The chassis impresses much more, tested here on British roads, even in a CX-60 wearing the biggest possible, 20in wheels. Traction is assured, and although the Mazda rarely shows evidence of its rear-biased torque delivery, it resists understeer well. The ride stays composed and comfortable, even on a test route than includes both some of Liverpool’s finest potholes and twisting, cresty Welsh A-roads tackled at speed. The Mazda doesn’t have adaptive dampers and its compliance proves it doesn’t need to.

While bigger lateral loadings do bring discernible body lean, and the steering lacks much in the way of granular feedback responses are respectably crisp and enthusiastic for something so tall and heavy. The limiting factor on athleticism in the car I drove is the limited adhesion of the unsporty Bridgestone Alenza tyres. The CX-60 feels well up to exploiting grippier rubber.

The cabin is well finished and the plushest Takumi specification brings upmarket materials inspired by contemporary Japanese design, such as wooden cappings and the option of nice-feeling cloth dashboard facing. It also has door trims made from real metal and seemingly modelled on the tailgate fins of a 1950s Cadillac. And that’s in a good way. Strangely, the 12.3in central display screen supports touch inputs when running Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but not for Mazda’s native navigation system. Which, frankly, isn’t up to much.

But while space up front is good, with a decent range of positional adjustment, room in the back is far tighter. Full-sized adults are going to feel squashed back there if front-seat occupants are making the most of their space. The rear backrest is also at a steep angle to carve more space from the boot, which is an acceptable 570 litres with the rear seats in place. The CX-60 sits on a modular architecture that is going to underpin a family of SUVs, including a bigger sibling with three rows of seating. That will be the practical one.

It’s always been easy to criticise plug-in hybrids for the compromises inherent in lugging around two different powertrains, and that hasn’t changed with the CX-60 PHEV. While there is lots to like about it, the standout features are mostly unrelated to the new powertrain – and my keenest anticipation after experiencing this one is finding out what the six-cylinder petrol and diesel versions will be like. 


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