Mazda has been churning out reliable, dynamic, high-value vehicles for decades. From the miniature Miata, to the three-row full sized CX-9 Crossover. 2024 marks a turning point for Mazda though, and no vehicle teases this more than the 2024 CX-90. That’s right. Replacing the former CX-9 with an extra number on the end. Rounding out the CX family, which also includes the CX-30 and CX-50. With the CX-70 just around the corner. The CX-90 though, as the biggest and baddest amongst them, promises to be larger and more premium than the CX-9 ever dreamed of being. One look around the cabin, and it’s clear that Mazda has made very good on this promise.
Premium as the materials on the inside may be, and they are very very nice for a Mazda. Let’s start with the most surprisingly upscale change of all, the engine. Taking notes from iconic luxury SUV’s like the BMW X5 and Range Rover Sport, Mazda has fitted its hallmark luxury vehicle with a first ever turbocharged 3.3L inline-six. Nothing signals the brands desire to move in a much more luxurious direction than this. The 340 hp I-6 engine delivers smooth and steady acceleration. Refined and composed, but with all the sportiness that we’ve come to love and expect from Mazda.
Inside the cabin, you’ll find accommodations for either seven or eight people. Depending on if you opt for the two captains chairs in the middle row. Whichever configuration you choose, don’t expect space and comfort in the tight third row. Familiar features of luxury brands appear. Buttery soft Nappa leather. Shiny metal and light wood trim pieces. I was surprised and delighted to find that Mazda upholstered the dashboard in the high-end models with a nicely textured fabric. Top and bottom pieces pulled together using a unique, Japanese stitching technique called Kakenui. This “hanging stitches” technique creates a space between the pieces of fabric to add extra depth. This simple, yet effective decision really elevated the look and feel of the Mazda CX-90, which already is undoubtedly the nicest interior I’ve every experienced in any Mazda, ever.
Some of the fantasy falls away as you touch, push, press and interact with the interior more. Beautiful to look at, but some of the fit and finish can feel cheap. Road noise is a little more than you’d expect, and the taut handling means that many of the bumps can be felt much more than the luxurious interior would suggest.
Even with its shortcomings, The brand new 2024 CX-90 puts Mazda’s aspirations for a more premium product on full display. Its exterior is handsomely styled. It’s interior is a case study on how high-end, complimentary materials can combine to create a space that’s beautifully elevated. Taking it even further with the Kakenui stitching and other surprising tricks I’ve never seen before. The powerful new inline-6 turbo with standard all-wheel drive elevates the whole package to exciting new levels. Helping the CX-90 sound and feel extra refined. The top of the line Premium Plus model will set you back nearly 60K. A surprisingly high price tag for a Mazda. However, if you can overcome the sticker-shock long enough to climb inside, fire up the new engine and take it for a spin; you’ll be as convinced as I was that it’s worth every penny.
CX-90 3.3 Turbo S Premium Plus Starting MSRP: $59,950.00