Mazda CX-90 Honest Review

At your Mazda dealer now is the new Mazda CX-90, which is the brand’s first foray into a three-row crossover. It’s a clear signal that Mazda intends to move into the upper levels of the market to attract families looking for large SUVs. Unlike Toyota and Honda, Mazda has taken a different path to compete with luxury brands.

Compelling Large Crossover

Buyers looking for luxury trappings at a more affordable price will want to consider the Mazda CX-90. This is not a redesign of the current CX-9, but a brand-new vehicle with a new inline-six engine, a new platform, and a mild-hybrid system. A plug-in hybrid model is also offered and it comes with a four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor and a 17.8 kWh battery.

What’s New For the CX-90?

Everything is new for Mazda’s new large crossover. The new platform features Mazda’s first inline-six engine, combined with the brand’s first mild-hybrid system. The interior of the CX-90 is notably upscale compared to the CX-9.

Pros for the CX-90 include an attractive interior, a totally new and smooth-running inline-six engine, and an affordable price for all the features.

Cons for the CX-90 include mediocre start-stop calibration, a lack of certain expected features, and the vehicle’s massive footprint.

Features and Performance

You’ll find two possible choices at your Mazda dealer for the CX-90. One is the mild-hybrid system with an inline-six engine that makes 280 or 340 horsepower, depending on the trim level. The second choice is a plug-in powertrain that makes 323 horsepower. The 340-horsepower version moves the nearly 5,000-pound CX-90 with effortless smoothness.

On the S Premium Plus model of the CX-90, you’ll find almost every feature that you could want, including multi-zone climate control, active safety, smartphone integration, and heated and cooled seats among other features. However, this trim can cost over $60,000 and it’s still missing a few essential features, such as rear proximity unlock and the ability to reconfigure the speedometer to a numerical display.


The Mazda CX-90 starts at just under $41,000, but it can go as high as over $62,000 if you get the top trim and add all the available options. That’s a pretty high price point for a Mazda SUV, but at the same time, it’s still roughly $20,000 less than the comparable BMW X7.

There are a total of eight trims for the inline-six version of the CX-90 and three trims for the plug-in hybrid. If you can find the S trim at your Mazda dealer, it’s a good middle choice as it comes with the 340-horsepower version of the inline-six and has a generous complement of features. It doesn’t have all the high-end materials from the S Premium Plus trim, but it comes in at a far more affordable price of $53,125.

The bottom line is that the Mazda CX-90 is a big move by the brand. The CX-90 is a brand-new large SUV with a new engine and luxury options that cost a lot less than its competitors. It offers a distinct alternative to those who want a large SUV with premium materials, but don’t want to pay BMW prices.

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