Wednesday, June 21, 2023

2024 Mazda CX-90 Premium Plus AWD: The Brand’s All-New Flagship Crossover

Highlight: A plug-in (PHEV) model is available.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $61,920 (Base Model): $40,970

Seating Capacity: 6-8 (depending on trim)

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; AWD; hill decent control; hill launch accent; off-road traction assist; tailer stability control; rearview camera; rear cross traffic alert; lane keep assist system; a lane departure warning system; a blind spot monitor; and an automatic brake hold feature

Standard Equipment (Select AWD):  19-inch wheels; an 8-speed automatic transmission; a three zone ventilation system; a leather wrapped gear selector; an illuminated entry system; a push button information system; a power driver’s seat with lumbar support; leather-like seating; and a 10-inch infotainment system

Standard Equipment Test Model (Premium Plus): 21-inch wheels; 340-horsepower engine; premium fuel; induction sound enhancer; a 5,000 lb towing capacity; three driving modes; front mesh grill; an automatic power folding side mirrors; an automatic side mirrors; an adaptive front lighting system; second row manual retractable side shades; rear door courtesy lamps; a garage door opener with homelink; an illuminated front door pocket; front and rear door pockets; a power panoramic sunroof; a power rear liftgate; auto dimming rearview frameless mirror; 150-volt outlet; a front foot lamp illumination; a heated steering wheel; a driver personalization system; steering wheel with memory setting; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; illuminated ambient cabinet lightning; like suede interior mid panel with stitch and panel; second row center storage with armrest; heated front seats; inner handle finish; power driver’s seat with two-position memory; a power passenger front seat; heated/ventilated second row seats; split 50/50 third row seats; second row manual captain seats with reclining seat backs; leather front and second row seats; quilted leather nappa trim; USB inputs; a 12 speaker BOSE system with satellite radio; a navigation system; a 12-inch color infotainment system; a wireless phone charger; a heads up display system; a blind spot assist system; an emergency lane keep assist system; a radar activated cruise control system; parking sensors (front and rear); a traffic sign recognition system; a 360-degree camera; a smart brake emergency system; and a cruising and traffic support system

Options: special exterior trim



Preferred Plus


Premium Plus

Preferred Plug-In

Turbo S

Standard Audio On Base Model: an 8-speaker audio system with and AM/FM/HD/SiriusXM radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles

Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles

Standard Horsepower: 3.3-liter, 6-cylinder/280-horsepower


24-city/28-hwy (non S model)

23-city/28-hwy (S model)

Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs

What’s New: Its an all-new three row crossover that rides on the brand's new large platform. The CX-90 is Mazda’s new flagship vehicle.

Why (Test Model):

A stylish exterior design moves the vehicle towards luxury car range

A powerful 6-cylinder engine is available

A stylish three row crossover


Easy access to third-row seat

A great riding vehicle

A power tilt/telescopic steering wheel

A panoramic sunroof

Bucket second row seats

A premium interior

Heated/ventilated front and second row seats

A stop-and-go radar activated cruise control system

A co-pilot steering system

21-inch tires/stylish wheels


Pricing of the top end trim competes with the Lexus RX

Premium fuel required with the higher horsepower engine

Takes a moment to adjust to utilizing the gear shifter

The rear side doors need to be engineered to utilize a keyless entry system

The model uses Mazda’s complicated BMW like i-contoller

No rear power control system for folding up or down the third row seat

No none AWD model/models

Verdict: In the early nineties, Mazda had proposed a new luxury brand, the Amati to mirror Honda, Nissan and Toyota premium brands. Ironically, while Mazda never got their luxury brand off the ground, they continued to set their sights on the luxury lane based on the evolution of their interior and exterior designs. The only thing that seemed to be holding them back were their less than potent four cylinder engines, which literally excluded them from being a premium vehicle.

This year’s 2024 Mazda CX-90, which is a new addition to the brand's portfolio, which rides on an all-new platform, is a game changer for the niche brand. The flagship CX-90, which doesn't replace the CX-9, is a true indication the Japanese automaker still have their sights on joining Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.

The luxurious three-row crossover, with its stylish Land Roverish-like side profile and chrome like mesh Volvo grill, is powered by two six-cylinder engines. Its been a moment since Mazda has had a six-cylinder engine underneath the hood of one of its vehicles. With a near $62,000 price tag on the CX-90 we reviewed, the automaker boldly decided to place itself in the same lane as an Infiniti and a Lexus. Is it worthy of such? We’ll allow the consumer to be the judge.

Based on first appearance, the brand’s largest crossover to date, is making every attempt to justify its healthy price tag. From its all-wheel drive configuration to its second-row captain chairs, with a fixed center armrest/storage center to a co-pilot assist steering system to the pseudo suede instrument panel to its panoramic power sunroof to its smooth ride, like a high-powered lawyer trying to sway a juror, the CX-90 appears to be making a great case (or as we say a strong statement). Look at the how the Genesis brand has evolved over the past few years, distancing itself from the Hyundais of the past. Could this be the story for Mazda? We'll have to wait and see.

Competition: 2024 Lexus TX (all-new model); 2023 Buick Enclave; 2023 Genesis GV80; 2023 Infiniti QX60; 2023 Lincoln Aviator; and 2023 Volvo XC90

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