Mazda continues to drip-feed information on the CX-90, its new luxury three-row SUV set for a world premiere in January of 2023.
Confirmed for Australia later next year, the CX-90 will sit atop Mazda’s range above the CX-9, offering family-focused buyers who’ve moved up in the world an option to stay with the brand.
Expected to be a Japanese answer to vehicles such as the Volvo XC90, the Mazda CX-90 will sit on a version of the company’s rear- and all-wheel drive Large Architecture.
Think of it as a big brother to the two-row CX-60 also due in Australia in 2023 (around June). We’d expect it to use that vehicle’s new inline-six petrol and diesel engines, as well as its plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
In terms of performance, technology, interior design and finish, and price, the CX-60 and CX-90 nudge into new territory for the company – unless you count the brief Eunos experiment which we profiled here.
“Revealing a bold silhouette, the three-row SUV promises a new level of refinement and family sophistication,” Mazda said today while revealing a vague tail-light teaser image.
“Skillful application of Mazda’s signature Kodo design philosophy gives the flagship SUV powerful proportions, accentuating the interplay of light and shadow on its surfaces to convey a sense of dynamic movement.”
It’s the second such teaser, the first having been revealed on November 16, when Mazda shared a shadowy image of the CX-90’s front fender, showing an ‘Inline 6’ badge and confirming the nameplate will debut the brand’s new Artisan Red premium paint option.
Mazda’s US division separately put out a better teaser image (below) of its CX-90, which the company says will use a ‘e-SkyActiv’ PHEV drivetrain “tuned specifically for the North American market”.
As with the CX-60, expect the CX-90 to undergo (or perhaps it already has undergone) some degree of testing and tuning in Australia for local conditions. More on that here.
Once the CX-60 and CX-90 arrive in Australia, Mazda will have a cluttered SUV range which also includes the compact CX-3, CX-30, and MX-30, the mid-sized CX-5, and the seven-seat CX-8 and CX-9 crossovers.
Yet the company, which sits second on the sales charts behind Toyota here and therefore has a large audience, says it wants to offer SUV buyers “as much choice” as it possibly can.
We recently asked Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi about the CX-60’s demographic breakdowns, to better understand who this vehicle is for, and this same logic can easily be applied to the bigger CX-90.
“As a business, it gives us an opportunity to expand where our product offerings are, and possibly even attract customers that wouldn’t have considered us before,” he said.
“But more importantly, it’s actually giving an option to our fan base before they exit us, because their status in life has gotten to a point where they can maybe go more towards the ultra luxury brands, right?
“… Our strategy has been for a while that we want the customers to decide, and if Mazda Corporation is producing something and that vehicle is available to us and makes business sense, we will have that option available for Australian consumers.”
While the CX-90 may have different drivetrain outputs to the CX-60, the smaller vehicle’s trio of drivetrains should be somewhat reflected in the larger.
The CX-60 will offer 3.3-litre turbocharged inline-six petrol and diesel engines with respective outputs of 209kW/450Nm and 187kW/500Nm, and 48V mild-hybrid systems. There’s also a 2.5-litre PHEV with a 17.8kWh battery, 100kW motor, and claimed 76km EV-only range.
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