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Getting Started – Mazda CX-60: Really a Large Premium SUV?

4.75 meters long, 1.89 meters wide and 2.055 kg on the scale. You guessed it, we’re not talking about a nice little sporty roadster, or one of those compacts with a very special design philosophy that Mazda has the secret of. Even the design of CX-60 contrasts radically with the spirit and stylistic codes of the brand’s cars. Massive and very square in its proportions (note the verticality of its large grille), this large SUV whose dimensions exceed those of a BMW X3 or a Mercedes GLC appears to have escaped from an American highway. However, it clearly focuses on the European market and includes unprecedented technology: as Alfa Romeo started with the . since his return Julia and the Stelvioit revolves around a new platform-type drivetrain (but strongly of a four-wheel drive with motors mounted in a longitudinal position), which will equip other large-format models in the future instead of the current front-wheel drive architecture Mazda35 and 6† A platform optimized for plug-in hybrid powertrains, described by engineers at Mazda as an example of dynamism thanks to a well-adjusted weight distribution and very thorough work on the chassis.

Inside we find more of the Mazda universe and despite the impressive length of the hood there is enough space left. With its 570 liters of boot space, despite the presence of lithium-ion batteries under the floor, the boot outperforms that of compact family SUVs, beating the hybrid versions of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC by far.

The space in the back is generous.
The space in the back is generous.

The rear passengers also benefit from the generous space, but those in the front will not be impressed by the sophistication of the dashboard, despite an interesting style and good installation quality.

The style of the dashboard is pleasant.
The style of the dashboard is pleasant.

Note that our pre-series test versions corresponded to the Homura trim level (€56,550) and the high-end Takumi variant (€58,050), approached a few days ago during the official presentation, made a better impression with stunning skins and a truly luxurious atmosphere.

The equipment has no flaws (automatic two-zone air conditioning, Apple Carplay & Android Auto smartphone connectivity, cruise control and lane assistant, 360-degree cameras, etc.) and lovers of gadgets will be delighted thanks to a strange system, which allows the car to adjust the position automatically adjust the seat and electric steering wheel by analyzing the driver’s gaze (after indicating your height in the on-board computer). The CX-60 then adjusts the settings itself to position you optimally, even if fans of riding near the handlebars might be a little too far for their taste.

The touchscreen only works when stationary.
The touchscreen only works when stationary.
The use of the wheel is therefore mandatory.
The use of the wheel is therefore mandatory.

The digital instrument panel and 12.3-inch center screen work well, but the graphics look a bit dated. Mazda is still coy with touchscreen features and only allows them when they are stationary. As soon as the vehicle is in motion, it is therefore mandatory to use the button at the bottom of the center console to navigate through the menus of the central screen.

Getting Started - Mazda CX-60: Really a Large Premium SUV?

Installed at the controls of this big hybrid baby that also stands out as the most powerful Mazda in history, starting naturally takes place in total silence. The CX-60 has a 17.8 kWh battery that powers a 136 hp rear electric motor to support the 192 hp four-cylinder combustion engine (for a total announced power of 327 hp and a cumulative torque of 500 Nm). The battery theoretically allows you to cover 63 kilometers in all-electric mode according to the WLTP certification standard, a figure that seems realistic to us in ideal conditions (in the city without heavy acceleration). On our test route, on the other hand, the much less favorable profile of the roads (especially on a nice stretch of countryside that was eagerly gobbled up) only allowed us to go over a little over 40 kilometers electrically, with a few wakes of the four cylinders during fair accelerations (more than 34 kWh/100 kilometers of electricity consumption recorded on the same route). Despite the lack of controlled damping, the CX-60 pampers its occupants well. On the other hand, the surprising heaviness of the controls (also in Comfort mode) is a bit surprising, especially since this consistency is not accompanied by a particularly candid and informative feel.

Getting Started - Mazda CX-60: Really a Large Premium SUV?

And when you activate Sport mode before seriously picking up the pace on a beautiful Portuguese road, the promises of the brand’s communicators during the press conference immediately disappear: not only does the powertrain not exactly excel in its performance (despite a claimed 0 to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds), but the driving sensations are not sporty. Admittedly, we are talking about a two-ton SUV here and it would be foolish to expect such a pachyderm to behave like a GT. But with rather slow steering (and even sticky at low speed), a lazy stern and little feedback, the SUV remains far from being an X3 or a Q5 at this level and we want to quickly slow down the pace. Under these conditions, it is impossible to feel the contribution of this famous propulsion with new architecture or of the four-wheel drive which is heralded as very advanced. At full load, the sounds of the transmission (reminiscent of the sound of a large Dodge Hellcat-style compressor!) and the naturally aspirated engine are even disturbing in these machines. nevertheless, we applaud the correct efficiency of the new automatic gearbox inaugurated by this model, a Mercedes-Benz Speedshift multi-disc clutch system that offers good response even in manual mode.

Getting Started - Mazda CX-60: Really a Large Premium SUV?

After a short journey of less than two hours with a hundred kilometers covered, the on-board computer indicates 6.3 liters per 100 km. A figure that doesn’t say much since we left at the start with full batteries, batteries that only need four hours to fully charge on a 220 volt socket.