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2023 Mazda CX-60 PHEV First Drive: An Enlightening Road Test?

Düsseldorf, Germany - It's not often a automaker invites automotive journalists to test drive a vehicle that will never be part of the brand's lineup in North America. But, as the saying goes, it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Mazda is currently looking to reinvigorate its image by tackling a slightly more upscale segment and the CX-60 is exactly the type of vehicle the brand needs right now.

The Japanese manufacturer already has a few utility vehicles, and some of them come out of the factory with a quality of execution that is quite astonishing for a generalist brand, but to reach a more demanding clientele, Mazda must also review its goals, surpass its limits, and even get off the beaten track to change its image.

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That's what this new mid-size crossover offensive is all about. Mazda already has the CX-9, a vehicle that competes with models like the Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder, but it will be replaced by the CX-90, a model that we're guessing may just outperform its predecessor. Mazda is also planning for North America a new CX-70, an SUV that could change the game in the two-row midsize segment.

But for now, Mazda has only unveiled part of this new approach in the form of the CX-60, a slightly smaller cousin of the upcoming CX-70 - at least, that's what we'Re guessing -, but this new CX is not destined for North American roads.

That's why we headed across the Atlantic Ocean to Mazda Europe's headquarters in Düsseldorf, where the 2023 CX-60 PHEV was waiting for us. But what's the point of testing a vehicle that won't be part of the Canadian strategy?

It's true that at first glance, this exercise may seem pointless, but fact is the CX-70 will be based on the same Large platform as the CX-60 or the other two, the CX-80 and CX-90, for that matter. As for the fact that these vehicles will all use some variation of this plug-in hybrid powertrain, let's just say that the similarities point more and more towards an enlightening test.

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