My Experience Driving Mazda’s Expansive and Costly Luxury SUV: The CX-90

Mazda has a new flagship model in Australia – the 2023 Mazda CX-90. This large SUV replaces the outgoing CX-9 and offers a luxurious interior, performance-focused features and a lofty price tag. The CX-90 is the largest, most expensive and most luxurious Mazda SUV ever sold in Australia. It will be available in three model grades: Touring, GT and Azami, with pricing starting at $74,385 before on-road costs for the petrol Touring grade and rising to $95,185 before on-road costs for the petrol Azami grade. The CX-90 is available with two engines options – a 3.3-litre, six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine or a 3.3-litre six-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine. Both engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission with rear-biased full-time all-wheel drive. A 48-volt mild hybrid system is used to give the engine a boost at low speeds and improve fuel efficiency. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is also available for the CX-90, but a local Mazda representative said this powertrain is still “under consideration” for an Australian launch.

The interior of the CX-90 is comfortable and sophisticated, with a standout design in the top-spec Azami grade, which includes features like nappa leather seat upholstery, suede dashboard upholstery, two-tone steering wheel upholstery, and white maple wood centre console and door trim inserts. The CX-90 has three seating rows, and the captain’s seats option adds extra luxury with heating and ventilation, but the inclusion of a centre console means that providing easy access to the third row could be a challenge. The CX-90 offers three ISOFIX-compatible seats, an improvement from the CX-9 which only offered two. The third row is spacious enough for adults and offers plenty of storage and USB-C ports.

The CX-90 offers more boot space than the CX-9, with 608L of storage with all three rows in place, expanding to 1163L with the third row folded, and an impressive 2025L with all rear seats down.

Overall, the Mazda CX-90 is a family hauler with sports car DNA, offering a premium driving experience with a price tag to match. While it competes with brands like Volvo, Lexus and Jeep, it also feels aligned with semi-premium brands like Kia, Hyundai, and Nissan. The CX-90 arrives in Australian showrooms within a few months, giving buyers the opportunity to experience its luxury and performance in person.
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