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The 2025 Mazda CX-70 Blends Style And Performance Perfectly

Image Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

The latest sporty two-row SUV from Mazda proved its adaptability to the vibrant lifestyle of Southern California during a recent test drive featuring the Turbo S Premium Plus and PHEV models across the captivating Coachella Valley.

Upon the debut of the brand-new CX-70 earlier this year, Mazda portrayed the midsize two-row crossover as a vehicle tailored for individuals with dynamic lifestyles, offering a generous touch of luxury similar to its predecessor, the CX-90. Crafted for high-end SUV consumers seeking increased storage capacity without the necessity for a third row of seats – potentially targeting enthusiasts with an empty nest or dual income, no kids couples, the CX-70, sharing its platform with the CX-90, stands out with its sportier design enhancements.

Dan Aguilar, the vehicle line planning product manager at Mazda, highlighted that the CX-70’s design, enhanced by a lower front bumper, blacked-out trim elements, gloss black rear roof spoiler, and 21-inch wheels, exudes a slightly more assertive yet still sophisticated visual appeal. Within the lavish and commodious interior, premium Nappa leather, suede, and metallic accents establish an inviting ambiance.

While Mazda has a long-established history of creating premium vehicles with a focus on driving experience and performance, it isn’t traditionally placed in the same luxury category as brands like BMW or Mercedes-Benz. This positioning is something Mazda aims to alter as it progresses its upscale strategy while solidifying its presence in the competitive midsize SUV sector.

One of the standout features of the CX-70 is its expansive cargo capacity, boasting 40 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 75 cubic feet when folded down. The storage space has been optimized with extra compartments, including a unique sub-trunk design for discreet storage of valuables and small items. The CX-70 also becomes the first Mazda crossover to come standard with Alexa Built-In integration for hands-free voice commands.

Introducing new driver-assistance technologies, the emergency-focused Unresponsive Driver Support can automatically slow down and halt the vehicle if it detects the driver failing to respond to escalating alerts.

To gain insight into the performance of Mazda’s newest SUV addition and how it competes with its closest rivals (such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, Lexus RX, and BMW X5, all of which were conspicuously displayed for comparison during the test-drive event), an opportunity was extended for a trial of the Turbo S Premium Plus and PHEV models on suburban roads and hilly terrains around Palm Springs.

The initial model tested was the Turbo S Premium Plus, featuring an Inline 6-Cylinder engine generating 340 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard i-Activ all-wheel drive. Despite the triple-digit temperatures in the late afternoon, the ventilated eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat (an exclusive feature of the Premium Plus package, alongside the standard heated front seats on all trims) ensured a pleasant and cool 45-minute drive to the Indian Wells Golf Resort.

Traveling through surface streets and two-lane highways along the course provided ample opportunities to acquaint myself with the user-friendly infotainment system, navigated effortlessly using the console-mounted navigation wheel and steering wheel controls. The journey also allowed exploration of wireless smartphone connectivity and Android Auto, enhancing the listening experience through the 12-speaker Bose sound system while enjoying a curated Spotify playlist.

In comparison to the CX-90 (which I previously drove from San Francisco to Napa), the ride felt notably firm, yet the six-cylinder engine delivered a poised and smooth power delivery in all the right moments. During the briefing, I discovered that the Turbo S version I was piloting was also equipped with a Mazda tow package capable of towing up to 5000 pounds, featuring a bird’s-eye camera for seamless hitching.

Opting to take an alternate route back to Desert Hot Springs via a winding road through the Coachella Valley Preserve, I had the chance to experiment with Mi-Drive mode selection and engage Sport Mode for a more dynamic ride for a brief stretch, all while capturing some photos during the golden hour and admiring the interior with its refined combination of quilted Nappa leather seats and suede dashboard inserts, embodying the current trend of understated luxury that promises enduring allure.

As daylight dwindled, the visibility of the 12.3” digital cluster through the elegant leather-wrapped steering wheel was further emphasized by the onset of twilight in the Sonoran Desert.

The subsequent day presented the opportunity to extensively test the PHEV Premium Plus model, navigating through winding roads and switchbacks along Route 74 ascending into the San Jacinto Mountains and traversing the picturesque Pines to Palms Highway. A brief stop below the Coachella Valley Vista Point allowed for more photo opportunities and a moment to engage Off-Road mode on a small incline, promising a hint of adventure.

Mazda touts that when fully charged, the 17.8-kWh battery pack can propel the CX-70 PHEV for a commendable 26 miles in electric-only mode and achieve 25 MPG combined in hybrid mode once the battery is depleted. Initially captivated by the remarkably smooth drive, this sentiment persisted even amid navigating sharp turns later on. The 2.5L SkyActiv 4-cylinder engine and a 68 kW electric motor collectively deliver 323 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque. Supported by the Mazda Kinematic Posture Control suspension layout and i-Activ all-wheel drive system, maintaining the vehicle’s stability through bends was effortless, akin to an invisible and automatic guidance system. Effortlessly conquered the winding mountain roads and navigated curves with flair.

The transmission smoothly shifted through the eight speeds once again, as I cruised with both hands firmly on the steering wheel, toggling between EV and Normal modes. The striking contrast of the Rhodium White Metallic exterior against the desert backdrop caught my eye, prompting me to fiddle more with the seat adjustments and lumbar support during the nearly three-hour drive.

While sharing similarities with the Turbo S Premium Plus, I encountered challenges in mastering the infotainment system and had to reload the SatNav due to my struggles with the navigation controls and the need to maintain focus on the road ahead. Despite my usual reluctance towards lane assist, which briefly activated along Pines to Palms, I overlooked testing the cruise control system upon returning to the highway. The unparalleled cargo storage capacity remained untouched during the journey, yet envisioning my winter adventures as a passionate snowboarder, I pictured folding down the rear seats, stowing away my board, and relishing every moment of the picturesque six-hour San Diego to Mammoth drive in this exceptionally stylish and highly capable SUV.

Variety of Trim Options and Competitively Priced

Featuring two distinct powertrains and three different horsepower variants, the CX-70 lineup boasts seven unique trim models categorized into three tiers (Preferred, Premium, Premium Plus). These models offer a selection of popular Mazda exterior hues such as Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Zircon Sand Metallic, and the all-new Melting Copper Metallic, blending rich earth tones with vibrant orange shades.

When it comes to interior choices, the Turbo S Premium Plus stands out with its exquisite quilted tan Nappa leather, contrasting the sportier red Nappa leather adorned with red stitch detailing on the 3.3 Turbo S Premium, inspired by the 100th Anniversary Special Edition MX-5. Priced variably, ranging from the 3.3 Turbo Preferred starting at $40,445 to the top-tier Turbo S Premium with a price tag of $52,450 and the fully-loaded PHEV Premium Plus trim priced at $57,450. Explore further details at mazdausa.com.

Image Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

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