The Mazda CX-90 is an SUV for premium brands to worry about

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

Mazda cx-90

Mazda has long been known for premium vehicles with exciting and engaging driving dynamics. Its SUVs are no exception, and the upcoming CX-90 looks poised to take things to the next level. It will bring Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid powertrain and offer a stunning interior that rivals many premium brands’ flagships.

Mazda will offer two powertrains in the CX-90. The standard mill is a 3.3-liter turbocharged inline-six making 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque on premium fuel. It’s equipped with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that brings more responsive acceleration. Mazda mounted the electric motor between the engine and transmission and noted that it’s capable of powering the SUV at low speeds.

Courtesy of Kristin Shaw

The real story is the plug-in hybrid powertrain, dubbed e-Skyactiv. It’s designed specifically for North American buyers and produces 323 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, again on premium fuel. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and a 17.8 kWh battery. Mazda hasn’t specified range, but the SUV will offer all-electric driving for short distances – likely 25 miles or so.

Both engines come with a new eight-speed automatic transmission that replaces the six-speed unit Mazda’s used in many vehicles over the years. It’s designed specifically for the new electrified powertrains and pairs with all-wheel drive, as Mazda made the feature standard in all its SUVs starting in 2022. 

Courtesy of Kristin Shaw

The CX-90 rides on a new large vehicle platform, which Mazda said gives it a wider body, fenders, and a longer wheelbase. Chrome trim is available, along with unique 21-inch diamond-cut wheels. Mazda’s famed Soul Red paint doesn’t appear here, but the automaker has another super-premium color to replace it. Artisan Red is its newest Takuminuri color, developed especially for the CX-90.

Mazda’s upscale leanings are immediately apparent in the three-row CX-90’s cabin, where high-end materials like Nappa leather and wood meet muted fabrics and other nice materials. The dash features a unique Japanese stitching technique known as Kumihimo, which Mazda said, “deliberately uses negative space to create a unique design for the CX-90 that echoes to its Japanese lineage.” A 12.3-inch infotainment display is standard and will bring the expected features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM Radio, Bluetooth, and more. 

Courtesy of Kristin Shaw

Mazda hasn’t disclosed pricing or release date details yet, but we’re scheduled to drive the new CX-90 in a couple of months and will be one of the first to deliver the information when it’s available. 

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