Mazda introduces the all-new 2024 Mazda CX-90, its newest SUV with available plug-in hybrid technology
The new Mazda CX-90 will offer two engines including a 322-horsepower plug-in hybrid
The CX-90 will arrive later this year
Pricing has not yet been announced
Los Angeles, California – For several years now, Mazda has been trying to raise its image a little more towards luxury. More towards BMW than Chevrolet, let’s put it politely. So far, all they’ve done is improve quality in their models and create a richer version called Signature.
In all honesty, the price is more luxurious, not the product, even if what we’re offered is well done in the case of a Signature variant. However, Mazda does have a plan, and with the presentation of the new 2024 Mazda CX-90 that just took place in Los Angeles, California, we have a clearer idea of what it is.
Note that we didn’t get behind the wheel; that will happen in the next few months, at another event.
Two engines, two new approaches
Mazda is late to the game when it comes to electrification (the all-electric MX-30 came late and is already outdated). Mazda is taking an interesting first step with a plug-in hybrid variant with this new 2024 Mazda CX-90.
The PHEV version will benefit from a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which will be supported by a 17.8 kWh battery, the same organs that serve the CX-60 unveiled for the European market. What we don’t know, unfortunately, is the expected electric range on this side of the Atlantic. The CX-60 can travel 68 km in Europe before the gasoline engine kicks in. But this is all calculated on the much more generous European WLTP cycle. That 68 km could translate into about 50 km here. Add to that the fact that the CX-90 is bigger and heavier… and well we might be disappointed.
Things might be the other way around with the other available powertrain in the 2024 Mazda CX-90. Mazda is introducing its first inline 6-cylinder engine in the new CX-90, the kind of mill found in German manufacturers like BMW. We’re talking about a 3.3-litre turbocharged engine offering 340 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque on 91-octane gasoline. As an added bonus, an electric motor is housed between the block and the transmission, so you get a lightweight hybrid system that increases smoothness during acceleration, as well as allowing all-electric performance at low speeds.
Mazda is banking heavily on this new powertrain to attract buyers traditionally interested in luxury nameplates. And to make sure that the latter knows what’s hiding between the front wheels, a decoration on each side confirms the inline-six powertrain under the hood. Mazda has a message to get across.
Note that the 4-cylinder engine in the PHEV offers only 20 less horsepower, while its torque is the same as the 6-cylinder. It also uses the same gearbox.
The 2024 CX-90 is completely new and has nothing to do with the CX-9. In addition to its new powertrains, it benefits from a fresh structure with a rear-wheel drive configuration. Of course, the i-Activ all-wheel drive system will be part of the package, but as with German luxury manufacturers, the priority here is to deliver sportier handling than traditional three-row SUVs in the CX-90’s segment.
The new platform brings other changes from the current CX-9. The vehicle’s wheelbase gains a few inches, translating into more space inside. The model is a little longer but mostly wider than the CX-9, which benefits the interior volume. It’s no longer cramped inside. Even the third row is more welcoming. In the front, there’s quite a bit of legroom. That’s part of the experience of a so-called luxury product.
And the emphasis is on rigidity, which we couldn’t verify. We are promised a more convincing ride than ever before, thanks partly to a new suspension design that aims to provide unparalleled balance and control on the road.
The CX-90’s styling cannot be mistaken for any other of Mazda’s SUVs. You can definitely recognize the Mazda signature. . It’s nice to have that feel from the outside, but the CX-90 buyer will want it inside, and that’s perhaps where the biggest improvements have been made.
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 ups the ante in terms of design, providing even more luxury than what we find in a CX-9 Signature.
Take a look at the dashboard, and you’ll discover simple, horizontal lines that accentuate the impression of width and distinct, high-quality materials. The one on the dashboard is inspired by a Japanese textile called Nishijin. This material has been used for over 1,000 years in the country, and the locals are very proud of it. This kind of attention speaks volumes about the work done.
In closing, a word about the price, which is unknown for the moment. With Mazda playing the luxury card, we can expect to see significant increases. We could only confirm that the difference between the base CX-90 and a fully loaded variant will be more more significant. Right now, there’s a $12,000 gap between the first trim level (GS) and the last (Signature) with the CX-9. We can anticipate an offer that will start at $45,000 or $50,000 with the CX-90 and end up at something around $70,000. That’s purely speculative, but it’s all we have to go on right now.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to share more information soon; the driving event will take place in the spring.