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Mazda and Toyota recently introduced all-new three-row midsize SUVs, catering to consumers’ growing demand for more space and luxury. The Mazda CX-9 makes way for the CX-90, while the Toyota Highlander welcomes an extended-length sibling, the Grand Highlander. Toyota has a reputation for reliability, and Mazda is famous for its sporty vehicles at affordable prices. So, how do the 2024 Mazda CX-90 and 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander stack up?

This article will compare these two midsize SUVs’ powertrains, fuel economy, seating and cargo capacities, pricing, and warranties.

2024 Mazda CX-90 vs. 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander: Powertrain comparison

Both the 2024 Mazda CX-90 and Toyota Grand Highlander offer capable performance. The CX-90’s lower trims have a turbocharged inline-six engine producing 280 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Higher trims pack the same turbo-six but with 340 hp. All have a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard on every CX-90 model. In addition, the CX-90 is available as a 323-hp PHEV

The Grand Highlander provides slightly less power, with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 265 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque in the XLE and Limited trims. The XLE Hybrid has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid setup. All have an eight-speed automatic transmission, and AWD is available.

Mazda CX-90 vs. Toyota Grand Highlander: Fuel economy

Both SUVs balance power with decent fuel efficiency. CX-90 trims with the 280-hp engine get 24 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Models with the more potent engine get 1 mpg fewer in the city. But the CX-90 PHEV is the most fuel-efficient, achieving 56 MPGe combined.

The Grand Highlander offers impressive fuel efficiency, depending on the model. The gas-powered XLE and Limited get only 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. But EPA estimates are 37/34 mpg city/highway for the Hybrid XLE FWD; 36/32 mpg city/highway mpg for the Hybrid XLE AWD and Hybrid Limited AWD; and 26/27 mpg city/highway for the Hybrid MAX Limited AWD and Hybrid MAX Platinum AWD.

CX-90 vs. Grand Highlander: Seating and cargo capacities

The CX-90 and Grand Highlander provide spacious accommodations for seven or eight passengers. Both three-row SUVs feature versatile seating configurations and ample legroom and headroom. But the Grand Highlander offers slightly more room for all riders.

Headroom in the CX-90’s front, second, and third rows is 39.7, 39.3, and 36.9 inches. The Grand Highlander’s numbers are 41.5, 40.2, and 37.2 inches. However, Grand Highlander models with a panoramic moonroof have slightly less headroom in the front (40 inches) and second row (38.5 inches).

Legroom in the front, second, and third rows is 41.7, 39.4, and 30.4 inches in the CX-90 and 41.7, 39.5, and 33.5 inches in the Grand Highlander.

Cargo capacity is where the CX-90 and Grand Highlander differ significantly. The Grand Highlander has nearly 23 cubic feet more maximum cargo volume than the CX-90.

The eight-seat CX-90 has 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back row, 40 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 74.2 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. The seven-seat CX-90 provides slightly more cargo space, with 15.9 cubic feet behind the back row, 40.1 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 75.2 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded, according to Mazda.

On the other hand, the seven-seat Grand Highlander boasts a much higher cargo capacity. It provides 20.6 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, 57.9 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 97.5 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. Toyota doesn’t specify measurements for the eight-seat setup in its online configurator.

Price and warranty comparison

The 2024 Mazda CX-90 and 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander are available in various trims, each with its own price structure. The CX-90’s pricing starts at $39,595 for the base model, while the Grand Highlander has a higher starting MSRP of $43,070. The Grand Highlander’s larger dimensions likely account for some of that $3,500 difference.

As for warranties, both Mazda and Toyota provide comprehensive coverage. They include limited basic warranties of three years/36,000 miles, powertrain warranties of five years/60,000 miles, and corrosion coverage of five years/unlimited miles.

The Mazda CX-90 and Toyota Grand Highlander are compelling picks for consumers seeking luxurious three-row SUVs. The CX-90 impresses with its powerful performance and available PHEV, while the Grand Highlander stands out for its excellent fuel economy and generous cargo space. Deciding between these two SUVs will depend on needs, preferences, and budgets. 


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