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2024 Mazda CX-90 Debuts Inline Six, Plug-In Hybrid Engine Options

Mazda’s newest flagship model is also its largest, most powerful SUV yet.

2024 Mazda CX-90
The CX-90 is Mazda's new three-row flagship SUV.

Mazda has just revealed the all-new 2024 CX-90. The new flagship three-row SUV arrives powered either by an also-new inline six-cylinder mild hybrid engine or the automaker's first plug-in hybrid system for the US market.

Working from the inside out, the CX-90 is built on Mazda's all-new large platform featuring a longitudinal powertrain architecture that enables the rear-bias of the SUV's standard i-Activ all-wheel drive system. The CX-90 is wider, longer and more spacious than Mazda's former flagship, the CX-9, with enough extra shoulder room on its third row for the automaker to increase the stated passenger capacity from seven to eight seats. Specific interior and exterior dimensions, however, have not yet been announced.

Shoppers will have their pick of two engine options. For more enthusiastic drivers, the new turbocharged 3.3-liter E-Skyactiv G engine looks to be the most exciting option. Mazda's first inline six-cylinder engine is augmented by a small M-Hybrid Boost electric motor sandwiched between it and the standard eight-speed automatic transmission. Together, they produce a peak 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque -- the most power and torque of any Mazda series production engine -- when sipping premium fuel. 

Drivers can choose between mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid configurations.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET Cars

Meanwhile, the E-Skyactiv plug-in hybrid leans more into electrification, matching a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a much larger electric motor, and a configuration good for 323 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque -- again, on premium fuel -- while also boasting a significant amount of electric range thanks to its 17.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Mazda has stated neither unofficial nor EPA-certified range estimates, but around 20 to 25 miles from a full charge is a safe bet based on the battery size. (The preproduction example on display, I noted, indicated 21 miles on its digital instrument cluster.)

The CX-90 also features the automaker's brake-based Kinematic Posture Control torque vectoring -- tech that debuted on the 2022 Mazda Miata -- which helps encourage sharper cornering and cancels out body roll by individually braking specific wheels mid-corner.

Mazda's use of organic textiles and exposed wood adds a premium feel to the cabin.


The broad strokes of the CX-90's interior design stick closely to the trends established by the CX-50 and CX-30 with a simple steering wheel, strong horizontal dashboard elements and a central display set deep into the dashboard. The 12.3-inch screen is touch-sensitive, but Mazda's placed it just outside of a comfortable reach and blocks touch input while driving, directing drivers instead to use the physical control buttons and knob on the center console.

The new flagship differentiates itself from its stablemates with premium cabin materials such as optional Kumihimo cloth dashboard trim featuring a Japanese-inspired hanging-stitch pattern inspired by bookbinding or available exposed-grain Maple trim on the center console and doors. Mazda's been making a push toward more premium design, fit and finish over the last few generations, and the CX-90 is the best example yet.

The 2024 CX-90 comes standard with Mazda's i-Activsense driver aid and safety suite, including technologies like automatic emergency brake support, blind-spot monitoring, radar adaptive cruise control and "other new features" that the automaker is still holding close to the vest. In addition to the standard suite, the available See-Through View monitor is new camera tech meant to aid in parking precision and safety.

Finally, we come to the new exterior design, which is shaped and informed by the CX-90's platform and drivetrain. Up to 21-inch wheels can be found tucked beneath the CX-90's wider fenders giving the new SUV a sportier, more planted appearance than the CX-9. The elongated hood accommodates the longitudinal engine orientation, while the rear-weighted body echoes the rear-biased torque split. Up front, Mazda's familiar fascia evolves a bit with new L-shaped LED daytime light signatures that flow into turn signals hidden in the chrome trim. Garnish on the stretched front fenders differentiates the "Inline 6" models from the "PHEV."

The rear-weighted body and chunky D-pillar echo the rear-biased powertrain.


The CX-90 is a handsome, large SUV from most angles. However, I'm not sure that Mazda's designers have quite nailed the rear end of its rear-weighted proportions, particularly the D-pillar which I think feels a tad too chunky when viewed in profile. Perhaps it'll just take some getting used to. I'll have plenty of time to digest it while waiting for the new 2024 Mazda CX-90 to hit the road later this year. Expect more details -- including precise dimensions, PHEV range, fuel economy estimates and pricing -- to trickle out as the launch window approaches.