Three rows of goodness, inline 6 or PHEV and an elegantly minimalist design, the 2024 Mazda CX-90 comes as a welcome addition the midsize SUV market.
Known as much for its design aesthetics as its consistently superior performance, the Mazda CX-90 foreshadows a vehicle that delivers on the promise of a beautifully made vehicle tailored to meet the needs of the modern family.
We traveled to Santa Monica to attend the global reveal for the Mazda CX-90. It had been on my list for a good minute. As the mom of three and a lover of sport utility vehicles, particularly the three row beasts, I’d been waiting for this one after getting acquainted with the CX-50 at last Spring.
I fell in love with the CX-50’s versatility, ease of getting connected and the overall drive experience. It provided a happy-go-lucky experience that I was craving blended with comfortable performance and clean good looks. I also love that it did what I expected it to do when I expected it to — which is key in my book, but also sets a high pedestal for the 2024 CX-90.
(Want to read more about the CX-50? Visit here.)
ABOUT THE CX-90
Upon first look, the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is stunning, especially in the Artisan Red. It’s a new signature color for the 2024 model year. Picture this, a deep crimson that pulls in glimmering slivers of silver, gold and ruby that refract and adapt to the light like a high-end, mood ring. It’s an eye-catching combination of gently swooping lines, sharp details and light play.
Sculpted flanks and remarkable color highlight the expanded shape of the CX-90 and draw you closer. Bright silver accents or blacked out badging round out the look and proudly, if subtly proclaim the new age of Mazda.
Once inside, the textures are elevated and intentional. The panoramic roof lets light stream in and brightens the interior. The seating is more refined, with perforated details contrasting with smooth leather and neat stitching to round out the effect. Space is well-utilized as evident by the ease of entry into the second and third rows. The things of convenience and connectivity like charging ports and cupholders are within easy reach and intuitively placed.
Overall, the interior feels elegant and restrained, yet undeniably decadent in its subtle luxury. It reminds you that Mazda is here to step more fully into the premium space and aims to play the long game.
Available as a plug-in hybrid or an inline six-cylinder engine, the incoming 8-seater CX-90 is larger than the CX-9. It houses a more integrated tech system that is more intuitive. It also makes good use of the most powerful engine that Mazda has delivered to date and brings together the tick points of safety and design that have become hallmarks of that near-luxury, premium drive tier.
We haven’t driven it yet, but it is a confident and bold look forward that integrates what Mazda is known for — beautiful design and smart functionality.
CONVEYING FEELING THROUGH DESIGN
When asked their design team shared that the prevailing thought through the design process for this vehicle was to create the feeling of delight through safe, simple comfort for the driver and all passengers within the vehicle, regardless of whether or not the buyer chose the electrified version or not.
They wanted the feeling of peace and calm to be evident from first glance at curbside to the ease of usage through the completion of time within the vehicle. It was captivating to listen as the team discussed how it was important create something ‘beautiful’ and with ‘humans at the center’ rather than the other way around — the people inside adapting to the features inside the vehicle. With a human-centered design, the ‘engineers and designers were able to co-create’ a vehicle with the mission of empowering and supporting the driver by creating a ‘confident’ safe ride that is as comfortable in the front as in the third.
They amped up the power with the inline-six, added AWD standard to enable the vehicle to handle a variety of terrains and delivered on the desire for convenience features like a power liftgate, a sweet Bose sound system, a smart camera mirror and pretty ambient lighting. Thoughtful details like redesigned seating, covered touchpoints and improved connectivity signal that the design philosophy of people-first carries through the vehicle.
Driving impressions haven’t been gathered yet, but from first glance, the CX-90 cleanly hits all targets needed for mission accomplished.
HINTS AROUND THE CORNER
The CX-90 also bears all the telltale signs that Mazda is taking aim at the Telluride, X5 and Range Rover Sport, but doing so in their way and at their own pace on an entirely new platform that will become the base for the next generation of offers from Mazda. Competitively priced at just over $40,970 for the base model, the CX-90 is the least-expensive inline-six turbo on the market. The PHEV comes in at less than $50k, at $48,820 and sets a tone that Mazda wants buyers to have options and their choice of beautifully powerful vehicles designed with life in mind.