The 2024 CX-90 Could Propel Mazda Into a New Segment
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 will serve as the automaker’s new flagship SUV with larger dimensions, more striking styling over its CX-9 sibling, and a powertrain lineup featuring Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid motor and its most powerful production engine, a turbocharged 3.3-liter inline-six. With its flagship status, the CX-90 will also look to build on Mazda’s M.O. of providing the kind of refinement and luxe that often shames many of its mainstream competitors. In fact, the CX-90, in many ways, infringes well into luxury territory.
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is an excellent SUV option
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is offered in 11 trims, allowing drivers to choose from three engines — its standard 3.3-liter inline-six, a more powerful version, or the plug-in hybrid powertrain — with seating configurations for six to eight passengers. Adding to some potential confusion, the trim levels are named similarly. For instance, the “Preferred” model can either be had with the standard inline-six, the more powerful iteration, or as a PHEV.
But no matter the trim, the CX-90 delivers a long list of desirable and upscale features. Even the most basic model sports 19-inch alloys, LED lighting, leatherette seats and steering wheel, a 10.25-inch center display, three-zone automatic climate control, and more.
Opt for the Premium Plus, and the spec sheet rivals the premier trims in German luxury land. The top-spec CX-90 is fitted with quilted Nappa leather upholstery, Japanese Maplewood trim, a mid-row console, heated and ventilated front and middle seats, a panoramic sunroof, a Bose premium sound system, wireless charging, and a whole host of other luxe features.
The CX-90 could be considered entry-level luxury
To truly reach luxury status, a model still needs to provide ample power, and all three of the 2024 Mazda CX-90’s engines do so. The standard turbocharged 3.3-liter delivers 280 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque on regular gas, the upgraded 3.3-liter with added boost ups the ante to 340 hp and 369 lb-ft, and the PHEV combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor for a total output of 323 hp.
The 2024 CX-90’s premium exterior styling, minimalistic but attractive and intuitive cabin layout combine with Mazda’s flair for providing “Zoom Zoom” levels of driver engagement and a refined ride quality. The brand’s new flagship is shaping into a luxury offering without a luxury price tag.
Car and Driver agrees. The publication recently tested the CX-90 and stated the SUV could be a positive harbinger for Mazda’s drive into luxury territory. The review calls the CX-90 “handsome, plush, and value-priced” compared to the luxury-level models it wants to rival while delivering a ride balancing athleticism and comfort with premium looks and a long list of upmarket amenities.
Will Mazda’s luxury strategy pay off?
So, the 2024 Mazda CX-90 looks and feels luxurious, but will mainstream buyers will be willing to pay more for what is still an SUV branded with a mainstream badge? After all, the Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride, and Hyundai Palisade are slightly more practical midsize three-row SUVs and offer upmarket trims that cost thousands less than what buyers will be asked to pay for the CX-90’s higher trims.
But with more power and a premium presentation, the Mazda CX-90 could be viewed as a bargain compared to offerings from Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, or other established luxury brands. Prices will range from about $40,000 for the base model and up to approximately $60,000 for the top trim, S Premium Plus.
If the CX-90 proves to be successful, it could catalyze Mazda to realign its lineup more toward the luxury segment. We’ll soon know if Mazda’s luxury formula for the CX-90 will pay off as it is expected to hit dealerships in the coming months.