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The 2024 Mazda CX-90 marks a new venture for the Japanese brand, with the model serving as its first plug-in hybrid offering and first with an inline-six engine. To boot, it has larger dimensions, more premium features, and rugged styling compared to the current CX-9. With its all-new drivetrains, the six-to-eight-passenger 2024 CX-90 will be offered in 11 trims, including eight ICE models paired with a mild hybrid system and three PHEV iterations.

There are plenty of choices for buyers interested in the model. Meanwhile, this new build should continue Mazda’s strong suits of upscale design with the driving pleasure often missing from the mainstream SUV segment. However, with so many choices, which CX-90 trim is best?

The Mazda CX-90 offers 11 total trim levels, 3 engine options

The 2024 Mazda CX-90 will make its debut in the following trims (with base MSRPs):

Turbocharged inline-six models

·         Select ($39,595)

·         Preferred ($43,445)

·         Preferred Plus ($45,900)

·         Premium ($48,900)

·         Premium Plus ($52,950)

·         S ($51,570)

·         S Premium ($56,450)

·         S Premium Plus ($59,950)

PHEV models

·         PHEV Preferred ($47,445)

·         PHEV Premium ($52,900)

·         PHEV Premium Plus ($56,950)

The most significant difference between these 11 trims is what comes under the hood. The standard powertrain is a 3.3-liter inline-six paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that cranks out 280 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque with standard gas. “S” models up the ante to 340 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque — with premium fuel — by turbocharging the inline-six unit. Finally, PHEV CX-90 models are motivated by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder paired with an electric motor for a total output of 323 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque when using premium gas. All three powertrain setups are mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission.

What features are included in the CX-90 by trim level?

A white 2024 Mazda CX-90 full-size crossover SUV model driving through an urban city
2024 Mazda CX-90 | Mazda North American Operations

Base Select models are well equipped with leatherette seating, a 10.25-inch center display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, automatic climate control, and Mazda’s i-Activesense suite of safety features. The Select is only available in an eight-passenger seating configuration.

The 2024 Mazda CX-90 Preferred trim adds a sunroof, heated front seats, second-row window shades, and some exterior upgrades, while the Preferred Plus has an increased towing capacity (5,000 pounds), wireless charging, and a head-up display. Premium models come standard with second-row captain’s chairs, 21-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a hands-free liftgate, and Bose 12-speaker audio. Premium Plus models infringe into luxury territory with additional driver’s aids, dual 12.3-inch displays, Nappa leather seats, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and other amenities.

While most of the same features can be found in each trim level regardless of engine choice, PHEV models feature an EV Mode for all-electric driving. The PHEV Premium also has a 1500-watt charging outlet in the cargo area for charging equipment, and models can be equipped with optional dual seats in the third row instead of the standard three-passenger bench. The two-seat third row is standard on S Premium and S Premium Plus trims.

Suggested 2024 Mazda CX-90 trims

With a rather dizzying array of trims available, automotive experts have no real consensus on which is best.

Car and Driver suggests the 2024 Mazda CX-90 S trim due to its 340-horsepower turbocharged engine with the trim’s long list of desirable features like second-row captain’s chairs, Bose audio system, larger wheels, and a panoramic sunroof.  

Autotrader breaks it down further, suggesting those who don’t put a premium on towing ability or overall power should consider the Preferred trim for its “excellent combination of features at a reasonable price.” The publication states that those wanting to upgrade the cabin experience and have more towing capability should consider the Premium Plus while suggesting the S model fits buyers willing to pay more for more power. The Premium and Premium Plus models are suggested for those who value fuel economy and the ability to drive on all-electric power.

However, among the 11 trims, buyers are gravitating toward the Premium Plus model, the “most popular” trim according to Edmunds, based on consumer research into all available CX-90 models. The Preferred Plus comes with an MSRP of $45,900, the third step up in the Mazda’s price scale. The model comes with additional driving modes (Sport, Off-road, and Towing), a 5,000-lb tow rating, wireless CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, a wireless charger, and a head-up display, in addition to the ample feature list of the Preferred model.

Ultimately, the CX-90’s extensive lineup of available trims makes available a model that should fit the needs of most buyers seeking a three-row SUV with Mazda’s flair for driving engagement, attractive design, and feature-rich presentation. 

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