Mazda CX-60 test (2022): first draft

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To be completely transparent, we tested this CX-60 for just 3 hours on hand, onboard models still considered pre-series, which will require some additional adjustments.

Technically, above all, because it showed us aesthetically in its final version. Designed according to the latest inspirations from the Kodo style code, the pencil strokes of the SUV are also christened with the new “Noble Toughness” concept, embodied by lines sometimes cut with a katana, while looking for a certain fluidity. Its rather curved rear face therefore contrasts with an unusual, ultra-vertical front face.

A bias that will have its followers and detractors, no doubt. And if in the photos, the CX-60 is sometimes a bit “weird”, it is one of those models more attractive in real life than in the photo in our eyes, he who imposes a template (4.74 m of long, 1.89 m wide and 1.67 m). m high) similar to a BMW X3 or a Volvo XC60, for example. The CX-60 is also only available in sizes of 18 or 20 inches.

Takumi better than the others

Mazda CX-60Photo credit – Autonews

Installing a Mazda has always been very natural and the cockpit / cocoon effect is also behind the wheel of the CX-60, with an ideal driving position. Mazda innovates here in passing with the driver personalization system. After entering its height and making a few nods in front of the camera that also detects drowsiness, the SUV will automatically adjust the seats, steering wheel, mirrors and head screen, for a bespoke position. In fact, since we are all different, some micro-adjustments still seemed necessary to us, but the vehicle suggests a satisfactory basic position.

The digital phone is a great success, with very inspiring animations and changing atmospheres, depending on the driving mode adopted. As for the 12-inch center screen, it can only be manipulated via the shuttle and is not touch. Mazda according to the principle that it is safer to drive while driving. Many will appreciate the gigantic font size of the different menus in the interface, so very readable.

Our exclusive line finish with Comfort option blew hot and cold. The gearbox control, very stylized, the skin and the stitching are of high quality, but these are very lacking in the entire dashboard, which favors foamy plastics, of course, but with a very thick grain that no longer is in fashion. The inserts also, with mesh patterns, show a fairly normal representation. The contrast is marked by the much more inspired and light Takumi finish, with a combination of maple wood inserts and thick knitted fabric inspired by kimonos. This time a few very spaced stitches are applied to the board and bring a real uniqueness to the CX-60.

The leak-free design of its rear section offers ample space for passengers, both head and knees, and will be able to take advantage of 2 USB C ports as well as a 220 V socket, which we always wonder why it does not have. It is not yet widespread, as it is useful for recharging larger than a simple smartphone.

After opening the tailgate with hands-free control (optional), the trunk releases 570 liters, with a small additional compartmentalized space under the floor. All with a modularity assisted by the always very practical side tabs to independently fold down the seats of a bench divided into 40/20/40.

Power unit in longitudinal position

Mazda CX-60 (2022)

Mazda CX-60Photo credit – Autonews

Mazda has placed the 141 kW 2.5 Skyactiv-G 4-cylinder atmospheric engine in a cascade (in a longitudinal position, which is quite rare!), Then a 100 kW electric motor, all connected at the end of the chain to an automatic . gearbox with 8 reports.

The combined power reaches 327 hp per 500 Nm of torque, is generous, but it takes less to drive this big 2 ton baby. The 0 to 100 km / h is done in 5.8 seconds, which allows the CX-60 to advance quickly without being overwhelming.

Our route, around and through the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, was quite mountainous, thus justifying our electrical autonomy which was close to 40 km, rather far from the official 63 km. In addition, the thermal / electrical management strategy tends to favor silent filming, even on steep hills. Proving that there is no predictive technology associated with navigation, for example. The Mi-Drive button allows you to change the driving modes: Normal, Sport, EV and Off Road, as the CX-60 PHEV is 4-wheel drive. An additional key allows you to force the recharge, which we tested, with an increasing consumption of 1.5 l / 100 km (as long as there is a battery) to 6.5 l / 100 km, after recovering 30 km of electrical autonomy in a high capacity 17.8. kWh battery. A fairly effective forced recharge speed, although it will always be more appropriate to find a recharging point instead of using this feature while driving.

Please note that the CX-60 will also be available in a 6-cylinder in-line diesel and petrol version, with light hybridization, between this year and next.

As a continuous sports mode

Mazda CX-60 (2022)

Mazda CX-60Photo credit – Autonews

A typing instantly hits the steering wheel of the CX-60, its steering. Mazda wanted it firmly, providing great precision in dynamic driving, but it becomes a little too physical in normal driving mode and maneuvering. For this latest exercise, Mazda offers a very handy See-Through View feature, which shows the front view and side views on the center screen, a bit like a bumper view, which allows you to park forward with a control relatively accurate of everything that goes on the wheels.

Also for the benefit of dynamism, but more penalizing for comfort, the SUV is typified rigid in damping, allowing steps in curves almost without rolling. On the other hand, the CX-60 becomes relatively uncomfortable with speed bumps and cuts. The new Kinematic Posture Control system does help a bit, with the action of reducing the effects of the launch on large obstacles that still exist, but instead of swinging back and forth, the system modifies this effect to a vertical movement synchronized this time on both axes at the same time.

The technical choice of opting for an automatic transmission with multi-disc clutch is relevant, at least without noisy CVT, but smoother and quieter behavior. Which will not be enough, however, to offer a responsiveness in sport and manual mode worthy of the name. A minor evil, the CX-60 is not an Audi SQ3 either. This box also has the merit of reducing consumption by 22% according to Mazda, compared to the previous BVA6.

An expensive singularity

Mazda CX-60 (2022)

Mazda CX-60Photo credit – Autonews

In the end, the CX-60 is shown as a model whose biases must be accepted.

A particular style, a firm road typography, an interior atmosphere that shows a true singularity in its highest finish. If accepted, the CX-60 thus becomes a model with a certain character, which not only mimics the competition.

On the other hand, it is difficult to accept these imposed options in terms of prices, of course, Mazda always generously equips its models from the first level of finish, but will still have to pay a whopping 52,000 euros for entry. level and up to 70,000 euros to take advantage of everything the CX-60 has to offer.

To sum up

While Mazda is rightly convinced that there is still potential to explode in heat engines, the manufacturer has to play the game of electrification. The MX-30 paved the way for the 100% EV models of the Japanese, now it’s the turn of the CX-60 to open for the first time in the European market, its own 100% rechargeable hybrid technology. To mark the occasion, Mazda has installed a number of new improvements on board the CX-60, in addition to having opted for an unconventional style, although especially divisible.

Florian Duchiron

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