Update: ‘Interior’ section updated and ‘Mazda ‘immersion’ experience’ section added.
Mazda has unveiled the first-ever CX-90, an all-new three-row crossover developed mainly for North American markets. The CX-90 is coming to the U.S. as a 2024 model, and it will be available with plug-in hybrid technology. Here’s everything we know about the 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV:
The CX-90 has a thoroughly sculpted & muscular front bumper with neatly-integrated air intakes. The large radiator grille is finished in gloss black paint but also gets chrome surrounds, with some more chrome found on the lower-lip section of the front bumper. The compact but recessed headlamps look particularly striking, with their LED DRLs extending partially into the main grille.
The 2024 CX-90 PHEV has an elegant and practical side profile with smoothly contoured door panels, a sleek, bow-shaped greenhouse, and curvy mirrors. The beltline will extend straight behind the rear doors, instead of rising up like on the CX-60, to lead to a much wider quarter glass. That will allow the third-row customers to get a better view outside the SUV.
There’s a “PHEV” badge, chrome garnish, and a honeycomb pattern decor element on the front wings. The 2024 CX-90 PHEV model is Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in the U.S. Aluminum roof rails, which will be useful for customers with active lifestyles, and chrome lower molding, chrome window surrounds, and multi-spoke two-tone alloy wheels will attract customers who prefer their SUVs shiny.
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 has a hunched rear-end, much like the CX-60. The tailgate, including the license plate area looks similar to the global SUV. The tail lamps extend out to the shoulder area, and their design is actually quite similar to the CX-60’s tail lamps. There’s also a chrome wing on the lower bumper.
The Mazda CX-90 has the same interior design as the CX-60. It has a wide dashboard featuring continuous lines which run through the side air vents into the door trim, underlining the spaciousness of the cabin. The sleek 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, central AC vents, and climate control panel give a minimalist vibe to the interior.
Brushed metal trim and Nappa leather seat upholstery communicate the premium craftsmanship of the 2024 Mazda CX-90. Customers can specify the cabin with a bench seat for three passengers or captain’s chairs for two passengers in the second row and also a bench seat for three passengers in the third row.
In a video YouTube channel Robin Warner released on February 3, 2023, Mazda (North America) President & CEO Jeff Guyton said that the company recently added captain’s chairs to the CX-9 and customers love it. So, offering the same in the CX-90 was an easy and logical choice. Available features include a panoramic moonroof, head-up display, wireless charging pad, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system as well.
In a YouTube video (link) uploaded by Jonathan Sewell on March 11, 2023, we get to see the CX-90 PHEV’s modern but minimalistic digital driver’s display in action. The short clip reveals that the plug-in hybrid SUV comes with five individual drive modes – Towing, Sport, Normal, EV, and Off-Road. Cycling through the modes also corresponds with the gauge cluster animations changing to match the driver-selected preference, with the graphics being fairly good and well-executed.
The video also shows the instrument panel of the new Mazda SUV while the vehicle is in motion, revealing a ‘Charge/Power’ indication to the left of the display, along with the drive mode status and transmission position. The display also appears to offer real-time information on road signs, speed limits & live traffic, with ultrasonic sensors providing visual cues to the driver in regard to other vehicles in the immediate vicinity.
The Mazda CX-90 PHEV features the i-Activsense safety features such as cruise control with stop and go, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Lane Departure Warning with Lane-Keep Assist as standard. A 360° View Monitor with See-through View technology is available. See-Through View shows an image on the screen so that the driver can see through the front and rear corners of the vehicle from their viewpoint. This makes it easier to spot objects obscured by the bodywork.
Mazda has launched the 2024 CX-90 PHEV in the U.S. in Preferred, Premium, and Premium Plus trims.
The Preferred trim features LED lights, heated mirrors, 19-inch alloy silver alloy wheels, a power tailgate with programmable height adjustment, and a moonroof. Three-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with heating and power lumbar support, 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat with heating, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8-speaker sound system are some of its interior highlights.
On the safety front, Mazda equips the CX-90 PHEV Preferred with a backup camera, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane-keep Assist, Rear Seat Alert, Vehicle Exit Warning, Driver Attention Alert, Roll Stability Control, Hill Launch Assist, Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System and Trailer Stability Assist, Smart Brake Support (Forward), and more.
