2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV: Long-Term Reflections and 5 Key Takeaways


After spending over a month with the 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV, there are several conflicting thoughts about this three-row crossover. With its unique styling, sporty steering, and some drawbacks in terms of powertrain and interior features, the Mazda CX-90 offers a mix of pros and cons for potential buyers. In this article, we will delve deeper into the key aspects of the Mazda CX-90 PHEV, ranging from its steering and powertrain to interior design and overall functionality.

**Steering: A Mixed Bag**

The Mazda CX-90 PHEV stands out with its heavy, responsive steering that adds a sporty vibe to the driving experience. However, this sporty steering may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when it comes to maneuvering in tight spaces and everyday tasks like backing out of parking spots. The question arises whether Mazda is targeting new customers or loyal Mazda enthusiasts with the CX-90, as the steering feels more suited for the latter.

**Powertrain Woes**

One of the major drawbacks of the Mazda CX-90 PHEV is its powertrain. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission can feel laborious, especially when the transmission is hunting for gears or shifting clunkily. While the EV mode offers some range, the transition between electric and gas modes can be jarring. Opting for the straight-six engine could be a better choice for those seeking a smoother and more refined powertrain experience.

**Interior Impressions**

Despite some setbacks in the powertrain department, the interior of the Mazda CX-90 PHEV offers a pleasant experience. The cabin boasts black leather with bronze stitching and silver trim, exuding a classy vibe. However, issues like small cupholders, a tight center console, and an underwhelming infotainment system detract from the overall interior appeal. While the navigation system shines, the audio controls leave much to be desired in terms of functionality and user experience.

**Exterior Design: A Standout Feature**

One of the standout features of the Mazda CX-90 PHEV is its exceptional exterior design. With sports car styling cues, including a long hood, curved fenders, and a distinctive grille, the CX-90 sets itself apart from the competition. While many three-row crossovers opt for bland or overly rugged designs, Mazda succeeds in delivering a visually appealing and unique vehicle that stays true to the brand’s identity.

**Functional Family Hauler**

Despite its flaws, the Mazda CX-90 PHEV proves to be a solid three-row crossover that excels in everyday family duties. From transporting passengers to hauling cargo, the CX-90 offers functionality and practicality. While the plug-in hybrid variant may have its drawbacks, opting for the straight-six engine could be a better choice for those seeking a more seamless and enjoyable driving experience. Overall, the Mazda CX-90 PHEV caters to Mazda enthusiasts looking for a three-row crossover that combines style with functionality.

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