Why the new Mazda CX-60 is the perfect Father’s Day gift for my dad (or myself)

My father and I share a lot of things in common, but one of our strongest bonds is our mutual love of cars. But while we didn’t always share the same opinion about things automotive, I did applaud every single car he ever bought for the family since I was young.

Many of the cars he bought especially during the 70s and 80s (and have since sold) have now become iconic or enjoy collector’s status: a US version Mercedes-Benz 450SE, two W115 Mercedes 200 sedans, a VW Kombi, a box-type Mitsubishi Lancer GSR—just some of the cars that I regret we ever sold and now command breathtakingly high prices.

My dad preferred coupes as well as sedans. He had a two-door 1971 Opel Rekord, a two-door 1974 Colt Galant, and even a 1997 Hyundai Coupe.

The Mazda CX-60 3.3L AWD HEV Turbo (white) and the 3.3L AWD HEV Turbo-D Sport (red) are priced at P2,790,000 and P2,890,000, respectively.

One thing he never really had was an SUV. My dad is now 89 years old and hasn’t driven a car since he had a stroke in 2012. The last brand new car he bought was that Hyundai Coupe in 1997. He was 63 then.       

How I wish he still had his physical mobility now so he could enjoy driving (or riding) the new and first-ever Mazda CX-60.

While my dad enjoyed and appreciated his German luxury cars, he was never an automotive snob. He had a succession of Mitsubishis and Nissans and even dabbled with a Hyundai (when it was new brand in the Philippines distributed by Francisco Motors). I have no doubt he would have been greatly impressed—and even surprised—with the Mazda CX-60.    

Here is a mass market brand that’s resolutely putting luxury brands in its crosshairs. And it’s not as simple as pure PR and marketing spin coupled to a high price tag to create an illusion of luxury and exclusivity.

The Mazda CX-60 in the truly special Rhodium White Premium

This is no exaggeration: The first-ever Mazda CX-60 sets new benchmarks in design, build quality, and performance for a mass market brand. Finest takumi Japanese craftsmasnship worthy of a Lexus? Check. A near 50:50 front/rear weight balance and an inline-6 engine that are the hallmarks of a BMW? Check. Stunning paint colors and finishes that mirror those you’ll find in bespoke British luxury brands? Check. Finest genuine Nappa leather with Leganu suede inserts you might find in a Porsche? Check. A strikingly handsome exterior that’s very much in the league of Maserati and Jaguar SUVs? Check. Facial recognition that identifies the driver and adjusts the seats, steering wheel, mirrors, and even the climate and audio controls to his or her preset preferences? I don’t think any of the aforementioned luxury brands have that. But the Mazda CX-60 does.

The Mazda CX-60 in the popular (and very head-turning) Soul Red Crystal

Every single aspect of the Mazda CX-60 has been refined to perfect the Mazda Jinba-Ittai philosophy of car and driver in complete harmony. This starts with Mazda’s Large Vehicle Platform that features a highly rigid bodyshell matched to a front double wishbone and rear multi-link suspension setup, delivering a sublime driving experience.

The Mazda CX-60 in the unique and very elegant Platinum Quartz

Kinematic Posture Control further adds stability when cornering by braking the inside rear wheel to mitigate body roll. The optimal positioning of the high-voltage battery between the front and rear axles and located as low as possible further contributes to the low center of gravity—design and engineering tricks BMW would do.

The very compelling front end of the Mazda CX-60

The CX-60 is powered by highly efficient new-generation 3.3-liter longitudinally-mounted turbocharged inline-6 Skyactiv engines available in both gasoline and diesel versions. The beautiful-sounding inline-6 configuration produces less vibration due to its inherent perfect balance. Its intelligent lightweight construction means it is lighter than Mazda’s own four-cylinder Skyactiv engine family.

Inline-6 engines are found behind the wheels of iconic performance cars like the BMW M1, as well as the earlier versions of the Toyota Supra and Nissan Skyline GTR.

The gasoline-powered HEV e-SKYACTIV-G engine produces 284ps and 450Nm and delivers an impressive 0-100 kph time of just 6.9 seconds, while the diesel-powered turbocharged HEV e-SKYACTIV-D produces 254ps and 550Nm and does the same sprint in 7.3 seconds. Both achieve a top speed of 219 kph.

The Mazda CX-60 employs a new non-torque converter multi-plate SKYACTIV-DRIVE 8-speed automatic. The use of an electronically controlled multi-plate system in place of a torque converter results in ultra-smooth shifting between gears while also enabling accurate control of the M Hybrid Boost electric motor.

The new rear-biased i-ACTIV All-Wheel Drive system is supported by Mazda Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive), facilitating switching between four different driving modes to suit different driving conditions: Normal, Sport, Off-Road, and Towing. This allows drivers to optimize traction, performance, handling, and safety in the widest possible range of driving environments.

Clean, minimalist lines and just the right amount of curves give the Mazda CX-60 the elegant yet athletic demeanor of a Maserati Levante or Porsche Cayenne.

Both gas and diesel variants sport 20-inch alloy wheels with 235/50R20 tires, a panoramic sunroof, and a hands-free power tailgate with height adjustment memory. The 3.3L AWD HEV Turbo showcases the signature Mazda design with its diamond-cut alloy wheels, gloss black bar-type grille, and bright chrome on the front signature wing, fender garnish, side window moulding, and exhaust finishers. Differentiating the 3.3L AWD HEV Turbo-D Sport are its black metallic alloy wheels, gloss black honeycomb grille and side view mirrors, black chrome on the front signature wing, fender garnish, and exhaust finishers, and matte black side window molding.

