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2024 Mazda CX-90 Review: A Perfect Family SUV Car

2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV
Image source: motorauthority@Instagram

Mazda is showcasing its ability to present a more luxurious alternative to Honda and Toyota. The 2024 CX-90 three-row SUV stands out with its stylish design, inline-six engine, and rear-wheel drive setup, carrying on from where the CX-9 left off.

Does the CX-90 bring a new level of excellence to the family three-row SUV segment? The answer is a definite yes.

While competitors like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Grand Highlander are based on front-wheel drive platforms with optional all-wheel drive, the CX-90 takes a more sporty approach by being founded on a rear-wheel drive configuration, with the all-wheel drive system delivering more power to the rear wheels.

Offering a choice between a four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain or a new turbocharged 3.3-liter inline-six engine with a 48-volt electric motor, the CX-90 is well-equipped. The base inline-six engine produces 280 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, while the higher-output version delivers 340 hp and 369 lb-ft, putting the CX-90 ahead of the Honda Pilot and equivalent to the most powerful Toyota Grand Highlander variant.

The inline-six engine gives the CX-90 a surprisingly sporty feel on the road for a large family SUV. It’s smooth, refined, and responsive, offering a satisfying driving experience. The automatic transmission also performs admirably, although it could benefit from some fine-tuning at lower speeds.

Like other Mazda models, the CX-90 is tailored for the driving enthusiasts in its segment. With its agile and planted feel, coupled with firm suspension, the CX-90 offers an enjoyable driving experience that outshines the Grand Highlander and Pilot. If you seek an SUV that drives more like a sports car, the CX-90 stands out in its class.

Inside, the CX-90’s cabin exudes luxury. The materials are premium, and the minimalist design gives off an upscale vibe. Even the base model features a high-quality interior, with optional Kumihimo cloth dashboard trim and exposed-grain Maple trim adding to the sophistication of the CX-90.

However, similar to the CX-9, the CX-90 lacks ample space, particularly in the third row. Despite the longer wheelbase compared to the CX-9, the third-row seating area remains cramped, with seats positioned close to the floor, leading to an uncomfortable seating posture and limited headroom.

With nearly 15 cubic feet of space behind the third row, expanding to 40 cubic feet with the third row folded, the CX-90’s cargo space falls short compared to many other three-row SUVs.

Though Mazda excels in styling and driving dynamics, the infotainment system remains a drawback. Operated predominantly via a rotary dial, it poses a challenge for users wanting to maintain focus on the road. Despite its modern appearance in 10.25-inch or 12.3-inch sizes, the system’s usability leaves room for improvement.

The 2024 Mazda CX-90 starts at $39,300.

In conclusion, the 2024 Mazda CX-90 sets a new standard for family three-row SUVs. Its distinctive style and enjoyable driving experience make it a standout choice. However, if ample space for the entire family is a priority, exploring other options may be necessary. For enthusiasts seeking the driving thrill of an MX-5 Miata with the need for additional seating, the CX-90 is an excellent pick.

Image source: motorauthority@Instagram

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