/ 17 March 2024

Takumi dishes a dazzling drive

The flagship Mazda CX-60 Diesel’s power changes the model’s character for the better

Mazda’s flagship SUV, the CX-60, was introduced to South Africa in the middle of last year, bringing with it the brand’s latest Kodo design language and updated tech. 

The biggest criticism of it was the absence of powertrain variations, with the CX-60 only being offered with the 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol motor. 

There was promise of a new hybrid turbodiesel model this year and we’re happy to report Mazda SA has made good on that, introducing the Takumi 3.3-litre turbodiesel last week. 

The powertrain is the main element that sets the Takumi apart from the 2.5L Individual or Dynamic. 

However, keen-eyed motorists will spot a slight variation in the grille, the diamond-cut alloy wheels, and the inline-6 badges on the front fenders. 

The new 3.3-litre turbodiesel completes the CX-60 range. 

Where the 2.5-litre naturally aspirated motor felt underwhelming for the package, the Takumi dishes out a dazzling drive. 

Key traits of the powertrain: efficiency, power and versatility. 

The efficiency comes from a 48V mild-hybrid system that sees a starter-generator sit between the in-line engine and the transmission. 

The system is there solely to compensate, and to assist the engine where needed, especially at low speeds and start-up. 

Mazda claims 4.9 litres/100km for the CX-60, but we can’t verify that yet, given our relatively short launch drive of about 120km, which was mainly spent exploiting the car’s power. 

The exterior of the Mazda CX-60 has been tweaked slightly with changes to the grille, the diamond-cut alloy wheels and the badges on the front fenders.

Speaking of which, there’s loads of it, quoted as 187kW and 550Nm. It feels even more powerful than that. 

This does change the CX-60’s character and, while we did expect it to be better than the petrol-powered versions, this turbodiesel is far superior on the road. 

The engine puts out the sound of a turbocharged V6 petrol mill, rather than that of a turbodiesel. 

Coupled with a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, the engine allows for a wide range of use.  

In-gear acceleration is strong, while that torque figure speaks to its pulling power for up to 1 800kg of unbraked towing, as well as the use of its all-wheel-drive system on tougher terrain. 

While we didn’t get to test the Takumi model on anything other than pristine tarmac, the ride seems adequately balanced for that sort of versatility. Hill Descent Control is also available for those off-the-beaten-track excursions. 

Beyond this stellar powertrain addition, the flagship Takumi model brims with tech, comfort and safety features. 

Among the standout technology is Mazda’s adaptive cruise control and i-ActiveSense systems. Both use cameras and radar to scan the surrounding environment and take measures to mitigate accidents and give drivers peace of mind. 

Other notable features include the additional safety tech as well as the convenience and spoils of a pair of 12- and 12.3-inch display and infotainment screens, respectively. 

Bose Premium Sound complements the experience through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions. 

Whatever your expectations of a flagship SUV from Mazda, this Takumi model has the goods. 

I was particularly enamoured by the Takumi, given that I had a fairly short stint behind the wheel. 

Cx602 (1)
The interior offers plenty of comfort and tech.

The Mazda CX-60 Takumi is equally attractive in price. 

The marque has stated that it is in the process of transitioning to the premium market. It’s been coming for a while, and when you consider this product, you can see why. 

With this in mind, compared to its premium counterparts from Germany, Sweden and Japan, the price of R1 049 200 looks promising.

The Honda CR-V, another Japanese SUV, is priced R10 000 less, but the Takumi makes a far stronger statement. 

Mazda SA has plans to introduce the seven-seater CX-80 early next year, as well as an all-new CX-5 later in the year, its most premium range of vehicles ever sold locally. 

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles are being considered for 2026 onwards, but Mazda isn’t rushing into these, preferring to play the longer, more cautious, game.