Essai Mazda CX-60 (2022) : premier jet

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To be completely transparent, we tested this CX-60 for barely 3 hours in the hands, on board models still considered to be pre-series, which will require some additional adjustments.

Technical, above all, because aesthetically it was shown to us in its final version. Designed according to the latest inspirations from the Kodo stylistic code, the pencil strokes of the SUV are also baptized with the new “Noble Toughness” concept, embodied by lines sometimes cut with a katana, while seeking a certain fluidity. Its rear face, rather curved, thus contrasts with an unusual, ultra-verticalized front face.

A bias that will have its followers and its detractors, certainly. And if in photos, the CX-60 is sometimes a little “weird”, it is one of those models more attractive in real life than in photo in our eyes, it which imposes a size (4.74m long, 1.89m wide and 1.67m high) similar to a BMW X3 or a Volvo XC60, for example. The CX-60 is also offered in 18 or 20 inch sizes only.

Takumi better than the others

Mazda CX-60Credit Photo – Autonews

Settling in a Mazda has always been very natural and the cockpit/cocoon effect is also found 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 head movements in front of the camera which also detects drowsiness, the SUV will automatically adjust the seats, steering wheel, mirrors and head-up display, for a tailor-made position. In fact, because we are all different, some micro-adjustments still seemed necessary to us, but the vehicle suggests a satisfactory basic position.

The digital handset is very successful, with very inspired changing animations and atmospheres, depending on the driving mode adopted. As for the 12-inch central screen, it can only be manipulated through the shuttle and is not tactile. Mazda on the principle that it is safer to handle it while driving. Many will appreciate the gigantic character size of the various menus of the interface, thus very readable.

Our Exclusive-line finish with Comfort option blew hot and cold. The very stylized gearbox control, the leather and topstitching are of high quality, but these are sorely lacking on the entire dashboard, which favors foamed plastics, of course, but with very thick grain that is no longer really trendy. The inserts too, with mesh patterns, show a fairly ordinary rendering. The contrast is stark with the much more inspired, light Takumi finish, with a combination of maple wood inserts and kimono-inspired chunky knit fabric. A few widely spaced topstitchings are this time applied to the dashboard and bring a real uniqueness to the CX-60.

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

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

Power unit in longitudinal position

Mazda CX-60 (2022)

Mazda CX-60Credit Photo – Autonews

Mazda has placed the 141 kW 2.5 Skyactiv-G 4-cylinder naturally aspirated engine in a cascade (in the longitudinal position, which is rather 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 for 500 Nm of torque, it’s generous, but it does not take less to propel this big baby of 2 tons. The 0 to 100 km/h is done in 5.8 seconds, allowing the CX-60 to overtake quickly without being lightning either.

Our route, around and through the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, was rather hilly, thus justifying our electric autonomy which was just close to 40 km, rather far from the official 63 km. What’s more, the thermal/electrical management strategy tends to favor silent rolling, even on steep hills. Showing 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 since the CX-60 PHEV is 4-wheel drive. An additional key allows to force the recharge, which we tested, with consumption increasing from 1.5 l/100 km (as long as there was battery) to 6.5 l/100 km, after recovering 30 km of electric range in a high-capacity 17.8 kWh battery. A rather effective forced recharging speed, even if it will always be more appropriate to find a recharging point rather than using this function while driving.

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

Like a continuous Sport mode

Mazda CX-60 (2022)

Mazda CX-60Credit Photo – Autonews

A typing instantly hits the CX-60’s steering wheel, its steering. Mazda wanted it firm, providing great precision in dynamic driving, but becomes a little too physical in normal driving mode and in maneuvers. For this last exercise, Mazda offers a very practical See-Through View function, which displays the front view and the side views on the central screen, a bit like a bumper view, allowing you to park in forward gear. with relatively precise control of everything that happens at the wheels.

Also to the benefit of dynamism, but more penalizing for comfort, the SUV is typed rigid in damping, allowing passages in curves almost without rolling. On the other hand, the CX-60 becomes relatively uncomfortable on speed bumps and kerfs. The new Kinematic Posture Control system does help a little though, with the action of reducing the effects of pitching on large obstacles, which still exist, but instead of rocking back and forth, the system modifies this effect for a movement vertical synchronized this time on both axles at the same time.

The technical choice to opt for an automatic transmission with multi-disc clutch is relevant, no noisy CVT at least, but a smoother and quieter behavior. Which will not be enough, however, to offer responsiveness in sport and manual mode worthy of the name. A lesser 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-60Credit Photo – Autonews

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

A particular style, a firm road typing, an interior atmosphere that shows a real singularity on its highest finish. If accepted, the CX-60 thus becomes a model with a certain character, which does not just imitate the competition.

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

In short

Even if Mazda is convinced, rightly, that there is still potential to be exploited on thermal engines, the manufacturer must nevertheless play the game of electrification. The MX-30 paved the way for 100% EV models from the Japanese, it is now the turn of the CX-60 to inaugurate for the first time on the European market, its 100% in-house rechargeable hybrid technology. To mark the occasion a little more, Mazda has installed a few new refinements on board the CX-60, in addition to having opted for an offbeat, albeit particularly divisive, style.

Florian Duchiron

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