The Preferred trim is available in Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Jet Black Mica, Platinum Quartz Metallic, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, and Machine Gray Metallic colors. Greige and Black are the interior color options.
Featuring black side molding, 21-inch black alloy wheels, and a shark fin antenna, the CX-90 Premium trim looks a little more stylish. A panoramic moonroof replaces the normal moonroof.
The mid-range trim offers more comfort and convenience with features like a 2-position memory function for the driver’s seat, a frameless, auto-dimming IRVM, second-row captain’s chairs, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, built-in navigation, wireless phone charger, and more. Audiophiles will appreciate the fact that this trim upgrades their SUV to a Bose Centerpoint surround sound system with 12 speakers and AudioPilot.
Blind Spot Assist, Emergency Lane Keeping, automatic speed limiter for the cruise control system, front and rear parking sensors, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and Secondary Collision Reduction System, are some of the additional safety features.
The Premium trim is available in Sonic Silver Metallic and Artisan Red Premium colors as well. The latter is a new deeply saturated color Mazda created especially for large platform models. In reference to the new sophisticated paint, Guyton said that Mazda designs the shape of the vehicle and the technology in the paint to work together.
The Premium Plus trim adds a windshield wiper de-icer and automatic power folding side mirrors with an auto-dimming function on the driver’s side mirror.
Additional/better interior features of the top-end trim include a 150-watt accessory outlet, a second-row center console with storage and 2 USB Type-C charging ports, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, 2-position memory, and heating, 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat with heating and ventilation, and heated steering wheel.
As for safety equipment, the additions are a 360° View Monitor with See-through View, Smart Brake Support (Reverse), and Front Cross Traffic Alert and Brake.
American media impressions
A few American publications have seen the Mazda CX-90 and shared their first impressions. Like us, YouTuber Kirk Kreifels thinks that it looks very similar to the CX-60. He likes the exterior and says that “nothing else looks like it,” especially from the front three quarter angle and the rear three quarter angle. He also appreciates the premium interior materials, intuitive climate control system, and convenient drive controls. He notes that while the third row doesn’t offer much room for an adult, it has plenty of comfort and convenience features, including USB Type-C ports, cupholders, and air vents.
The proportions of the CX-90 are closer to those of a Mercedes-Benz, according to YouTube channel MotoManTV‘s George Notaras. As for the interior, he says it is a work of art and a magnificent place to be! Kelly Blue Book’s Micah Muzio notes (via YouTube) the CX-90 offers a good recline angle in the second row and slides to the front to make room to let third-row passengers enter the vehicle pretty easily. Headroom and lumbar support are good in the third row, but knee room is tight and the sitting angle is too upright, he adds.
Platform & powertrain
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV is a wide-body midsize SUV sharing the company’s all-new front-engine, rear-wheel drive platform with the CX-60 PHEV, the brand’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle globally. It has an ‘eSkyactiv’ powertrain that Mazda says is tuned specifically for the North American region, with a focus on performance.
The powertrain combines a 2.5-liter engine with an electric motor that gets its energy from a 17.8 kWh battery pack. An all-new 8-speed automatic transmission and a full-time, rear-biased i-Activ all-wheel drive system send drive to the wheels.
The engine and motor together produce 323 hp and 369 lb.-ft. of torque, although Mazda notes the fuel tank needs to be filled with premium gas to achieve those numbers. The driver can select from five driving modes: Normal, Sport, Off-road, Towing (optional), and EV. The EPA-est. pure electric range of the CX-90 PHEV could be around 25 miles.
Mazda will offer the 2024 CX-90 PHEV with a portable Level 1 charging cable as standard. A Level 2 home charger will be available through ChargePoint.
In a recent official video, Jay Chen, Manager of Vehicle Development and Powertrain at Mazda North American Operations, has explained how the CX-90’s longitudinal layout with a rear-biased drivetrain makes the SUV feel more natural in the way it behaves. For the CX-90, Mazda engineers reduced the size of the transmission components and replaced them with lighter, more efficient parts. Chen said that this not only enabled Mazda to fit the CX-90 with a sportier suspension but also give it more steering angle for improved cornering performance.