A steering wheel that would like at home in a regal British ultra-luxury sedan

With distinctive colors forming a central tenet to Mazda’s Evolved Kodo Design, the CX-60 debuts Rhodium White Premium. Joining Soul Red Crystal and Machine Gray, the latest Takuminuri color is the purest white developed by Mazda. This accentuates the shadows on the surface of the vehicle, complementing the paint’s inherent metallic texture and finish.

Beautiful tan leather seats with Leganu suede inserts with a diamond stitch pattern look like they came from a Bentley. Underscoring the CX-60’s luxury aspirations is facial recognition technolgy that adjusts the seats, steering wheel, mirrors, audio and climate control according to the preset preferences of the CX-60 owner.

Inside, the CX-60 presents a wide instrument panel with continuous lines that run through the cabin, while the horizontally symmetrical layout is centered around the driver to deliver the same driver-centric cockpit design found in all Mazdas. It offers an unparalleled, ergonomically excellent driving position that feels natural and supportive, with the ideal pedal and seat alignment, and new levels of comfort and space for passengers. With the generous 570-liter cargo hold, it is the most practical car in Mazda’s lineup. This can be expanded further with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat. The rear seats also come equipped with a center armrest with cup holders and dual USB Type-C ports.

Three main displays—a 12.3-inch fully digital driver’s instrument panel, a 12.3-inch infotainment center display, and a 10.4-inch heads-up display put all the information right where it is needed. Meanwhile, the Mazda Commander Control knob has been optimally positioned to allow its operation with the user’s arm resting comfortably on the center armrest.

Both the front door grips and armrests have been designed to offer enhanced grip and support. The door armrests are now set at the same height as the center armrest for ergonomic symmetry and maximum occupant comfort. Every design element of the CX-60’s interior serves a purpose; nothing is purely ornamental, putting focus on the highest level of Japanese craftsmanship and carefully curated materials.

The 3.3L AWD HEV Turbo features aluminum panels and silver accents, black Nappa leather seats, and black leather interior upholstery. The 3.3L AWD HEV Turbo-D Sport, on the other hand, achieves the highest levels of craftsmanship with graphite panels and gunmetal accents, and tan Nappa leather seats with quilted Leganu suede inserts. The opulent color is accented on the dashboard center, door cards, and even on the steering wheel—a first for Mazda. Both variants offer 10-way power front seat adjustment, front seat ventilation, electric steering wheel adjustment, wireless device charging, ambient lighting, and dual-zone climate control with rear vents.

The latest-generation Mazda Connect infotainment system allows passengers to connect via wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a 12-speaker Bose sound system delivers expanded liveliness and reinforced low pitch for a full auditory experience.

The Driver Personalization System, a new innovation from Mazda, debuts in the Mazda CX-60.

After entering the driver’s height data via the infotainment center display, the automatic driving position guide uses an in-car camera to detect the location of their eyes. It then automatically adjusts the seat, steering wheel, Active Driving Display, and door mirrors to match the driver’s height and eye position.

The system even uses facial recognition to remember each driver’s preferences. Once the driver is detected, the CX-60 automatically restores more than 250 stored settings to match their preferences, including vehicle, audio, and climate control settings. The system stores settings for up to six different users, plus guests. The Driver Entry/Exit Assist function slides the steering wheel and seat out of the way to make it easier for drivers to get into and out of the car

A range of i-Activsense driver assistance systems are designed to deliver safety performance for both occupants and other road users, including pedestrians. Several of these new technologies are first introduced in the CX-60. These include See-Through View, which builds on Mazda’s current 360° View Monitor by projecting natural footage of the vehicle’s surroundings, Hill Descent Control (HDC), which makes descending slippery road surfaces such as dirt tracks much safer, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Vehicle Exit Warning that alerts occupants if an object is coming into the vehicle’s blind spot as they are opening the door.

Furthermore, the Rear Cross Traffic Alert has been updated with Rear Cross Brake Support which automatically applies the brakes if there is a possibility of collision with a vehicle approaching from the rear when reversing out of a parking space.

These features enhance the full level of protection provided by the CX-60’s i- Activsense safety suite which offers Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Front Smart Brake Support with Forward Obstruction Warning, Rear Smart Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Front Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Monitoring System, and Driver Attention Alert.

The Mazda CX-60 comes in Rhodium White Premium, Soul Red Crystal, Machine Gray, Platinum Quartz, Sonic Silver, Deep Crystal Blue, and Jet Black, and is priced at P2,790,000 for the gasoline and P2,890,000 for the diesel.

The price is inclusive of a 5-year Free Service Plan which covers the expenses of periodic maintenance at either 6-month or 10,000-kilometer intervals for up to 5 years or 100,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. This is on top of a 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty.

My dad (a father of four) would love the Mazda CX-60 for its beautiful exterior and luxurious and finely crafted interior. I (a father of three mid- to late-20s kids and who appreciates a true driver’s car) love the CX-60’s inline-6 engine and rear-wheel drive-biased dynamic driving performance.

My dad and I may have different automotive tastes and priorities, but I am absolutely positive that we will agree that the Mazda CX-60 is simply one of the finest SUVs ever built. The Mazda CX-60 is not just worth every peso, it transcends the price-value equation that has always been the realm of the most admired luxury brands. It is simply that good.

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