The largest of Mazda’s new range of more premium SUVs has been revealed for the first time in the US, and it’s coming to Australia.
The 2024 Mazda CX-90 uses the Big Architecture company’s rear-biased all-wheel drive that appeared on the CX-60, but has a wider body and up to seven seats.
The CX-90 will also sit above the CX-9 in the lineup, giving Mazda another competitor to vehicles like the Hyundai Palisade, as well as more premium fare like the Volvo XC90.
The flagship SUV has a similar look up front to the smaller CX-60, but it’s longer and wider and has a distinctive rear end with arched tailgates, plus new 21-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with a black metallic finish.
These photos depict the vehicle in one of Mazda’s signatures Takuminuri color, in this case Artisan Red, which is also available on the Mazda 6 20th Anniversary edition.
Inside, there’s a look Mazda says is “inspired by traditional Japanese aesthetics” with Nappa leather compartments, Maple wood and tone-on-tone fabrics.
The fabric on the dash is joined using a hanging stitch, which Mazda says was inspired by manual bookbinding and the intricate Japanese weaving technique known as Kakenui.
A new 12.3-inch infotainment display takes its place on the dashboard, while the CX-90 also offers the option of a panoramic sunroof, a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats.
The third-row occupant is not forgotten, with a USB-C charging slot and air vents behind it.
The CX-90 will come, naturally, as standard with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, while a surround-view camera with ‘transparent vehicle mode’ is also available.
More details on the local engine range are still to come, although we previously reported that one option would be a “specifically retuned” version of the CX-60’s 3.3-litre inline-six 48V mild hybrid, expected to produce 254kW of power (up 13kW) and torque 500Nm (no change).
We expect the CX-90 to also offer an inline-six diesel like the CX-60, but will update the story once we know more.
Mazda’s US division has also teased the CX-90 with its ‘e-Skyactiv’ PHEV drivetrain.
The CX-90 follows the MX-5 convertible in offering Kinematic Posture Control, designed to suppress body lift in tight corners and improve grip. As the name suggests, it is also designed to allow the occupants to maintain a natural posture.
Like the CX-60, expect the CX-90 to undergo (or perhaps it already has) some level of testing and tuning in Australia for local conditions.
Mazda has previously said its new premium SUV will co-exist with existing mainstream models, at least in Australia. With the CX-90, Mazda seems to be pursuing the upmarket to ensure it doesn’t lose buyers to premium (mostly European) competitors.
Once the CX-60 and CX-90 arrive in Australia, Mazda will have a sprawling SUV range that also includes the compact CX-3, CX-30, and MX-30, the mid-size CX-5, and the seven-seat CX-8 and CX-9.
But the company, which is second in the sales charts behind Toyota here and therefore has a large audience, said it wanted to offer SUV buyers “as much choice” as possible.
It remains to be seen how the CX-90 will fare in Australia, and where it will rank against the Klugers and Q7s of the world. For context the CX-60 Azami PHEV leads at $87,252 and the CX-9 Azami LE tops out at $74,710.
Mazda has not tried to breathe the air of the luxury car market for a long time. It scrapped plans for a Lexus-rival Amati brand in 1992, and later scaled back the Efini and Eunos nameplates and discontinued flagship sedans like the Millennia and 929.
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