being shot). Its nose sniffing at the sky. For 0 to 100km/h, I’d completely trust the 5.8-second claim.
We did not have a lengthy drive route as anticipated, although we did discover some places to push the CX-60 and, while it is all-wheel drive, you may feel it driving as much power as possible to the rear and giving that tail-happy handling that enthusiasts adore.
The steering was adequate but slightly lighter than what I’m used to in a vehicle of this size, and the Mazda’s ability to dissipate body roll and allow you to attack bends is remarkable.
That, combined with Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control, which was originally introduced on the recently launched update to MX-5, is part of it, but another element is the suspension.
To keep the vehicle level and steady while providing additional feedback to the driver, this smart software applies a modest brake force to the inside rear wheel as you corner.
So, personally, I’d just drive the PHEV car in Sport and have a blast doing so; nevertheless, the PHEV emblem would seem somewhat pointless.
While it is quieter, the CX-60 can be driven in EV mode, and it makes a lot of noises, including a strange sort of moaning breath intake and an “oh, do I have to?” sound.
There is also a little delay between when you press the throttle and anything else happening, which isn’t what you get with electric car driving.
The engine will kick in noticeably when you hit the accelerator. In Normal mode, it also alternates between electric and engine power, albeit not in a completely seamless manner.
The starter motor, in particular, is very loud as it kicks the engine into gear, and the overall effect is that you can hear the automobile contemplating how best to give power in any scenario before feeling a brief delay.
Maybe it’s part of the strange sensations you feel, but the eight-speed gearbox, smooth and slick in Sport mode, also switch in and out of action here.
Mazda engineers stated that when the manufacturing vehicle arrives in Australia, everything should be straightened out and quieted down.
Nonetheless, we’ll have to wait and see what happens until I’m more interested in driving the 3.0-liter straight-six petrol engine variants once they arrive.
Since the diesel is more likely to be the more popular choice, we’ve test-driven it in the GT-Line grade. So once we get our hands on the petrol version, we’ll let you know what it’s like to drive, as well.
The power source for the diesel engine will definitely stay with you. The cabin is well insulated, so much clatter does not make its way inside. It is rather noisy on the outside. That’s just the beginning of what appears to be a nice and high-end driving experience.
Even on the rickety city streets around where I reside, the ride is fantastic, comfortable, and composed. Some of the same roads I’ve driven with Benz and BMW SUVs don’t compare to the Sorento.
I’m being dead serious here. The Sorento’s body control is remarkable. It has a great connection between the driver and the road, isn’t wobble, isn’t too bouncy, and feels great. Some SUVs are considerably more costly, but I can’t say the same.
Kia puts in a lot of effort to ensure its suspension is suitable for Australia, which shows. Kia’s local engineers were driving the Sorento all around Australia months before it was launched in January 2020, testing different suspension setups and finding the best one for the car.
They’ve hit the nail on the head. As a result, the Sorento handles better than you would anticipate something this big to, in addition to being comfortable on Australian roads.
I put it in tight corners, just like I do with all of my test vehicles, without the significant lean or roll you might feel in bigger SUVs. Steering is a pleasure to use as well. It’s precise, and silky, and gives me a sense of being connected to the road.
The diesel engine is fast and responsive, with no turbo lag and enough power for quick acceleration. If you’re considering frequent excursions off-road, the diesel Sorento is the only one that’s all-wheel drive.
The CX-60 has not yet been crash tested, but it is expected to earn a Euro NCAP 5-star rating. Turn Across Traffic Assist, SBS-R pedestrian detection, Emergency Lane Keeping, i-Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC), and BSM Vehicle Exit Warning are just a few of the driver-supporting safety aids available.
See-Through View, which is described as a “next-generation 360° view display,” is also included with the package.
To make parking maneuvers easier, the front and back of the automobile become somewhat opaque on the display, allowing you to see through them. It’s a bit like God’s viewpoint, but it’s much more glorious.
While the results are not yet available, it would be surprising if the Kia Sorento does not receive the highest five-star ANCAP rating.
AEB, pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic warning, and blind spot collision avoidance are all standard in all grades.
The GT-Line also features a blind spot monitor that displays a view of what is behind you, whichever side you’re indicating.
One of the seven airbags in every Sorento deploys between the driver and front passenger. The third row of curtain airbags extends all the way to the back seats, but they don’t totally cover the windows. This might lead you to think twice about having children in the future.
There are additional ISOFIX points and three top tether mounts over the second row, as well as two more ISOFIX points and three top tether, mounts for the third-row seats. It’s nice to see that the Sorento’s full-sized spare wheel, which is housed beneath the vehicle, has been retained.
The Mazda CX-60 will get the usual five-year unlimited kilometers warranty, but this will be verified closer to its release date. Meanwhile, the Kia Sorento has a seven-year/unlimited kilometer warranty.
Service is recommended every 12 months or 15,000 kilometers, and the price is limited. For seven years, the diesel and petrol versions cost about $3100 each.
The Mazda CX-60 comes with some great features, a great design, and plenty of road space and presence, Mazda’s first foray into the premium market seems to be a triumph. It boasts a decidedly impressive power plant, driven in the sportiest of modes.
When you try to drive the vehicle in EV mode only, I have to give my judgment on the PHEV system and how heavy it feels (just over two tons). However, it’s worth thinking about if you’re looking for a large-family PHEV.
While the Kia Sorento comes with a super cool design, contemporary cabin technology, utility, and ample space, the new generation Sorento will soon become a family favorite.
There should be a high-output four-cylinder petrol engine available for contemporary SUVs like the Mazda CX-9. An SUV like this deserves an amazing engine, and it has it.
The Sport+ is the sweet spot in its range. It comes equipped with a range lock, privacy glass, and leather seats, despite the fact that it lacks the GT-Line remote parking feature.