The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is an all-new midsize 3-row SUV with seating for up to eight occupants. It’s Mazda’s
grandest, most luxurious vehicle so far. Pricing starts at $39,595.
There’s a trend among many mainstream manufacturers to make their products more like luxury vehicles. Hyundai
are doing it, and so is Honda
with its latest-generation Pilot. Mazda probably set this trend and is still out in front, even as those rivals become plusher.
Mazda has pushed toward premium in a bigger way with its new CX-90 SUV. For example, the stitching on the dashboard is inspired by Japanese bookbinding. That’s the sort of thing Lexus would do, and this is just a detail. The rest of the CX-90 is paid similar attention.
2024 Mazda CX-90 pricing
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 starts at $39,595. That’s for the Select trim with all-wheel drive (AWD) as standard, plus plenty of safety features. The range-topping S Premium Plus is priced from $60K — its high level of equipment saves spending much more.
|2024 Mazda CX-90
|CX-90 3.3 Turbo Select
|CX-90 3.3 Turbo Preferred
|CX-90 3.3 Turbo Preferred Plus
|CX-90 3.3 Turbo Premium
|CX-90 3.3 Turbo Premium Plus
|CX-90 3.3 Turbo S
|CX-90 3.3 Turbo S Premium
|CX-90 3.3 Turbo S Premium Plus
These are the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) and do not include the $1,375 factory-to-dealer delivery fee (destination charge).
For context, the Kia Telluride starts at $35.8K and the Honda Pilot at $39.2K (2023 prices), the Hyundai Palisade begins at $35.5K, and the Toyota
Highlander at $36.4K. The upper reaches of CX-90 pricing puts it in contention with the Genesis GV70 (from $43.2K), Acura MDX (from $49.5K), and the new-for-2024 Lexus TX (from $55K).
Before buying a new CX-90 midsize 3-row SUV, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to know what you should be paying. This is an all-new model, so there’s no information on resale values yet. The Mazda CX-9 has mid-pack performance here, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the CX-90 ended up being stronger.
What’s new for 2024
Virtually everything about the 2024 CX-90 SUV is new, from the platform to the drivetrains to the seating arrangements. This is a completely fresh model.
Driving the 2024 Mazda CX-90
KBB’s Micah Muzio drove the new 2024 Mazda CX-90. Reports Micah:
The CX-90 is a 3-row SUV with premium aspirations. I appreciate its elegant body surfaces, upscale proportions, and long, powerful hood.
Mazda has imparted the CX-90 with a 3.3-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine that’s arranged longitudinally. The narrowness of the powertrain allows for a tighter turning circle, a sophisticated double-wishbone front suspension, and improved steering response.
I sampled the CX-90 Turbo S, which produces 340 horsepower on premium gasoline. How does this top version of the new CX-90 feel?
Super strong off the line, with the inline-6 emitting a great sound. Throttle response is prompt and refined, the brake pedal is firm, and the fuel-saving automatic stop/start system functions with an impressive smoothness likely related to the 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain.
Mazda builds its own 8-speed automatic gearbox, which has a wet clutch in place of a conventional torque converter. As a result, there’s an immediacy to the acceleration that’s appreciated, but without any of the low-speed clunkiness that can sometimes affect other automatic gearboxes fitted with dual wet clutches.
While I appreciate the prompt powertrain response, I suspect some CX-90 buyers might find this same behavior as being a bit jumpy. However you feel about the Mazda 8-speed transmission, I can say this: It shifts gracefully in normal mode and operates with the expected conviction in sport mode.
The overall ride skews to the firm side of the equation, and the cornering abilities of this big 3-row Mazda SUV are extremely predictable, thanks to Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control. This handling aid applies the brakes to an inside rear wheel during cornering, reducing body roll while improving stability and predictability.
That stated, I feel a quicker steering ratio would enhance the CX-90’s handling prowess. While this Mazda 3-row SUV has an excellent on-road demeanor and a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system that improves traction and stability, I wouldn’t mind a bit more playfulness to the chassis.
There’s seating for up to eight in the new CX-90 SUV. That’s one better than many rivals. The higher trims have a pair of captain’s chairs for the second row, plus two seats in the third row instead of three. This gives six occupants more space to spread out. Other models are available with seating for seven by way of captain’s seats in the second row and a third row that accommodates three across.
