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Mazda CX-60 AWD Takumi e-Skyactiv D automatic

Bespoke. Individual. Personal. Tailored. Exclusive. They’re the consumer buzz words of the 20’s and everyone’s at it. It’s all marketing balm; making you feel extra special when you check into a hotel room, book a holiday package – or buy a car.

Mazda’s got it down to a T. I visited the firm’s Training Academy near Bedford, where Mazda UK’s staff go to be immersed in Omotenashi, the ancient Japanese spirit of hospitality – and how to extend it to customers. It governs everything from the character and design of the car itself to how you’re greeted in the showroom. This is in evidence, visually, in the CX-60, its attractively stitched, woven fabric and striking white maple wood accents mirroring the zen-like calm, warm colours, soft timber hues, cascading green plants, and carefully chosen materials at the Academy.

It goes further. There’s a clever trick up this Mazda’s sleeve: its ‘Driver Personalisation System’ which, relying on a camera embedded in the centre display, it recognises and identifies the driver’s face, to provide the perfect – individual – driving environment. The magic starts after the driver inputs their height, letting the camera use the eyes’ position to fine-tune a claimed 250 settings to the driver’s individual physique and personal preferences. The system is claimed to automatically calculate the best seating position, providing optimum comfort and vision out through the windows. That means adjusting the seat itself, steering wheel, door mirrors, and the head-up display angle just for you. Even the sound and climate settings are personalised (there’s that word again) before your drive begins. The system uses the facial recognition technology to return the CX-60 to your driving preferences after someone else drives. It can store six different people’s settings.

I whizzed through this futuristic-feeling procedure when I first took delivery in a race to hit the road. But a necessary software update deleted my settings, offering the opportunity to try the process again. So how did it go? First, I was asked to sit in the driver’s seat, to choose my height, then remove any sunglasses, before hitting ‘start’. The seat whirred into place – more or less where I would have chosen myself. (Well, second time around. Rather vainly, I must have added an inch the first time so I couldn’t reach the brakes). I was then guided through a six-stage process, fine-tuning ‘Seat Slide’, Thigh Support, Steering Wheel Reach, Steering Wheel Height, Outer Mirrors, and Active Driving Display. Each stage was accompanied by brief instructions.

Next, I was asked to choose an image from eight different shots of Mazdas, then hit Save, under my name. Now, each time I get in, the car identifies me and sets everything up. It’s nice not having to fiddle about.

I’m not sure about ‘ingress/egress’ assist, which slides the steering wheel up and the seat rearwards; I don’t find it particularly helpful, and it punishes forgetfulness when someone absent-mindedly wedges a shopping bag behind the driver’s seat. Bespoke scrambled eggs, anyone?

But I’m a sucker for a bit of luxury.
And it makes sense for Mazda too. After storing the perfect position, climate,
and all the best radio stations, it gives the consumer a sense of cosy belonging. Now surely there must be a Japanese word for that…

What's Hot

There’s a domestic-style three-pin power socket set neatly into the back of the front armrest. The kids love it for their gadgets.

What's Not

Fast Idle Engine Cleaning occurs too often, after crawling along London’s 20mph roads, elevating idle speeds by around 500rpm.

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