at the wheel of the Japanese plug-in hybrid SUV

Look at the good, observe, examine. Because ? Because, because of its size and shape, this new CX-60 could be confused with the CX-5. But also because we probably won’t come across this model every day; before being a sleek plug-in hybrid SUV, it’s a Mazda.

Understand with this that, in spite of all his potential qualities, this Japanese suffers unjustly from ignorance of the general public and a rather sparse commercial network (107 dealers in France).

Therefore, we do not expect this CX-60 to flood the market and revolutionize the genre, although it plans to sell 1,500 units a year in France, and aims to compete with German premiums such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.

To do so, it will initially feature the Japanese SUV, which stretches over 4.75 meters its plug-in hybrid engine – a novelty for the Hiroshima firm – before hosting in-line six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

It consists of a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric machine, the PHEV version shows accumulated power never before achieved by a Mazda of road sold in Europe: 327 CV.

The manufacturer insists on the road qualities of this SUV with all-wheel drive, based on a platform developed as a rear-wheel drive model and which benefits from a double-fork suspension at the front. Promising? Yes. Seductive? In short, not so much.

However, everything starts very well when you get on board: as always with Mazda, sobriety comes first and the presentation flatters the eye with its harmony. The build quality is accompanied by equipment that can be full and of an unusual ergonomics, typically Japanese, but serious.

The non-touch screen is controlled from a wheel well located in the center console, while the ventilation and air conditioning controls remain independent, and well placed.

The CX-60 also takes care of its reception with the Comfort Pack option (€ 1,700): on start-up, ask your driver for your heightoffering you the option to adjust the seat, steering wheel, exterior mirrors and the position of the head-up display to your size.

It’s fun but utopian: 1.80 meters tall people have long legs and a small bust, others upside down.

Mazda CX-60 2.5 E-Skyactiv PHEV

Flattered to look “normal” according to Mazda’s criteria, I admit, however, that I rather valued the driving position offered by the SUV. So I recorded it and, thanks to facial recognitionthe CX-60 returned to this setting after each shutdown, also adjusting the radio and climate control to my preferences.

At the back, no similar system, though heated seats appear as an option and there is plenty of space. Finally, next to the trunk, the capacity reaches 477 liters, or even 570 liters counting the volume underground.

It’s when it rolls that ours CX-60 pre-production reveals its shortcomings. His steering, too heavy in maneuver, is surprising. And its cushioning, which doesn’t benefit from any riding and suffers from the big 20-inch wheels, is stiff.

One quickly learns to avoid potholes and get away from the cobbled streets at the controls of the Japanese, who on the other hand offer perfect quiet operation in urban development.

Unfortunately, with an electric motor sandwiched between the thermal and the transmission, sometimes they feel shakeneven at stabilized speeds, in both electric and hybrid mode.

And while you don’t expect a sporty two-ton SUV, the CX-60 has no particular dynamism.

It offers a satisfactory driving pleasure and very good engine performance, with different driving programs to promote performance or energy saving, but also emits a strange transmission noise when baptized.

As for regenerative braking, never excessive, it can only be adjusted (in two levels) from a submenu of the multimedia interface.

In short, it is in daily commuting, at a family pace and in well-paved sections, that the Mazda can seduce.

This is also where he takes advantage its 17.8 kWh capacity battery highlight its electrical range, more than 50 “real” kilometers (63 km according to the certification cycle), after which the internal combustion engine takes over to extend the journey.

But that, other competing models also know how to do very well. Therefore, the Mazda is confident in its price to attract, with a base price of € 52,650and can expect some improvements before its first deliveries, scheduled for September 2022.

Mazda CX-60 2.5 E-Skyactiv PHEV

Test Mazda CX-60: our opinion:

The quiet, simple interior design of the CX-60 is unmistakable. But the Japanese, rather accessible to the category, suffers above all a remarkable discomfort and a development to be perfected. Without him, competing with the Germans will be difficult …

We love

  • Interior atmosphere and originality
  • Performance and electrical autonomy
  • Base rate
  • Tranquility in the city

We love each other less

  • Firm suspension
  • Steering too heavy
  • Transmission pits
  • Ergonomic details

Specifications (Mazda CX-60 2.5 E-Skyactiv PHEV)

  • Combustion engine: front, longitudinal, 4-cylinder, petrol, direct injection, 16 valves, 2,488 cc3 191 hp at 6,000 rpm, 261 Nm at 4,000 rpm
  • Electric motor: 129 kW at 5,500 rpm, 270 Nm
  • Battery / capacity: lithium ions / 17.8 kWh
  • Transmission: all-wheel drive, automatic, 8-speed
  • Cumulative power (hp to rpm): 327 to 6,000
  • Cumulative torque (Nm to rpm): 500 to 4000
  • Empty weight (kg): 2,055
  • Length. (m): 4.75 × 1.89 × 1.68
  • Wheelbase (m): 2.87
  • Rotation diameter (m): 10.8
  • Maximum speed (km / h): 200
  • 0 to 100 km / h (s): 5.8
  • Standard tires: 235/60 R 18
  • Test tires: 235/50 R 20 – Bridgestone Alenza
  • 100% electric range WLTP (km): 63
  • Cons. Mixed WLTP (l / 100 km): 1.5
  • CO2 (g / km): 33
  • Bonus: € 0
  • 5/2 pit (l): 477 / 1.726
  • Front / rear elbow width (cm): 154/152
  • Rear legroom (cm): 74
  • Deposit (l): 50
  • Country of manufacture: Japan
  • Warranty: 3 years / 100,000 km
  • Fiscal power: 8 hp
  • Base rate: € 52,650
  • Price of the tested version: 64,400 € (Takumi finish + options)

PROPOSED RANGE (Mazda CX-60)
Plug-in hybrid, 327 hp, from € 52,650 to € 58,050

PROPOSED OPTIONS

  • Panoramic solar roof: € 1,400
  • Ambiance Pack (rear and tinted glass, electric tailgate, 360 ° camera, 1,500 W plug, induction smartphone charging, Bose audio with 12 speakers): € 2,850
  • Driver assistance package (adaptive lighting, forward / reverse obstacle recognition, adaptive speed control, signal recognition, anti-glare mirrors): € 1,800
  • Comfort pack (electric front seats, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, driving position memory): € 1,700

MAIN COMPETITORS

  • Audi Q5, 50 TFSI e, PHEV 299 hp, from € 64,610
  • BMW X3, xDrive 30e, PHEV 292 hp, from € 61,900
  • Volvo XC60, T6 Recharge, PHEV 350 hp, from € 72,130
  • DS7 Crossback, E-Tense 4 × 4, PHEV 300 hp, from € 57,500

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