Getting started – Mazda CX-60: a great premium SUV, right?

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

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4.75 meters long, 1.89 meters wide and 2,055 kg on the scales. You guessed it, we are not talking about a tasty little sports roadster or one of those compacts with a very special design philosophy that has the secret of Mazda. Even the design of the CX-60 is in stark contrast to the spirit and style 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 clearly targets the European market and incorporates new technology: like Alfa Romeo since its return with Giulia and Stelvio, it relies on a new propulsion platform (but with four-wheel drive with longitudinal engines), the which in the future will equip other large models instead of the front-wheel drive architecture of today’s Mazda 3, 5 and 6. A platform optimized for plug-in hybrid powertrains, described by Mazda engineers as a model of dynamism thanks to well-adjusted weight distribution and very extensive work on motion equipment.

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

The rear space is generous.
The rear space is generous.

The rear passengers also benefit from the generous spaciousness, but the front ones will not be impressed by the dashboard finesse despite the interesting style and good quality of assembly.

The style of the dashboard is pleasing.
The style of the dashboard is pleasing.

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

The equipment does not suffer from shortcomings (automatic two-zone air conditioning, Apple Carplay & Android Auto smartphone connectivity, cruise control and lane-keeping assistant, 360-degree cameras, etc.) and gadget lovers will be thrilled thanks to a strange system that allows The car automatically adjusts the position of the seat and the power steering by analyzing the driver’s gaze (after indicating your height on the vehicle computer). Then the CX-60 adjusts the settings on its own to fit you best, even if driving enthusiasts near the steering wheel can be a little too far for their tastes.

The touch screen only works when it is stationary.
The touch screen only works when it is stationary.
Therefore, the use of the wheel is mandatory.
Therefore, the use of the wheel is mandatory.

The digital instrument panel and 12.3-inch center display work well, but the graphics look a bit old. Mazda is still reluctant to touch screen features and only allows them when they are still. Once the vehicle is in motion, it is therefore mandatory to use the button at the bottom of the center console to navigate the center screen menus.

Getting started - Mazda CX-60: a great premium SUV, right?

Mounted on the controls of this large hybrid baby that also stands out as the most powerful Mazda in history, the boot is of course in complete silence. The CX-60 has a 17.8 kWh battery, which powers a 136-horsepower electric motor mounted at the rear to support the 192-horsepower four-cylinder internal combustion engine (for a total power of 327 hp and a total torque of 500 Nm). The battery theoretically allows you to travel 63 km in fully electric mode according to the WLTP certification standard, a number that seems realistic in ideal conditions (in the city without much acceleration). On our test run, on the other hand, the much less favorable road profile (especially in a beautiful, greedily swamped countryside) allowed us to slightly exceed 40 km electrically, with a few four-cylinder spin-offs during helixes. (over 34 kWh / 100 km of electricity consumption recorded on the same route). Despite the lack of controlled damping, the CX-60 takes proper care of its passengers. On the other hand, the astonishing weight of the steering system (including the Comfort function) is a bit strange, especially since this consequence is not accompanied by a very honest and informative feeling.

Getting started - Mazda CX-60: a great premium SUV, right?

And when you turn on the Sport before you seriously pick up the pace on a beautiful Portuguese street, the promise of brand communications during the press conference disappears immediately: not only does the drive not shine very well from its performance (despite the claimed 0 up to 100 km / h in 5.8 seconds), but the driving senses are not sporty. Admittedly, we are talking about an SUV weighing more than two tons and it would be foolish to expect such pachyderm to behave like a GT. But with a rather slow steering wheel (and even sticky at low speeds), lazy austerity and little feedback, the SUV stays away from an X3 or a Q5 at this level and we want to slow down quickly. Impossible, under these circumstances, to feel the contribution of this famous new typed propulsion architecture or four-wheel drive that was announced to be very sophisticated. At full load, the noises of the gearbox (reminiscent of the sound of a large Dodge Hellcat! Compressor!) And atmospheric engine are even more disturbing on this type of engine. Nevertheless, we welcome the proper performance of the new automatic transmission launched by this model, a Mercedes-Benz Speedshift multi-disc clutch system that offers good response even in manual mode.

Getting started - Mazda CX-60: a great premium SUV, right?

At the end of a short journey of less than two hours with a hundred kilometers covered, the built-in computer displays 6.3 liters per 100 km. in a 220 volt socket.

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