Prise en mains - Mazda CX-60 : un gros SUV premium, vraiment ?

Prise en mains – Mazda CX-60 : un gros SUV premium, vraiment ?

4.75 meters long, 1.89 meters wide and 2,055 kg on the scale. You guessed it, we’re not talking about a tasty little sporty roadster, or one of those compacts with the very special design philosophy that Mazda has the secret to. Even the design of the 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 seems to have escaped from an American highway. However, it is clearly targeting the European market and incorporates new technology: like Alfa Romeo since its return initiated with the Giulia and the Stelvio, it is based around a new propulsion-type platform (but with all-wheel drive with motors mounted in the longitudinal position), which in the future will equip other large-format models instead of the front-wheel-drive architecture of the current Mazda 3, 5 and 6. A platform optimized for plug-in hybrid powertrains, described by the engineers of Mazda as a model of dynamism thanks to a well-adjusted weight distribution and very extensive work on the running gear.

Inside, we find more of the Mazda universe and despite the impressive length of the hood, there is plenty of space to spare. With its 570 liters of trunk despite the presence of lithium-ion batteries under the floor, the trunk does better than that of compact family SUVs and largely beats the hybrid versions of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC.

Rear roominess is generous.

The rear passengers also benefit from generous roominess, but those in the front will not be impressed by the refinement of the dashboard despite an interesting style and good assembly 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 that the high-end Takumi variant (€58,050), approached a few days ago during the official presentation, did better impression with stunning skins and a truly luxurious ambience.

The equipment suffers from no shortcomings (dual-zone automatic air conditioning, Apple Carplay & Android Auto smartphone connectivity, cruise control and lane keeping assistant, 360-degree cameras, etc.) and gadget lovers will be delighted thanks to a strange system, allowing the car to automatically adjust the position of the seat and the electric steering wheel by analyzing the driver’s gaze (after indicating your height in the on-board computer). The CX-60 then adapts the settings on its own to position you optimally, even if fans of driving near the steering wheel may find themselves a little too far away 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 cluster and 12.3-inch center screen work well, but the graphics look a bit dated. Mazda is still reluctant to touchscreen features and only allows them when stationary. As soon as the vehicle is in motion, you must therefore use the knob at the bottom of the center console to navigate through the menus of the central screen.

Getting started - Mazda CX-60: a big premium SUV, really?

Installed at the controls of this big hybrid baby which also stands out as the most powerful Mazda in history, starting takes place naturally in total silence. The CX-60 has a 17.8 kWh battery, powering a 136 horsepower electric motor positioned at the rear to back up the 192 horsepower four-cylinder combustion engine (for a total power announced at 327 horsepower and a cumulative torque of 500 Nm). The battery theoretically allows you to travel 63 kilometers in all-electric mode according to the WLTP certification standard, a figure which seems realistic to us in ideal conditions (in town without heavy acceleration). On our test route, on the other hand, the much less favorable profile of the roads (especially on a pretty section in the countryside swallowed greedily) only allowed us to slightly exceed 40 kilometers in electric, with a few awakenings of the four cylinders during frank accelerations (more than 34 kWh/100 kilometers of electricity consumption recorded on this same route). Despite the absence of controlled damping, the CX-60 properly pampers its occupants. On the other hand, the surprising heaviness of the steering (including in Comfort mode) is a bit surprising, especially since this consistency is not accompanied by a particularly frank and informative feeling.

Getting started - Mazda CX-60: a big premium SUV, really?

And when you activate the Sport mode before seriously upping the pace on a beautiful Portuguese road, the promises of the brand’s communicators during the press conference instantly vanish: not only does the powertrain not particularly shine by 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 here about an SUV weighing more than two tons and it would be stupid to expect such a pachyderm to behave like a GT. But with a rather slow steering (and even sticky at low speed), a lazy stern and little feedback, the SUV remains far from an X3 or a Q5 on this level and we quickly want to lower the pace. Impossible, under these conditions, to feel the contribution of this famous new architecture typed propulsion or of the all-wheel drive announced as very sophisticated. At full load, the noises of the transmission (reminiscent of the sound of a large Dodge Hellcat-style compressor!) and the naturally aspirated engine are even disconcerting in this kind of machine. all the same, we welcome the correct efficiency of the new automatic gearbox inaugurated by this model, a Mercedes-Benz Speedshift multi-disc clutch system which offers good responsiveness even in manual mode.

Getting started - Mazda CX-60: a big premium SUV, really?

At the end of a short run of less than two hours with a hundred kilometers covered, the on-board computer displays 6.3 liters per 100 km. A figure that does not mean much since we left with full batteries at the start, batteries only requiring four hours to fully recharge on a 220 volt outlet.

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