Mazda is on its way to transforming the brand into a more upscale and premium direction, and that began with the CX-60. Now, they’ve unveiled their first three-row SUV that also rides on the CX-60’s Large Product platform–the first-ever 2024 Mazda CX-90.
Because it’s built on the Large Product platform, the CX-90 uses the same rear-wheel drive (RWD) architecture as the CX-60, along with its longitudinally-mounted engine layout. Despite being a large SUV, Mazda made a lot of effort to make this drive like a sports sedan, thanks to a highly rigid structure that’s complemented by a feature called Kinematic Posture Control (KPC). KPC, which enhances grip and reduces body roll, first made its debut in the 2022 update of the MX-5, which is an evolution of the brand’s G-Vectoring Control torque vectoring by braking feature.
Now, onto the meaty part of the news. The 2024 Mazda CX-90 comes with two powertrain choices, with the range kicking off with the e-Skyactiv-G PHEV that blends its 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated gasoline engine with an electric motor that delivers a combined output of 323 hp and 500 Nm of torque. The 17.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack enables it to run in pure electric mode at certain distances, but its electric range has not yet been revealed.
The other engine choice is a turbocharged 3.3-liter straight-six that sounds like a recipe out of BMW’s page. Its power output is 340 hp and 502 Nm of torque, which makes this the most powerful mass-production engine Mazda has created to date. The engine is mated to an M-Hybrid Boost mild hybrid system that combines a transmission-mounted electric motor to aid efficiency at low speeds.
Speaking of that transmission, both powertrains are connected to a new 8-speed automatic developed in-house by Mazda. The transmission does not have a torque converter like in most traditional automatics. Instead, it uses a multi-plate clutch system to provide a more direct acceleration as well as improved fuel economy.
As usual with Mazda’s current aesthetics, the CX-90 wears the brand’s evolved Kodo design language that’s characterized by the lack of any character lines. Instead, it imbues the car with life through the interplay of light and shadow with its gentle creases. The CX-90 is also surrounded by a lower chrome garnish on all variants and is available with 21-inch wheels, while lower variants come with more rugged black cladding as opposed to painted ones. Topping it all off is a set of slim LED taillights that extend closely toward the middle of the tailgate for a wider stance.
Moving inside the 2024 Mazda CX-90, the luxurious interior echoes that of the CX-60. While leather upholstery is standard on all trims, higher variants benefit from Nappa Leather along with a fabric dash insert that comes with hanging stitches inspired by a Japanese weaving technique called Kumihimo. It’s a similar stitching that you’d also find in traditional bookbinding in Japan.
Numerous tech features are scattered around the interior, such as the two 12.3-inch widescreen displays, with the main Mazda Connect infotainment screen being controlled via the rotary knob controller or through touch when using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. There are also heated and ventilated seats, a ‘See-Through View’ monitor that lets you see past your CX-90’s hood, along with the option for a second-row bench seat or captain’s chairs.
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 was specifically designed for North America, with their market being the first to receive this flagship SUV this Spring (March to June). It is still unknown whether the CX-90 will be sold in Asia as this is a vehicle that was developed with American buyers in mind.
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