Is the Mazda Plug-in Hybrid a Good Car?

Mazda is a bit late to the PHEV game, but their new CX-70 PHEV crossover and CX-90 three-row PHEV SUV are both hotly anticipated for 2023.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 17, 2022
Mazda currently markets their MX-30—available only in
California
—as a PHEV, but the gas-powered rotary engine doesn’t actually power the wheels, so it’s basically an EV with a super-short 100-mile range. But soon, the U.S. will see the CX-70, Mazda’s first true dip into the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) pool, with a PHEV option for the new CX-90 rumored to follow.
Though it’s not yet available on the U.S. market, Mazda revealed the new CX-60 PHEV for Europe earlier this year, with a CX-70 variant to appear in North America for 2023. In addition, the all new CX-90 is planned for 2023 and should also feature a plug-in hybrid option.
If you want to get your hands on one of Mazda’s new PHEVs, or you just want to know more about what they may have to offer, read on.
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Mazda Plug-in hybrid

Technically, Mazda doesn’t yet offer any plug-in hybrids on the U.S. market, but two are planned for the 2023 model year—the CX-70 and the CX-90.
According to Mazda, both new SUVs will be available with both hybrid and PHEV powertrain options, though the PHEV option isn’t planned for addition to the lineup until later in the model year.

Pricing

Mazda hasn’t yet released pricing or trim information for either new SUV, but we assume both will offer a similar range of trim levels and price points as other Mazda models. If that’s the case, buyers can expect the CX-70 to start around $38,000 and the CX-90 to begin at about $40,000.

Performance and fuel economy

In a recent press release, Mazda noted that both new SUVs will feature the new inline-six cylinder hybrid powertrains with PHEV options to be added to the lineup in coming months. The PHEV powertrain is likely to be modeled off of the current European CX-60 variant, which features a 323-horsepower inline four-cylinder coupled with an electric motor and 17.8-kilowatt battery pack
As far as range, fuel-economy, and charging times are concerned, Mazda hasn’t shared much yet, though they do claim the European CX-60 will have an all-electric range of about 39 miles.

Exterior styling

At the moment, it’s anyone’s guess what the new CX-90 will actually look like, but we have the European market’s CX-60 to go off of for ideas about the CX-70. Unfortunately, the CX-60s styling is a bit awkward and somewhat “front-heavy” thanks to Mazda’s new longitudinal platform. That said, a CX-70 designed more inline with U.S. tastes may feature a wider and somewhat more athletic stance than the CX-60.

Interior and comfort

Mazda interiors have always been pretty nice, but the CX-60 pushes the envelope with woven textiles, Nappa leather, and real-wood trim. We expect the U.S.-variant to do the same, and the CX-90 will likely get a similarly luxurious treatment.

Technology

This one is anyone’s guess, but as both the CX-70 and the CX-90 will be all-new models on an all-new platform, we expect Mazda to pull out all the stops for both. Taking the recently released all-new CX-50 as our model, we expect a full suite of driver-assistance features via Mazda’s i-Activsense technology. 
Inside, we expect a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display running the latest version of the Mazda Connect interface. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with wireless device charging pads should be standard, at least on mid- to upper-range trims.

Warranty coverage

This will be Mazda’s first PHEV, so we don’t have an idea what their hybrid battery warranty might look like. However, as Mazda’s standard powertrain and limited vehicle warranties are both competitive, we expect the hybrid battery warranty to be so also. The following are fairly standard for PHEV’s:
  • 5 year or 60,000-mile standard powertrain warranty
  • 3 year or 36,000-mile limited warranty

