Mazda is preparing for a CUV-centric future, and while the recently launched CX-50 provided a glimpse into some of the new design and technology solutions that will play a role in Mazda products moving forward, the company knows that ultimately a flagship is needed for it to bring its sales to the next level. Mazda has solved this glaring problem with the unveiling of the all-new 2024 Mazda CX-90.
Performance Takes Center Stage In 2024 CX-90, Artisan Red Paint Sparkles
Usually, we would use this section to talk about the exterior styling, but Mazda reps made it clear that performance will play a crucial role for the model, with the CX-90 being the first Mazda product to come equipped with an inline-six engine. Taking a page from BMW, the 3.3-liter inline-six makes 340 hp and 369- lb-ft of torque. The inline also highlights the new global large car platform that will be making its debut in the CX-90, with Mazda engineers designing it from the ground up to accommodate a rear-wheel drive bias from the all-wheel drive system. The engine even comes with a mild-hybrid boost system to help give buyers an extra jolt of performance while also improving fuel economy though Mazda is not ready quite yet to release information on that latter item just yet.
In addition to the inline-six, the CX-90 will be the second Mazda offering to offer a PHEV model (the MX-30 PHEV made its debut just before the CX-90 in Europe). However, the CX-90 PHEV will be the first taste of PHEV Mazda technology for U.S. consumers, with this model swapping out the 3.3-liter inline-six for a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that’s paired with an electric motor and a 17-kWh-battery pack to produce a total system output of 323 horsepower. Both engines are paired with an all-new eight-speed automatic designed to work with the platform and the longitudinal powertrains.
As for the exterior styling is supposed to reflect the elevated levels of luxury that the CX-90 offers while still projecting an assertive, sporty stance. Mazda injected the styling with plenty of flowing sweeps and curves, while optional chrome garnishes help solidify the elegance that’s baked into the CX-90’s flanks. A new shade of red called Artisan Red is the latest in Mazda’s Takuminuri color series, and like Soul Red Metallic, this paint has a split personality. When there’s low light or if the CX-90 is driven at night, the color looks like a shade of dark red. But if it hits the sun just right, it transforms into a vivid shade of red.
Luxury-Focused Interior Ups The Ante In Comfort And Design
Slip inside the interior of the Mazda CX-90, and it becomes obvious that Mazda interior stylists pulled out all the stops to make sure that the CX-90 would make a statement in the SUV segment. The CX-90 replaces the aging CX-9, and some of the improvements that Mazda has brought to the table aim to improve the ownership experience. We had the chance to spend some brief time inside the PHEV variant at a Mazda event in Santa Monica, and the changes make a big difference when they are seen in person.
Unlike the outgoing CX-9, the CX-90’s floor has a smaller central hump for the transmission, which flattens out in the second row. This smaller hump allows the SUV to have a flatter load floor, and that’s a big improvement over the CX-9, which infamously flunked our television hauling test vs the Nissan Pathfinder due to the large protrusion preventing our television from having a secure fit. The CX-90’s three-row seats were reworked to bring more comfort to all rows, and higher-grade CX-90 models get access to Nappa leather seating accents.
This luxury is also blended with strategic material and color choices that aim to make it all blend together. The dashboard, for example, features a fabric material that’s connected using hanging stitches in a nod to traditional hand-made bookbinding and is created thanks to a traditional Japanese weaving technique called Kumihimo. This technique creates negative space, which is then used to enhance the dashboard’s design. A 12.3-inch infotainment system is standard on the CX-90. However, it’s not known if this system will have enhanced touch capabilities, or if it will still be heavily reliant on the large control knob to navigate around menus. The CX-90 will also come with a digital instrument cluster, but we suspect it will be limited to higher trim levels.
When Can I Buy One?
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is scheduled to go on sale this spring. Mazda didn’t reveal pricing for the CX-90 but look for it to be roughly similar to the outgoing CX-9, with a base model potentially starting around $40,000.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.