The regular second-row seats can slide and recline while offering up to 39.4 inches of legroom. The third row has 30.4 inches. That’s not as good as the Kia Telluride, which enjoys 42.4 and 31.4 inches, respectively. But the CX-90’s rearmost seats are still quite comfortable and supportive.
Some contemporary cabins can look a bit bleak when the designers give them a large touchscreen and then strip away as many buttons as possible in pursuit of tidiness. The CX-90’s interior still looks tidy in an upscale way, and Mazda retains a useful amount of switchgear while using high-quality materials.
Lower trims have a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, with pricier variants receiving a 12.3-inch unit. The Select models’ seating surfaces are made of simulated leather, while the real stuff goes into every other version, with extra-soft Nappa leather in the top trims.
Depending on how many seats are folded, cargo space in the 2024 CX-90 goes from 14.9 cubic feet (big enough for at least three sets of golf clubs) to 75.2. If this is a crucial aspect, the larger Telluride does better with 21/87 cubic feet.
Note: The infotainment system is smartly arranged, and it’s controlled mostly by a knob on the center console. It’s fairly easy to operate. You get used to it. But most people nowadays expect the main screen to be a full-time touchscreen just like their smartphone. The screen in the CX-90, it should be pointed out, functions as a touchscreen only when Apple
CarPlay and Android Auto are being used. In this sense, Mazda’s swimming upstream against most peoples’ expectations.
Apologies for repeating ourselves yet again, but Mazda’s general styling approach is definitely in the luxury vehicle bracket. Take away the badges, and someone could easily think a company like Jaguar made the new CX-90 SUV.
Mazda also has a way with the color red. A few years ago, it created Soul Red Crystal Metallic (available with the CX-90). All those people who say they don’t like red cars could probably get on board with that hue. Now the company has come up with a deeper and richer Artisan Red Premium.
For an idea of size, the CX-90 is longer than the Honda Pilot by an inch and a bit.
Our favorite features and tech
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
It would be a mistake for phone integration not to be standard in the 2024 CX-90, although this feature doesn’t go wireless until the third trim on the price ladder.
This standard array includes voice control for the infotainment system, Pandora integration, and automatic emergency notifications.
Another standard feature, which includes programmable heights. Hands-free operation comes in the higher trims.
This becomes standard in the third trim (Preferred Plus), projecting vital information on the windshield directly ahead of the driver.
Inline 6-cylinder engine
Pardon us for a second while we geek out on mechanical stuff, but a 6-cylinder engine with all its pistons in a row is naturally smoother than one in a V configuration. BMW has used this setup for years, and Mercedes-Benz is revisiting it. So this is another luxury aspect of the 2024 CX-90.
Engine and transmission
Mazda’s luxury aspirations go far beyond styling and leather upholstery. Or perhaps we should say far beneath.
Every new CX-90 has a turbocharged 3.3-liter inline 6-cylinder engine augmented by a mild-hybrid system that smooths out the fuel-saving engine stop/restart action and can propel the SUV just with electric power for a short distance at slow speeds — in a parking lot, for instance. Mercedes-Benz has a similar kind of setup for its excellent GLE SUV.
In the more affordable Turbo models, this engine develops a perfectly adequate 280 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque with regular gasoline. But luxury vehicles never stop at perfectly adequate. So Mazda also offers the Turbo S setup with 340 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Premium gasoline is recommended here.
All-wheel drive (with a sporty-feeling rear bias in normal conditions) is standard, accompanied by an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is also a development of sorts. Mazda has often argued that six speeds can be sufficient, but the company has either changed its opinion or bowed to peer pressure.
Regardless of engine choice, the CX-90 offers maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.
CX-90 Turbo Select
3.3-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine
280 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/28 mpg
CX-90 Turbo S
3.3-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine
340 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg
More CX-90 fuel economy information is available on the EPA’s website.
Also on MarketWatch: The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata: The little sports car with big capacity for fun
Mazda’s new-vehicle warranty is for three years or 36,000 miles. Powertrains are covered for five years or 60,000 miles. This is all typical for mainstream manufacturers. If Mazda wanted to underline its almost-luxury credentials, it could offer better warranty terms to match Acura and Infiniti, for instance.
KBB’s car review methodology.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.