The Bavarian from Hiroshima—The new Mazda CX-60

The first-ever Mazda CX-60 is one of the most intriguing new models from Japan. Here’s a mass market brand that’s resolutely putting luxury brands in its crosshairs. And it’s not as simple as PR spin and a high price tag to create an illusion of luxury and exclusivity. 

The Mazda CX-60 sets new benchmarks in design, build quality, and performance for a non-luxury 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 truly special Rhodium White Premium. Photos by Manny de los Reyes

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.

Kinematic Posture Control further adds stability when cornering by braking the inside rear wheel to minimize body roll. The 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.

BMW becamse legendary because of its inline-6 engine—perfectly balanced inline-6, mind you, not the commonplace, easy-to-package V6. The CX-60 is powered by a now-rare inline 6 engine—a highly efficient new-generation 3.3-liter longitudinally-mounted turbocharged inline-6 Skyactiv engine 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.

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

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 smooth shifts 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 a wide range of driving conditions.

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 petrol 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 diesel-powered 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.

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. 

Inside, the CX-60 deliver sthe same driver-centric cockpit design found in all Mazdas. It offers a superb, 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.

There are three screens—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. The Mazda Commander Control knob has been optimally positioned to allow its operation with the user’s arm resting comfortably on the center armrest.

The door armrests are now set at the same height as the center armrest for ergonomic symmetry and 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, presents 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-gen Mazda Connect boasts 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 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.

I appreciate a true driver’s car and love the CX-60’s inline-6 engine and rear-wheel drive-biased dynamic driving performance. Others 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. It 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’s simply that good.

Most Popular


More Articles Like This