Mazda has been hard at work at elevating itself into a more premium brand. Sure, their cars are indeed more premium in terms of feel through the use of nicer materials and giving their cars a more elegant and simplistic look, but for the most part, they still compete mostly with other mainstream cars. This time around, they’re not playing with the mainstream brands anymore. Instead, with their new premium rear-wheel drive (RWD) architecture, their new cars are now legitimate but more affordable competitors to the likes of BMW, Lexus, or Mercedes-Benz. Say hello to the first-ever 2024 Mazda CX-60.
Exquisite Exterior Surfacing
AWD Turbo-D Sport
As the first vehicle in Mazda’s “Large Product Group”, the CX-60 wears the brand’s evolved Kodo design language. It carries over familiar styling cues such as the signature five-point grille but with unique touches such as the LED daytime running lights extending toward the grille. Its proportions are also unmistakably RWD, as evidenced by its long hood and short overhangs that give this SUV an athletic profile. Also contributing to its dynamic stance is its sloped rear end, which contains LED taillights that nearly extend to the middle of the tailgate.
Two variants will be sold, an AWD Turbo and AWD Turbo-D Sport. The exterior features of these two variants are exactly the same, such as the 20-inch wheels and the powered tailgate with a foot sensor. Where they differ is in terms of aesthetics. The AWD Turbo (shown in Rhodium White) comes with two-tone wheels, more chrome detailing, and a chrome grille with a vertical pattern, while the AWD Turbo-D Sport comes with black wheels, a mesh grille pattern, and a mix of gloss black and Black Chrome trimmings.
An Interior Worthy Of Its Stature
AWD Turbo-D Sport
Competing with luxury brands means offering an interior that’s more than just elevated from mainstream cars. It has to be fundamentally premium and well-built from the ground up, which Mazda did achieve with the CX-60. There’s a generous use of Nappa Leather and genuine aluminum trims all over the interior, and in terms of tech, Mazda gave the CX-60 two 12.3-inch screens, one for the digital gauges and the other for the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The latter comes with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a first-ever Driver Personalization System. This feature sets your “ideal” driving position based on the parameters you gave to the car, but for me, I found the settings it gave too upright. You can tweak the settings based on your preferences and then this will be linked to your face whenever you get in the CX-60.
Likewise, in terms of features, both variants are exactly the same, including the heated and ventilated front seats, a large 10.4-inch head-up display, a 12-speaker Bose sound system, and Mazda’s first-ever use of a panoramic sunroof. Where they differ once again is in terms of aesthetics. The AWD Turbo gets black Nappa Leather upholstery with silver aluminum accents while the AWD Turbo-D Sport gets tan Nappa Leather with graphite accents and tan Leganu Suede in various parts of the cabin.
Advanced Safety Comes As Standard
All CX-60s come with the entire i-Activsense suite of advanced driver-assistance tech, ranging from Smart Brake Support front and rear, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This is on top of a 360-degree camera system and of course the usual suite of airbags.
Straight-Six Engines Are The Flavor Of The Day
A luxury car also comes with a premium engine, and for a brand like Mazda, it’s a very bold move for them to create a turbocharged 3.3-liter straight-six gasoline and diesel engine from scratch as the world downsizes and turbocharges its powertrains. The gas mill produces 284 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque while the diesel produces 254 horsepower and 550 Nm of torque, with 0-100 kph times for the gas and diesel being at 6.9 seconds and 7.3 seconds, respectively. Both engines are hooked up to a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and a first-ever Mazda-developed eight-speed automatic with a multi-plate clutch as opposed to a torque converter. This reduces parasitic loss and thus makes the automatic as direct as a manual in terms of throttle response.
Since this is an RWD architecture, the AWD system it has is rear-biased, giving this car sporty driving characteristics. Kinematic Posture Control (KPC), which debuted in the 2023 update of the MX-5, is an evolution of the brand’s G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) torque vectoring by braking and torque modulation in the inner wheels when cornering. It’s all designed to help the CX-60 rotate better in corners and reduce body roll as much as possible.
A Premium Car Comes With A Premium Price
Pricing for the 2024 Mazda CX-60 starts at P2,790,000 for the AWD Turbo and P2,890,000 for the AWD Turbo-D Sport. For a vehicle competing with compact luxury SUVs, Mazda’s pricing is pretty good as it undercuts equivalent X3s and Q5s by up to a million less. All CX-60s come with Mazda’s free five-year free maintenance program, which is a premium experience that carries over to the ownership experience as well.