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Watch out, the SUV competition is heating up as the Mazda CX-90 enters the arena. It expects to rival family-friendly options like the Toyota Highlander. The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is locked and loaded with the 2023 Toyota Highlander in its sights. 

2024 Mazda CX-90 vs. the 2023 Toyota Highlander 

2024 Mazda CX-90 vs 2023 Toyota Highlander
2024 Mazda CX-90 | Mazda North American Operations

The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is literally a big deal as the largest Mazda SUV ever. But instead of going for the Kia Telluride, the CX-90 has its sights set on other targets like the 2023 Toyota Highlander and Volvo XC-90. 

These mid-size SUVs have a little less passenger and cargo space than the Kia Telluride. MotorTrend shared that Mazda North America President and CEO Jeff Guyton mentioned that the biggest CX-90 rivals are the Toyota Highlander and Volvo XC-90. 

Jeff explained that by providing a more premium appearance, customers will receive a richer experience without paying a high price. Mazda will appeal to more customers in the segment by providing an exciting and enriching family vehicle. 

Is the CX-90 better than the Highlander? 

We need to spend time behind the wheel of the 2024 Mazda CX-90 to accurately determine how it compares to the 2023 Toyota Highlander. One thing it will need is more passenger and cargo space. 

The third row of the CX-90 is larger than what the CX-9 has to offer, but the official dimensions haven’t been released. The third row of the CX-90 still feels a bit cramped, but the Toyota Highlander doesn’t have an advantage here. 

The Highlander’s third-row seats hit the back of the second row. Also, critics shared that the CX-90 has a spacious second row with wide door openings for easy access. 

Also, the 2024 CX-90 could be sportier. It has a standard turbocharged 3.3-liter inline-six engine with a mild hybrid assist that pumps out 340 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. 

The CX-90 PHEV features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor and a 17.8-kWh battery pack to generate 323 hp and 363 lb-ft of torque. We don’t have the fuel economy specs for these engines yet. 

With the Highlander, you get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 265 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. The Toyota Highlander pairs a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors to provide 243 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. The Highlander currently doesn’t have a PHEV powertrain.

Plus, the CX-90 comes with standard all-wheel drive, making it more capable. It can tow up to 5,000 lbs. The Highlander is available with AWD with a 5,000 lb towing capacity. 

How much does the 2024 CX-90 cost? 

The official pricing for the 2024 Mazda CX-90 hasn’t been released, but some critics speculate that it will start at around $41,000. The outgoing Mazda CX-9 begins at about $38,750, so this estimate seems relative. 

But the 2023 Toyota Highlander starts at $36,420. This seems like a tight squeeze for the CX-90. The base model will have to be pretty loaded to have more value than the Toyota Highlander at a higher price. 

We should learn more about the CX-90 as it enters production. Then we can determine if it succeeds in its goals by defeating the Toyota Highlander.