2024 Mazda CX-90

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2024 Mazda CX-90 Review: Punching Above Its Weight

Betting big on its new 2024 Mazda CX-90 mid-size three-row SUV, the Japanese automaker developed an all-new Skyactiv Multi-Solution Architecture for it with standard all-wheel drive, and brand-new longitudinally mounted e-Skyactiv G gas engines as well. Combining combustion with mild-hybrid assistance, the mechanical specifications look good, with two available engine configurations resulting in outputs of 280 and 340 horsepower, the latter making this the most powerful mass production Mazda engine ever. Mazda is hedging its bets with a focus on efficiency thanks to the latest mild-hybrid fuel-saving technology, so there's a lineup of PHEV CX-90s too, which we review separately. It can hardly fail, what with the huge sales racked up by SUVs in the USA, especially if it can fix some of the faults of its excellent predecessor, the CX-9. Competitors to the Mazda CX-90 we review here are numerous and include the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot. It will before long be joined by a two-row CX-70 to flesh out Mazda's local SUV offering. It's time to see if the big new Mazda has what it takes.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2024 Mazda CX-90 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2023 CX-90?

The 2024 CX-90 is an all-new car from the ground up, including its platform and engines. It will replace the CX-9 but adds more space for proper three-row utility and improves upon the CX-9's one major flaw, making this the biggest Mazda yet. With its tiny rear seat, the CX-9 was only ever a practical five-seater and the CX-90 aims to change that, and will later be joined by a two-row five-seater SUV on the same platform. But sizing up the body doesn't mean diluting the driving experience and Mazda took pains to not only match but beat the already excellent CX-9 on this score by fitting proper sports-car-like double-wishbone front suspension to complement the multi-link independent rear end, promising to make this the driver's choice for a three-row mid-size SUV.

Pros and Cons

  • It's a three-row SUV for drivers
  • Very good fuel economy
  • Six-, seven-, and eight-seat options offered
  • Powerful engines and PHEV versions
  • Comprehensive standard safety features
  • Expensive top trims
  • Third row still not suitable for adults
  • Small trunk with all seats in use

What's The Price Of The 2024 Mazda CX-90?

The biggest Mazda also commands the biggest price but, starting at $39,595, the base price of the 2024 Mazda CX-90 Turbo Select trim does at least sneak in below the $40k mark - and makes it the cheapest inline-six car on the market. One up from the cheapest, we have the Turbo Preferred, which will cost you $43,445. Moving up through the trim levels, we get the Turbo Preferred Plus at $45,900, the Turbo Premium at $48,900, and the Turbo Premium Plus at $52,950.

The Turbo S models are pricier as they're all equipped with the more powerful version of the 3.3-liter engine, starting with the Turbo S at $51,750, and the Turbo S Premium at $56,450. At the top of the pile sits the Turbo S Premium Plus and Mazda has made sure that it also clears a psychological barrier, clocking in at just below $60k with a price of $59,950.

With eight trims to choose from, each with a little more equipment than the previous, how much you'll pay for your CX-90 pretty much depends on which one you choose, as Mazda doesn't provide a ton of expensive packages that can inflate the price. Keep in mind that these are the Mazda CX-90's MSRPs and exclude the $1,375 destination fee. The PHEVs are only available in mid-range trims and range in price from $47,445 to $56,950.

Best Deals on 2024 Mazda CX-90

2024 Mazda CX-90 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.3 Turbo Select
3.3L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.3 Turbo Preferred
3.3L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.3 Turbo Preferred Plus
3.3L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.3 Turbo Premium
3.3L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.3 Turbo S
3.3L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2024 Mazda CX-90 Trims and Specs

2024 Mazda CX-90 Handling And Driving Impressions

The CX-9 was already the driver's SUV in its class, and Mazda set out to further improve on it. The longitudinal engine orientation and compact transmission have enabled Mazda to optimize weight distribution and reduce the nose-heavy bias, especially thanks to AWD now being standard on all trims. The 90-degree engine rotation has also liberated much-needed width in the engine compartment, allowing not only for more steering lock to keep the turning circle tight, but also the installation of exotic double-wishbone front suspension that has more in common with sports cars than SUVs. In combination with advanced multi-link rear suspension, this provides an even crisper turn-in. Kinematic Posture Control, which applies a touch of mid-corner braking force to the inside rear wheel to quell understeer and improve stability, acts like a limited-slip differential and is standard on every CX-90. These ingredients catapult the CX-90 to the top of the class for handling as our first drive review highlights.

Verdict: Is The 2024 Mazda CX-90 A Good SUV?

The CX-9 was always the driver's choice in the class but it fell behind what we expect from a three-row SUV in terms of power and space, especially that tight third row that was only good for children. Those are the very problems Mazda set out to solve with the CX-90, giving us not only the cheapest straight six on the market, but a lot more power than before and a bigger body with a proper third row. These improvements alone should be responsible for the CX-90 going up the class ranking several notches. Sure, the top trims get expensive for a Mazda, but the base trim nearly matches the old car on price, so it offers a lot more value, especially considering the inline six, AWD, and trick handling tech all come standard. With the brand's premium finishes and powerful new engines building upon and improving on what we already loved about the CX-9, the money seems well spent, making the CX-90 one of the top choices in this segment.

What 2024 Mazda CX-90 Model Should I Buy?

We think the Turbo Premium makes the most sense at just under $49k. Performance from the 280-hp powertrain is perfectly adequate and it comes in the 7/8-seater configuration, which makes more sense for a three-row SUV with a tight rear seat and at least allows you to transport more adults in comfort with a large trunk when you don't use the third row. It doesn't have items such as the surround-view camera and digital gauge cluster of the higher trims, but it has everything that matters, including the big-screen infotainment system with navigation and wireless phone mirroring, the 21-inch wheels, the lane-keep assist, and the parking sensors.

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