Get to know the new Mazda Zoomi 2024 CX-90
Can a large three-row, eight-seat SUV really zoom? It is possible if it is a Mazda.
Since introducing the beloved Miata Roadster more than three decades ago, Mazda has added a fun twist to all its vehicles that it calls Zoom-Zoom.
It made them handle a little tighter, steer with more precision, and launch off the line with a little more humor.
The latest generation CX-9 SUV has a lot of zoom. Compared to a typical three-row SUV, it felt like it was running a three-row coffee with a 5-hour power chaser.
Now Mazda has just introduced the replacement for the much-loved CX-9, calling it the CX-90. It has a wide range of zooms.
The big news here is its new engine. Instead of the typical turbocharged four-cylinder engines used in competitors, the CX-90 comes with a new 3.3-liter turbocharged inline-six.
I know it’s just a motor, right? But this horse generates up to 340 horsepower, has more muscle than The Rock, and can average up to 28 gallons on the highway.
Then there’s the new design. This thing looks great, with the sweeping roofline, long hood, and beautiful chrome-ringed shield grille. It’s as if the Volvo XC90 and BMW X7 were having a one-night stand, and that’s what stood out.
Add to all this a completely new interior. Step up to one of the higher trim levels and you’ll get Barcalounger-style captain’s chairs in the second row, gorgeous diamond-quilted Nappa leather upholstery, and a funky suede-like covering for the dashboard.
The Premium Plus model was the best in class, with a sea of tan leather, dotted across the steering wheel, like sitting in a bowl of caramel.
Having the longest wheelbase in its class means the third-row seat is roomy enough for two adults for a short drive to dinner, or three kids heading to soccer practice.
As a load carrier, the CX-90 is a star. Fold the second and third rows flat for IKEA operation, and there’s more than 75 cubic feet of space. This is a large number of flat Sektion kitchen cabinet boxes.
Fire up the new six-speed automatic, engage the engine with the eight-speed automatic transmission, and press the accelerator. Zooming in here is a zero-to-60 push in just 6.3 seconds, with plenty of mid-range muscle for safe, quick passing and highway merging.
I have to say I was a little disappointed with the smoothness and refinement of this new engine. Parallel sixes are supposed to be smooth and rhythmic when turning.
While all is quiet and refined in casual driving, high revs turn up the volume with a soundtrack that’s rougher and noisier than sweet.
But in the handling department, the CX-90 has that sporty feel that competitors can only dream of. Through curves, or changing lanes, there is minimal body roll, and the steering, although a little heavy for my taste, is very precise.
However, one trade-off with the Mazda’s Zoomy handling is a firm and often chubby ride. Those 21-inch tires on our Premium Plus tester hit potholes, while rough pavement sent vibrations and vibrations into the cabin.
However, when you get behind the wheel of this new CX, you’ll feel like you’re driving something sportier than the rest of the cars. This thick-rimmed wheel feels great to hold, while the driver’s seat provides great support. Nice dials and controls too.
When it comes to the selections in the new CX-90 lineup, there’s more than just a selection of cheeses at Trader Joe’s. The seven-model lineup starts with the 3.3 Turbo Select at $39,595 and tops out with the loaded Turbo S Premium Plus, like our tester, at $59,950.
There’s also a hybrid powertrain with a 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder and a 323-hp electric motor, starting at $47,445.
Are you looking for an ultra-stylish, high-quality, sporty-riding three-row SUV? The new CX-90 has a zoom feature.