Just like the opening theme to “The Jeffersons” TV show from the 1970s and ‘80s, Mazda is movin’ on up. The Japanese automaker unveiled its new 2024 CX-90 SUV on Tuesday, a three-row flagship-caliber vehicle riding on a rear-wheel-biased platform and boasting of a new turbocharged inline-six under the hood.
With smoothly contoured body panels, tasteful amounts of bright trim and classic rear-drive proportions, the CX-90 is exceedingly handsome, just like other recent Mazda designs. In fact, this vehicle looks a lot like a CX-5 blown up by about a third, and that is not a bad thing. Highlighting this vehicle’s looks, designers developed a new paint color called Artisan Red just for the CX-90. This SUV is also available with 21-inch diamond-cut wheels treated to a metallic black finish.
In a media release announcing this vehicle, Jeff Guyton, president and CEO of the automaker’s North American Operations said, “At Mazda, our focus is to deliver an ownership experience that enriches the lives of our customers. With each new vehicle launch, we challenge ourselves to progress through our human-centric approach of design and engineering.” He also noted that the CX-90 will not only be alluring and intuitive, but also powerful and pleasant to drive.
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Behind that chrome-underlined grille is a mild hybrid e-Skyactiv G 3.3-liter straight-six with a turbocharger huffing air into all six cylinders. A small electric motor mounted between the engine and transmission is also included, able to power the vehicle at low speeds. All told, this setup delivers 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, significant figures to be certain, even if they trail what similar-displacement engines from BMW, Ford and Stellantis deliver.
Aside from that new straight-six, the CX-90 will also be available with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. This setup is built around Mazda’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and delivers 340 hp along with 369 lb-ft of twist when you fill the tank with premium fuel. An electric motor and a 17.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack round out this fuel-sipping powertrain. Unfortunately, Mazda has not shared how far this vehicle can drive on a charge, so stay tuned for that.
Both CX-90 powertrains are paired with a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission that, curiously, has no torque converter. Mazda’s i-Active all-wheel-drive system is also standard as is Kinematic Posture Control, just like the MX-5 Miata. This computer-controlled feature reduces body lift in corners to improve traction and help passengers feel more comfortable.
Inside, the CX-90 promises to offer plenty of interior space for luggage and passengers. When properly equipped, this SUV can seat up to eight people in surprising luxury. This SUV’s interior boasts of supple Nappa leather, real wood furnishings and rich fabrics. A 12.3-inch center display is home to the infotainment system, while physical buttons on the dashboard make adjusting things so much easier. Even passengers relegated to the third row should be well cared for, coddled by USB type-C ports and their own HVAC vents.
Keeping pace with other automakers, the new CX-90 should come standard with a comprehensive range of advanced driver assistance technologies. Mazda’s i-Activsense suite safety features is included at no extra charge and bundles lifesaving amenities like blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.
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Unfortunately, many specifics about the 2024 Mazda CX-90 have not been revealed. There’s no pricing or availability information to share, fuel economy is a mystery and we have no idea how far the plug-in model can go on a charge. Still, with upscale looks, a luxury car-rivaling interior and the promise of excellent performance, this is one SUV we cannot wait to learn more about and, of course, drive.