A Luxury SUV From Mazda
The 2024 Mazda CX 90 is quite the automobile. For just under $62,000 you’ll be riding in one of the nicest Mazdas I’ve ever been in.
By J-F Wright
Sat, Nov 25, 2023 07:33 AM PST
Images by the author, edited by Erica Wright.
The 2024 Mazda CX90 Turbo S Premium Plus comes with the E-skyactiv G 3.3 L inline 6 cylinder turbo engine with 340 hp and 369 pound feet of torque. It’s got the Mazda “M Hybrid Boost” working together with the engine and the eight speed automatic transmission to get all of those 340 horses down to the wheels. But enough with the numbers, what’s the 2024 Mazda CX-90 really like?
The Mazda designers have done a great job bringing out that luxury-feeling in this top-of-the-line CX-90 - I’m not sure I’ve ever sat in this nice of a Mazda. The white leather seats are heated and cooled in the front as well as the second row captain chairs. Throughout the car, there’s this interesting fabric-looking strip that together with a metal-looking plastic strip and wood in lays make up the interior trim. It actually floats together really nicely. All seats throughout the car sport the white leather (nice!) with an interesting black line of fabric running down the middle, adding a little nice “extra touch” to the interior. Also adding an extra touch of luxury is the extended sunroof above the front and middle row occupants.
The steering wheel is a classic Mazda steering wheel. Actually, it’s pretty much like all other steering wheels on the market today… Easy access to the volume controls, switching tracks, taking/making phone calls on the left side, and the cruise control and assistive technology settings on the right. There are also paddle shifters behind the steering wheel - not that I really ever found a reason to use them.
The Apple CarPlay has an interesting interface - it looks like a touchscreen and sometimes is a touchscreen, but not all functions seem to want to respond to my fingers… So it turns into a hybrid of a touchscreen and manually using the classic Mazda-knob to the right of the driver’s seat. All in all though I’m happy using this updated system, Mazda was a bit behind the times with their prior infotainment screens, so it’s great to see that they are working to catch up.
As with most high-end cars, the Mazda CX-90 has a heads-up display. For anyone who hasn’t driven with a heads-up display yet it might feel like a superfluous feature - but I can almost guarantee that by the time you’ve gotten used to one you’ll never want a car without it. The Mazda CX 90’s heads-up display is a good-sized one (in color) and it displays pretty much everything you need to know while driving.
The second row captain chairs are definitely comfortable enough for adults, even for longer road trips. The third row might feel a bit cramped for adults, albeit shorter trips might be just fine. As far as hauling around kids, the CX-90 does a great job at that too. The two captain chairs have ISOFIX/LATCH attachment hooks, as do the two seats in the third row - incase you want to venture out with four small kids in the car.
The second row with its captains chairs and center armrest in console is a really nice place to spend a drive in. Plenty of storage space as well as cupholders within easy reach. There’s also a bunch of outlets for charging your phone and/or other devices. Even the third row has outlets - one on each side.
With the third row in use, you’ll have a limited amount of space left in your trunk - but nonetheless enough to do some casual shopping. In my case - with three kids - the third child gets one of the two seats in the third row, leaving a whole bunch of space for a major Costco run in the trunk.
Driving And Comfort
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 Turbo S Premium Plus (man, that’s a long name!) has a couple of driving modes - sport, normal, and off-road. The sport mode does tighten up the driving characteristics and gives the dashboard a more sporty - and red - feel to it. The normal and the off-road modes don’t alter the digital meters much, but adapts the suspension a bit.
Pretty much regardless of what drive mode you’re in, the Mazda CX-90 is a pleasant drive. For most of my day-to-day driving normal mode works just fine - so that’s where I’ve left it most of the time. As with any Mazda there is a bit of zoom zoom in the CX-90 anyway, meaning that it is a relatively fun car to drive. This is the biggest Mazda, though - it is, and handles, like a midsize SUV. Just as one would expect.
Hard cornering in the Mazda CX-90 will result in a little bit of body roll, but nothing noteworthy. As I said, Mazda usually does a good job with handling and driving characteristics and CX-90 is no exception.
Technology And Notable Features
Blindspot monitoring with vehicle exit warning add a layer of safety when changing lanes and when exiting the car, respectively. The lane departure warning system does good job at keeping you in your lane.
The sign recognition system is actually a convenient feature since it does keep an eye on how fast you’re allowed to go. Interestingly, if you have your cruise control set to a different speed than what the last seen/registered speed limit was, the system makes it really easy for you to set it to the correct speed with just one click.
Even though I don’t then Mazda CX-90 will be doing any serious off-roading - especially in the Premium Plus trim - there is a hill decent control should you find yourself needing it. That said, however, the CX-90 will most likely do just fine whenever subjected to dirt roads or other moderately “off-road” driving that one might actually do in this luxury car.
The front of the Mazda CX-90 actually looks a little droopy on the sides. There’s a fine line between an aggressive stance and a sad stance - the CX-90 kind of balances on that line. The front is extra wide, however, and that does give it a good look from the front. Different from many other brands, Mazda has opted for fairly square - or at least vertically vs horizontally symmetrical - headlights. Most other brands are moving towards very thin horizontal lights. Mazda has not.
From the side, the Mazda CX-90 has a pretty classic midsize-SUV look. The dark wheels with the silver accents give the side view an extra touch. As with many medium size SUVs, the roofline actually does tip down a bit in the rear - effectively removing some height from the interior.
Interestingly, the hood of the CX-90 seems pretty elongated, making it stand out and maybe look a little more aggressive. The lines of the hood nicely sweep around the front corners, flow the length of the car, and connect with the rear. The rear of the CX-90 is actually pretty standard-looking.
Our car sports a dark red exterior which actually does well on the CX-90 - especially in contrast to the white interior and the black wheels.
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 - starting at $60,000 (our test vehicle at $62,000) - is a pretty good ride. For $60,000 you’ll actually feel like you’re in a luxury brand vehicle. Mazda might not be known for their luxury, they’re actually known more for their zoom-zoom-ness and fun driving characteristics, so the CX-90 might surprise you.
To be able to stick to about $60,000 and still have all the bells and whistles that you might expect from a high-end SUV is worth a lot - probably like $20,000.
About The Author
John-Fredrik Wright was born in Sweden, but raised on both sides of the Atlantic. His experience in the automotive industry starts with a summer-job as a host at Volkswagen’s premier showroom in Stockholm. Later, he worked as an instructor at Swedish Active Driving, teaching safe driving (among other things the renowned "elk-avoidance maneuver") and advanced driving techniques.