June 22, 2024
Electric & Hybrid Cars

2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV: Long-Term Update and 5 Key Thoughts

After spending over a month with our long-term 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV, I have a variety of thoughts, some of which are contradictory. This stylish three-row crossover has proven to be quite complex in our long-term testing. Here are my reflections:

The steering is impressive, but…

While the steering in the CX-90 is heavy, responsive, and adds a sporty feel that is uniquely Mazda, it can also be a bit challenging in everyday situations like navigating tight parking lots or backing out of spaces. This raises the question of whether Mazda aims to attract new customers with the CX-90 or cater to existing Mazda enthusiasts. It seems more geared towards the latter.

The powertrain leaves room for improvement

The performance of the powertrain in the CX-90 is not particularly satisfying. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine struggles, and the eight-speed automatic transmission can feel indecisive at times. There are noticeable shifts and a lack of smoothness in the power delivery. Opting for the straight six engine might be a better choice for a more refined driving experience.

During my time with the CX-90, I charged it once and obtained 21 miles of electric range. However, the fuel efficiency could be improved as I averaged 22.51 miles per gallon on premium fuel.

The interior design is commendable

Despite some drawbacks, the interior of the CX-90 is appealing. The use of black leather with bronze stitching and silver accents gives it a sophisticated look. However, there are minor issues with cupholder size and the layout of the center console. The infotainment system, particularly the audio controls, could be more user-friendly compared to competitors.

The navigation system, on the other hand, is informative and easy to use. Overall, the interior offers a mix of style and functionality.

The design stands out

The CX-90 distinguishes itself in the three-row crossover segment with its sleek, sports-car-inspired design. While other SUVs in this category may lack character, the Mazda CX-90 exudes style with its long hood, curved fenders, and distinctive grille. It truly embodies the Mazda brand identity.

A reliable choice for family transportation

Despite its flaws, the CX-90 proves to be a practical and functional three-row crossover for family use. It offers ease of entry and exit for passengers and pets, along with ample cargo space when needed. For Mazda enthusiasts seeking a Mazda-like driving experience with three rows of seating, the CX-90 fits the bill. Opting for the straight six engine might provide a smoother ride compared to the plug-in hybrid variant.


Can the CX-90 accommodate a large family?

Yes, the CX-90 is designed to comfortably seat up to seven passengers, making it suitable for families.

Is the infotainment system easy to use?

While the navigation system is user-friendly, the audio controls may be cumbersome to operate compared to rival systems.


In conclusion, the 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV offers a unique blend of style, functionality, and driving dynamics. While it may have some shortcomings in the powertrain and infotainment departments, its overall design and capabilities make it a worthy contender in the three-row crossover market, especially for Mazda enthusiasts looking for a distinctive driving experience.

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