The all-new Mazda CX-90 joins the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride as luxurious midsize SUVs from mainstream brands. The CX-90 boasts perky handling and an impressive interior. While the price tag is relatively high for the segment, the CX-90 comes loaded with features and standard all-wheel-drive. However, the CX-90 has a tight third row and less cargo space than those rivals.
Base Price: $59,950
As Tested: $61,920
Mileage: 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway/25 mpg combined
The CX-90 is new for the 2024 model year, replacing the CX-9. It has three rows of seating with room for six to eight passengers. You can get bench seating or captain’s chairs in the second row, and bench seating or two seats in the third row.
It comes in a whopping eight trims: Turbo Select, Turbo Preferred, Turbo Preferred Plus, Turbo Premium, Turbo Premium Plus, Turbo S, Turbo S Premium, and Turbo S Premium Plus. The Turbo Select starts at $39,595 which is above average for the class. The top-of-the-line Turbo S Premium Plus starts at $59,950. All-wheel drive is standard on all trims.
There are two engines. Trims without the “S” get a turbocharged 3.3-liter inline six-cylinder engine and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that make 280 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Trims with the “S” get the same powertrain with an output of 340 horses and 369 pound-feet. An eight-speed transmission comes with both engines.
Both powertrains provide a great blend of athleticism and comfort. Driving manners are refined and there’s always enough power for merging and passing. Shifts are smooth and quick. Steering and brakes are responsive, and the CX-90 stays surprisingly planted around turns. While the CX-90 is the largest vehicle made by Mazda, it has the nimble handling of a smaller vehicle.
Fuel economy is great for a midsize SUV. EPA estimates for my tester are 23 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with a combined rating of 25. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The cabin is classy and upscale, similar to what you’ll find in many luxury brands. Materials are nice, craftsmanship is excellent, and controls are logically laid out. Front-and second-row seats are comfortable, supportive and roomy with good leg- and headroom. However, the third row is cramped and best suited for kids.
Standard features include proximity keyless entry, rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, four-way manually adjustable passenger seat, seven-inch digital instrument cluster display, 10.25-inch infotainment display, eight-speaker stereo, HD Radio, Bluetooth, voice recognition, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, four USB ports, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Available features include a surround-view camera system, head-up display, rear-camera mirror, auto-dimming rearview mirror, real leather or Nappa leather upholstery, driver’s seat memory settings, heated and ventilated seats in the first and second rows, heated steering wheel, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with memory settings, four- or eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, infotainment system with 12.3-inch display and limited touch capability (touchscreen works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 12-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, navigation, wireless device charging, two additional USB ports, second-row side-window sunshades, second-row center console, household-style power outlet, universal garage door opener, adaptive headlights, sunroof and panoramic sunroof.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control blind-spot monitoring, road departure mitigation, rear cross-traffic alert, vehicle exit warning, rear seat alert, and driver-attention monitoring.
Available driver assistance technologies include traffic-sign recognition, front cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, rear pedestrian detection, and front and rear parking sensors.
The infotainment system is controlled by a rotary knob located between the two front seats as well as several physical buttons. Graphics look sharp and the system responds quickly to voice and physical inputs. The system is easy and intuitive to use once you’ve had some practice time. Lower trims have a 10.25-inch display. Upper trims get a larger 12.3-inch display that serves as a touchscreen for use with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The CX-90 has less cargo space than many competitors. Cargo space varies depending on whether the trim has a third row with two or three seats. There are 14.9 or 15.9 cubes behind the third row, 40 cubes with the third row folded, and 74.2 or 75.2 cubes with the second row folded. A power liftgate is standard and a hands-free liftgate is available.
Lots of standard and available features and tech
User-friendly infotainment system
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Tight third row
Less cargo space than rivals
My tester starts at $59,950. Artisan red paint is $595. Delivery fee is $1,375 bringing the grand total to $61,920.
The all-new 2024 Mazda CX-90 is basically a luxury midsize SUV from a mainstream brand. While it can cost more than some rivals, its nimble handling, high-end cabin, standard all-wheel drive and long list of features make it good value for the money. Check it out if you’re looking for a midsize SUV with plenty of luxury touches.