Guyton said that the longitudinal nature gave the company the length it wanted to offer the plug-in hybrid system as well. He also explained why the company kept AWD drivetrain layout standard and didn’t offer cheaper and more frugal FWD configurations. The CX-90 with AWD gives the Japanese feeling of “Jinba Ittai” more and also improves safety. Jinba Ittai in this case means the driver feels like the vehicle is a natural extension of themself.
Kinematic Posture Control (KPC)
Mazda will offer the CX-90 with MX-5 Miata and CX-60’s Kinematic Posture Control (KPC) for reduced body roll. KPC is Mazda’s iteration of traditional brake torque vectoring, and it’s a software-based system that uses existing hardware components, thus not increasing the weight.
The CX-90’s rear suspension geometry should have been designed to generate a force that causes the rear wheel on the inside of the bend to deflect when the vehicle brakes. Basically, the rear suspension should oppose lift force and bring the vehicle body downwards to stabilize it. Like a conventional torque vectoring system, the inside rear wheel should be braked, but only slightly. Dave Coleman, a vehicle development engineer at Mazda, has explained in detail how it’s different in the MX-5 Miata’s case to Road & Track, in case you’d like to know more.
|Aspect||2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV Specification|
|Width||77.6 in. (without wheel arch molding)/84.9 in. (with wheel arch molding)|
|Height||68.2 in. (Preferred)/68.7 in. (Premium & Premium Plus)|
|Wheelbase||8.0 in. (Preferred)/8.1 in. (Premium & Premium Plus)|
|Engine||2.5L direct injection four-cylinder gasoline|
|Engine Power||189 hp at 6,000 rpm|
|Engine Torque||192 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm|
|Motor Power||173 hp at 5,500 rpm|
|Motor Torque||199 lb.-ft. at 400 rpm|
|Total Power||323 hp at 5,000 rpm|
|Total Torque||369 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm|
|Battery Pack||17.8 kWh lithium-ion|
|Charging Time (20-80% SoC)||6 hours and 40 minutes (Level 1)/1 hour and 30 minutes (Level 2)|
|Expected EPA-est. Electric Range (Unofficial)||~25 miles|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||18.5 gallons|
|Towing Capacity||3,500 lbs.|
Price & Release Date
Mazda will commence manufacturing the 2024 CX-90 units intended for sales in North America by March 2023. In the U.S., prices start at USD 47,445 (excl. USD 1,375 destination in all states except for Alaska – USD 1,420). As for the release date, the consumer website states “initially expected Spring 2023,” without clarifying whether the timeline is for the start of orders or deliveries.
According to YouTuber Jonathan Sewell, order books should open in March 2023 and deliveries should commence in June-July 2023. Guyton expects Mazda to get its “unfair share of sales” in the mid-size three-row crossover SUV segment with the CX-90. Sewell says (via YouTube) that the company has started allocating the first units of the gas-powered CX-90 to U.S. dealerships.
|Grade||2024 Mazda CX-90 Price|
|Premium Plus||USD 56,950|
Mazda ‘immersion’ experience
Hosted by Mazda North American Operations which is headquartered in Irvine, California, company dealers and employees in the U.S. are being invited for their first hands-on experience of the new CX-90, Sewell revealed in his YouTube video.
The event also allowed participants to test drive all the variants of the SUV with their new powertrains, which also includes the plug-in hybrid. As per the Mazda expert, the company will be embarking on replicating the event in other parts of the U.S., prior to the CX-90’s official arrival at dealer lots across the country.
No Mazda CX-90 Electric on the horizon
Guyton stated in an interview with Yahoo Finance (via YouTube) following the CX-90 reveal that the new SUV is Mazda’s biggest and most powerful vehicle ever. Asked whether the company thought of making a pure-electric CX-90, he indicated that plug-in hybrid is a better solution for electrification in the CX-90 due to inhibiting factors like charging infrastructure, power cuts during summer, and range loss in unfavorable weather conditions.
Mazda’s CX-90 SUV is a premium hybrid family SUV that could offer both fun and functionality. Its front-engine, rear-wheel drive architecture, and the instant torque of the electric motor can make it a great choice for those who want a little bit of everything.
Mazda CX-90 FAQs
What is the 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV release date?
The Mazda CX-90 PHEV will hit dealers in the U.S. in Spring 2023.
What will be the 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV price?
The three-row crossover SUV start at USD 47,445.
Featured Image Source: Mazda