Trim levels and options

Mazda hasn’t released trim specs for either the CX-70 or the CX-90, but as nearly all Mazdas follow similar trim ladders, we expect both new SUVs to do the same. For an idea of what buyers might expect with the new PHEVs, we’ll take a look at the options on the recently added CX-50. Keep in mind, though, that Mazda has teased the new SUVs as more luxurious options than their predecessors, so these are conservative predictions.
Standard features for the CX-50 and most Mazda SUVs include:
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Remote keyless entry and keyless start
  • Partial digital instrument panel
  • 8-speaker audio system
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • i-Activsense with front collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control
Upgrading to the Select trim adds myriad features, including:
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Partial simulated leather upholstery
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen
  • Rear USB ports
The Preferred Plus trim adds a bevy of equipment those in cold-weather climates will love, like heated front seats, heated mirrors, and windshield wiper de-icer, while the Premium trim also adds a panoramic sunroof. The last of the mid-range trims, the Premium Plus, adds a few additional items, including a head-up display
The first three Turbo trims add a more powerful engine, so this is where we’d expect the new CX-70 and CX-90 to come in with their PHEV options. In addition to the more powerful engine, the three top-level trims cycle back through the options available on the Preferred Plus, Premium, and Premium Plus trims, with only slight variations, until we reach the range-topping Turbo Premium Plus.
The Turbo Premium Plus goes a bit ham when it comes to options—which we’re not mad about. Standard features include:
  • Heated front and rear seats
  • Wireless charging pads
  • Navigation system with traffic sign reader
  • Universal garage door opener
  • Surround view monitor with warnings for pretty much anything that might be coming at you
  • 12-speaker Bose premium audio
  • Head-up display
Mazda tends to forego options packages, choosing to feature a wide selection of trims instead. We assume they’ll do the same with the new CX-70 and CX-90.

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a 2022 PHEV, then a Mazda isn’t for you because they just don’t have one yet. But if you can be a little patient, the outlook for the first two PHEV options from the automaker are pretty exciting. 
Since the CX-70 is the first of these two new PHEVs expected to hit the market for 2023, lets see how it might stand up against its competition.

2023 Mazda CX-70 PHEV vs. 2022 Lexus NX PHEV

Mazda is teasing the new CX-70 as a luxury-forward crossover built to compete with other higher end crossovers, so we’ll be pitting it against rivals like the
Lexus NX
PHEV.
A quick glance makes it appear as though the Lexus would be exceedingly more expensive than the Mazda, but the base NX is only $39,425, which would make pricing comparable to the projected base $38,000 expected from the CX-70. Likewise, if a PHEV powertrain isn’t offered on base CX-70 trims, buyers should expect to pay at least $45,000 or more for the option.
The NX 450h+ may still be at least $10K more than the CX-70 PHEV, which would leave buyers wondering what they’re really paying for when it comes to the NX. From what we know about the new Mazda PHEV—which, admittedly isn’t much—buyers would get mostly brand cred and a longer history with PHEV manufacturing and maintenance. For many, that will be more than enough, but for others, the Mazda will be the obvious choice here.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2023 Mazda CX-70 Plug-in Hybrid
$38,000
TBD
TBD
39 miles
TBD
TBD
2022 Lexus NX Plug-in Hybrid
$57,225
36 mpg
84 MPGe
37 miles
2.25 hours
10-year/150,000-mile
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2023 Mazda CX-70 PHEV vs. 2023 Volvo XC60 PHEV

Continuing our look at more luxurious competitors for the new Mazda CX-70, we’ll now consider the
Volvo XC60
PHEV.
Like the Lexus, price seems to be the main factor Mazda has to compete with at the moment. If the brand is truly planning to manufacturer a PHEV on par with the class and sophistication drivers have come to expect from automakers like Lexus, BMW, and Volvo, and they’re able to keep prices within range of their current buyer-pool, it would be hard not to recommend saving some money by selecting the new Mazda PHEV over these older luxury competitors.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2023 Mazda CX-70 Plug-in Hybrid
$38,000
TBD
TBD
39 miles
TBD
TBD
2022 Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid
$55,345
25 mpg
57 MPGe
35 miles
5 hours
8-year/100,000-mile

How to save money on car insurance

One of the main things driving many of us to look at PHEVs these days is the opportunity to save money on fuel. If you’re looking to save money at the pump, why not take a minute to see how much you can save on car insurance as well?
If you’re looking for more ways to save money on
car-related expenses
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