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2024 Mazda CX-90 Raises the Stakes With More Room and Awesome New Engines

Buyers have the choice between turbo-six and a plug-in hybrid

2024 Mazda CX-90 front
  • All-new three-row SUV replaces the CX-9 in Mazda's lineup
  • Available with a 340-horsepower turbocharged inline-six or four-cylinder plug-in hybrid
  • 2024 will kick off the first CX-90 generation

Mazda is about to unleash a host of new SUVs, the largest of which will be the all-new Mazda CX-90. The CX-90 has a more upscale and muscular look than Mazda's current flagship SUV, the CX-9. Both are three-row midsize crossover SUVs, but the CX-90's third row is more spacious and usable than the one in the CX-9 — though Mazda won't share the actual specs just yet. The new vehicle has a smidge more cargo capacity, too.

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The interior has a more premium look to it, like a leather dashboard and silver trim around the air vents. Mazda also has yet to release specifics about the CX-90's technology and features, but there's little doubt that it'll be equipped to be competitive with similarly sized rivals such as the Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride. It will have luxury competitors like the Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX in its crosshairs too. Mazda has been charting a course for the more premium end of the market, and the CX-90 is its shot at the big leagues.

What's under the CX-90's hood?

Mazda is introducing two new powertrains for this CX-90, and both are hybrids. The first is a turbocharged 3.3-liter inline six-cylinder paired with a mild hybrid assist. This engine produces a healthy 340 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque on premium gas, which represents a huge increase compared to the CX-9's maximum of 250 hp from its turbocharged four-cylinder. Mazda says the mild hybrid system helps to improve smoothness during acceleration and provide a slight boost in fuel economy.

The other big news is the plug-in hybrid, which will be Mazda's first PHEV available in the U.S. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is paired to an electric motor, with the combo producing a healthy 323 horsepower and 369 lb-ft (again, when using premium fuel). A 17.8-kWh battery pack juices the electric motor, though Mazda isn't quoting an estimated EV-only range just yet.

Regardless of which powertrain you go with, the CX-90 comes with standard all-wheel drive, though Mazda says the power split is biased toward the rear wheels. That should lend the CX-90 a sportier feel than its rivals, which generally offer front-wheel-drive powertrains or front-biased AWD systems. Both powertrains get a new eight-speed automatic as standard as well.

How's the CX-90's interior?

Sit in the CX-90 you can instantly feel the comfort of the seat cushions. The new switchgear looks and feels good, too. We particularly like the temperature toggle switches — not only are they satisfying to move up and down, but it's also generally nice to have physical controls when so many manufacturers are moving toward touchscreen buttons. The fact that the central screen grows to 12.3 inches and is loaded with Mazda's newer infotainment system makes the tech offerings feel more competitive, too.

On the safety front, we do know that certain segment staples will be standard, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning and adaptive cruise control.

How much will the CX-90 cost?

Given the CX-90's more premium positioning in the market, we expect the SUV to start around $40,000 for the base model and max out in the high-$50,000 territory. The CX-90 will be pricey, but if Mazda can combine new luxuries, more potent powertrains and the CX-9's fun-to-drive spirit, it may prove a hard package to beat.

Edmunds says

Overall, the CX-90 has impressed us with its functionality, more spacious third row, classy look and some interesting plot twists when it comes to the new powertrains. It seems Mazda has a good pulse on what worked and what didn't work from its previous CX-9 flagship and has attempted to make the right shifts to adjust. We'll see whether Mazda has stuck the landing when the CX-90 goes on sale this spring.