The battle in the upper echelon of SUVs is intensifying with the arrival of Mazda’s first-ever CX-80. Essentially a larger, three-row version of the CX-60, the newcomer has more than a few things in common with the BMW X5. Not only does it have an inline-six engine and a plug-in hybrid version, but it also sits on a rear-wheel-drive-based platform.

While the CX-60 and CX-80 are for Europe, the CX-70 and CX-90 are for the United States. The American models are identically sized, with the only difference being the number of seats. It’s a different story on the Old Continent where Mazda’s new CX-80 is longer than the CX-60. All four utilize longitudinally mounted engines and are offered as PHEVs.

How big is it? At 4995 mm long, 1890 mm wide, and 1710 mm tall, it’s 60 mm longer, 114 mm narrower, and 45 mm lower than its Bavarian rival. At the same time, it’s 250 mm longer and 24 mm taller than the CX-60, while having the same width. With a massive wheelbase of 3120 mm, it’s 145 mm longer compared to the X5’s. The distance between the axles is also 250 mm longer than on the CX-60.

It’s an attractive midsize SUV, albeit a bit of variety wouldn’t have hurt. The CX-80 looks a lot like the other three models we mentioned, so much so it’s difficult to tell them apart. That said, it’s evident the newcomer is bigger than the CX-60 given the longer overall length and the stretched wheelbase. It also has a flatter roofline for greater headroom whereas the smaller SUV has a more rakish profile.

There are only two powertrains available. The first is a 3.3-liter, six-cylinder diesel producing 250 hp and 550 Nm of torque. The other one is a plug-in hybrid that combines a gasoline 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit with an electric motor. The combined output is rated at 323 hp and 500 Nm. Both have all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The electrified CX-80 is notably quicker as it hits 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.8 seconds as opposed to 8.4 seconds for the diesel. However, the PHEV maxes out at 121 mph whereas the diesel does 136 mph. Going for the hybrid unlocks a pure electric range of 33 miles thanks to a battery pack with a 17.8-kWh capacity.

The interior sure looks like a nice place to be in. After all, Mazda aspires to be a luxury brand. The cabin looks posh, and unlike inside the X5, there are plenty of physical buttons. The CX-80 has separate controls for the climate settings rather than moving everything inside the 12.3-inch touchscreen. The fully digital instrument cluster also has a 12.3-inch display. Speaking of BMWs, the iDrive-esque rotary knob seen in other Mazdas is there.

The CX-80 should be significantly cheaper than the BMW X5. The Germans aren’t watching from the sidelines since a new X5 is in development. Carrying the “G65” internal codename, the fifth-generation model is likely coming around 2027. We’re hearing it’ll have X-shaped headlights.

Source: Mazda