2024 Mazda CX-90 Signature
Price: 63,950 CAD
Colour: Artisan Metallic Red
There has been a lot of talk in the trades about how the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is the latest push by Mazda to elevate the brand into the luxury end of the market. I see where that impression comes from as the CX-90 is a good car and a true step forward for Mazda. While they have work to do to achieve their goals the CX-90 is a great example of what is to come.
Power & Performance
You get one power plant option with the 2024 Mazda CX-90. It’s an all new 3.3L In-Line 6 cylinder engine. In the Signature trim it delivers 319hp (87 octane fuel) or 340hp (93 octaine fuel). The torque is an impressive 369 lb/ft. Lower trims deliver less power from the same engine. God bless tuning. All this power is delivered to the wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The in-line cylinder orientation makes this a very smooth engine. Mazda has decided that it’s so good it deserves an abundance of badging on the exterior of the vehicle. I’m not sure this is necessarily a selling feature that deserves the attention it’s getting, nor will it sell more cars but Mazda clearly disagrees.
I was critical of the CX-9 when I drove it because it looked to similar to the other vehicles in the Mazda lineup. From a distance it can be very difficult to tell them apart. The all-new CX-90 improves on this by being fitted with a slightly different face but it still has the huge Mazda mouth we’ve come to see so much of in recent years. This doesn’t mean it’s an ugly car. Quite the opposite as the “emotional body surfaces” as described by Mazda flow nicely and give the vehicle a lovely profile. In the signature trim you get body colour cladding and this is worth the extra money all by itself. Loyal readers will know my loathing of bare plastic trim and any opportunity to avoid it is something I take advantage of.
The interior quality of the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is getting almost as much attention as that buttery smooth in-line 6. It is a very nice place to be no matter how much I disagree with the Windsor Tan Nappa Leather color choice. The fit and finish match the quality of the materials and really do give this a premium feel. Mazda also delivered a similar achievement in the CX-5 which had a better interior than it deserved.
The CX-90 comes with a lovely glass roof that includes a portion that opens so you can enjoy a sunny afternoon. I personally get aggressive sunburn when I use the sunroof on such a day but it’s still nice to have. This is a high end feature that is becoming standard equipment on luxury vehicles.
Three row SUV’s are increasingly coming with second row captain’s chairs. The signature trim of the CX-90 has such seats along with two in the third row. This trim level is clearly designed to be comfortable and provide you with space the 7/8 seater options don’t give you. Access to that comfortable third row is okay but if you’re thick in the middle (like yours truly) you will struggle and wheeze a little getting in and out.
The signature trim is the only trim that comes with a really nice all-digital dash cluster. All other trims come with an analogue speedo/tachometer and digital middle. The all-digital option is nice and can be customized in many different ways depending on how you like your information displayed or what kind of day you’re having.
Mazda infotainment systems are a sore spot for me. I don’t mind the fact that they are operated by a little dial on the center console. It’s actually rather useable. The issue I have is that the screens can often be small and set deep in the dash. This makes them useless for touch screen applications if the functionality exists and can sometimes make them hard to read. The infotainment in the Signature trim is 12” and is actually set high on the dash and closer to the driver. When you use Android Auto or CarPlay the screen becomes touch capable. I didn’t use the touch capacity but it nice to have a clear view of the screen.
The best part of the interior of the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is the complete lack of piano black plastic trim. This stuff is used all over in cars from every manufacturer. It gets dirty fast and scratches like a CD (kids ask your parents what those are) you lose under your desk. I’m not sure who was paying attention at Mazda but they should get a bonus just for this one decision. The quality plastic choices will keep this interior looking newer much longer and that’s a quality choice.
Given the luxury aspirations of the CX-90 they made the right choices in how they put this car together and what materials they used to build it. The CX-90 doesn’t creak, rattle or pop as you put it through the corners and over speed bumps. The interior is a really nice place to be, and the elimination of piano black plastic is so satisfying it’s like watching carpet cleaning videos on the internet.
CQI – 8. Good Quality Carpet
Competition in the three row SUV market is intense and brutal. Everyone wants to sell you a fashionable bus to haul your family and their crap all over the city you live in. Thus, there are a lot of choices in this segment. The Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Toyota Grand Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder etc. etc. All of these are options and are priced similarly to the CX-90. They all have their pros and cons and you should drive them all. Not all of them come with the same quality and luxury feel of the CX-90 and if that’s your prized feature the CX-90 will top your list.
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is wunderbar. I’m actually surprised this thing doesn’t cost north of $70k. All things considered the price point of the CX-90 is very competitive. Combine that with what it gives you and it’s a great choice. It may look like the CX-5 from across the parking lot but looking like Brad Pitt isn’t exactly a bad thing. The future is bright for Mazda if this is the direction they keep going.