Larger, faster, more comfortable and luxurious
Roseville, Calif.- Mazda not only decided to part ways with the popular CX-9 SUV, it replaced it with a large crossover SUV whose offerings include a plug-in hybrid.
We test drove the 2024 Mazda CX-90 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) for a week and came away impressed by its overall quality. The new SUV, which also is offered as a gas-powered model, has a 17.8-kWh battery and delivers up to 26 miles of electric driving range per charge.
The folks at Mazda say 2023 will be the final year of production for the CX-9. The Japanese auto manufacturer was so anxious to debut the new CX-90 that sales began in January of this year.
Was the switch to the CX-90 necessary? Not in our opinion. The CX-9 debuted in 2007 and had record sales of 34,580 in 2022.
With that said, the CX-90 could make SUV buyers eventually forget the CX-9. The new SUV is larger, faster, more comfortable and luxurious, and is capable of transporting six to eight people.
Value & Pricing
The value of plug-in hybrids is debatable to some. Sure, they offer some electric-only driving range, but it’s typically short distances like the CX-90. And the fuel economy in this case (24-27) is only minutely more than the gas-powered CX-90.
The cost of the standard CX-90 is roughly $39,700, while the plug-in hybrid version goes for around $47,500. Note that the PHEV is eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500 when purchased prior to Dec. 31, 2025.
The CX-90 PHEV has a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that combines with a single electric motor to generate a combined 323 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It’s faster than the standard CX-90, going 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Fuel economy is 24-27 mpg and the SUV delivers almost 500 miles of combined range.
All CX-90s come with standard all-wheel drive and are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The CX-90 has good handling, providing more stability than the CX-9. All CX-90s come with standard driver safety features that include frontal collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, lane keeping assistance, driver attention monitor, and safe exit assist.
Mazda did a nice job designing the CX-90 cabin, giving it both style and functionality. It has a standard 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster display and a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen.
However, not everyone will like that the touchscreen needs to be controlled with a rotary knob on the center console. Note that there are several physical buttons that control major functions.
Additional standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, tri-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, HD Radio, Bluetooth, four USB ports, voice recognition, and eight-speaker audio system.
The front seats are comfortable and offer plenty of head and leg room even for taller folks. The second row is either a bench or more stylish captain’s chairs. Even though the CX-90’s third row is more spacious than the CX-9, it’s not a place where adults will want to reside for long periods.
The cargo area behind the third row measures either 14.9 cubic feet (three-seat third row) or 15.9 cubes (two-seat third row). It expands to 40 cubic feet with the third row down and the space grows to 75.2 cubes when all seats are folded down.
If seeking a large plug-in hybrid SUV, the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is worth a look. It’s essentially an upgraded CX-9 and will likely be quickly embraced.
AT A GLANCE -2024 MAZDA CX-90 PHEV
- Performance: electric motor, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 323 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 24-27 mpg
- Price estimate: $47,500 to $58,400
- Warranty:3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years/36,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited; battery: 8 years/100,000