DRIVEN: Mazda CX-60 3.3D Takumi provides a powerful SUV alternative

Published Mar 19, 2024


Almost every review about a Mazda product ends with the same conclusion: its a well designed and attractive exterior and interior, but they lack the power to go with it.

That’s just changed with the introduction of the Mazda CX-60 Takumi 3.3L diesel Mild-Hybrid, making it the flagship of the local Mazda range until the CX-80 arrives later this year.

Competition for German SUVs

You will however have to fork out just over R1 million but given local car prices, that’s not especially eye-watering for a mid-sized family SUV.

Mazda Southern Africa managing director Craig Roberts says its pricing would in all likelihood be attractive to potential buyers looking to trade in and replace their current German SUVs.

The throaty straight six turbo diesel provides 187kW and 550Nm of torque with an extra 153Nm available for shorts stints from a 48V lithium-ion battery as part of the hybrid eight-speed automatic transmission powering all four wheels which Mazda says will get you to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 219km/h.

Designed for fuel efficiency, the spec-sheet claims consumption figures of 4.9l/100km but on the launch drive in and around Cape Town and Stellenbosch we had figures closer to 8l but most of it was open road driving and very little city and suburban driving where a hybrid is better suited.

Takumi are Mazda’s craftsmen and women with an unparalleled special skill who design and build the vehicles, hence the nomenclature in the CX-60s nameplate.

They’ve done their name proud with the design of what is a rather large chunk of metal with hardly a sharp corner or unnecessary kink to be found.

It also gets a CX-60 exclusive front bumper design, metal finish to the front wings, piano black grill and 20-inch black metallic diamond-cut alloys.

Mazda’s Human Machine Interface interior is almost Volvo-esque in its premium look and feel with hand stitched Nappa leather, silver garnishes and lots of glass and not many dials or switches.

Cellphone integration

Interestingly the 12.3-inch infotainment display isn’t touch sensitive but instead it’s a haptic set-up operated by a rotary dial and switches on the centre console.

It supports Android Auto via USB and wireless Apple CarPlay.

Facing the driver is a 12-inch digital instrument cluster that changes colour depending on which mode (Normal, Sports, Towing and Off-road) you’re in.

A cool feature is the Driver Personalisation System that, when saved, uses facial recognition to automatically adjust more than 200 settings including the heated and ventilated seat position, steering wheel, mirrors, head-up display, sound and climate control.

Six profiles can be stored in the system.

With 178mm of ground clearance, 570 litres load space (1,148l with the rear seats folded down), decent rear legroom, towing mode, towing capacity of 1,800kg and a 12-speaker Bose sound system, it’s sure to attract the attention of family adventurers.

The 3.3-litre mill has a fantastically linear torque curve on pull away and running through the gearbox; it's silky smooth both on upshift and downshift.

Push the accelerator to the carpet and it provides a pleasant, almost petrol-like roar with quick but gentle acceleration.

There’s no histrionics here even when pushing it through the curves of Stelllenbosch’s Helshoogte.

With suspension set more for comfortable cruising, there’s slight body roll but it’s not intrusive or wobbly with light steering and feedback through the comfortable steering wheel is fine for a vehicle of this stature.

With a Euro NCAP five-star safety rating and a host of safety and driver assist features such as automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, See-Through View, Smart City Brake Support, EBD, DSC and front impact protection the CX-60 has everything and then some to keep the driver and passengers safe.

The addition of some real oomph to the Mazda range with the CX-60 Takumi 3.3L diesel certainly provides an enticing option in the segment dominated by the Germans.

It comes with a five-year/unlimited distance warranty and service plan.

Mazda CX-60 3.3D AWD Takumi: R1,049,200