2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring review

13 minutes, 27 seconds Read

Mazda’s family flagship has grown up in size, equipment, performance… and price. Is it really worth $15,000 more than the old Mazda CX-9, even in its most basic form? Let’s find out.

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What we love
  • Great fuel economy for a big car
  • High-quality interior overall
  • Space for seven
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What we don’t
  • Ride quality is too firm
  • Drivetrain stutters at low speed
  • Digital screens are below par

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2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring

Say hello to the Mazda CX-90, the successor to the Mazda CX-9 seven-seat large SUV. The new CX-90 is much more than just an evolution of the car it replaces. It is physically larger, has more power, and is more luxurious as Mazda propels its brand upmarket to battle premium European brands. 

The Mazda CX-90 comes in three equipment levels – Touring, GT and Azami – all with a choice of petrol (G50e) or diesel (D50e) powertrains. Prices start at $74,400 plus on-road costs and top out at $94,435 plus ORCs. A fully equipped CX-90 Azami with optional Takumi interior pack will set you back more than $110,000 including on-road costs.

With prices like that, is the new CX-90 worth the money? To answer that question, we first need to remind ourselves of its real rivals.

The old Mazda CX-9 went up against the Toyota Kluger, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder and Hyundai Palisade, among others. 

This new CX-90 does too, kinda sorta. The variant we’re testing here is the Touring, which is the entry-level CX-90, the cheapest way into the Mazda CX-90 range. Yet the rivals it goes up against in those model ranges are near the top of their respective trees. 

For instance, the Touring is priced at $74,400 plus ORCs with the petrol engine, $76,400 with the turbo diesel. That money buys you a top-spec Kluger Grande with all the bells and whistles Toyota can throw at it. 

It’s the same story for the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Sorento. The Nissan Pathfinder is different, slightly. When it launched the latest generation in 2022, Nissan dropped the entry-level ST and ST-L variants from the price list, starting instead with the higher-spec Ti and topping out with the Ti-L. In effect, the ‘new’ base-model Pathfinder Ti is priced only a few thousand off the base CX-90, but it’s the same badge that was carried by the penultimate spec in the old range. 

So, the question is: Has Mazda loaded the CX-90 Touring with enough equipment to compete with higher-grade traditional rivals – and with lower-grade premium rivals from brands like Volkswagen, Volvo, Land Rover and Audi, whose pricing territory it has strayed into?

How much does the Mazda CX-90 cost in Australia?

We are testing the Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring. D50e is Mazda-speak for turbo diesel, and Touring, as I explained above, is the label for the entry level. This one carries a $76,400 price tag, which is roughly $15,000 more than the old Touring (which was only available with a petrol engine). 

Prices have risen by between $600 and $780 across the range since the CX-90 arrived in local showrooms in 2023.

Standard features in the CX-90 Touring include 19-inch wheels, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 7.0-inch instrument display, LED headlights, surround-view camera, power-adjustable front seats, leather trim, eight speakers, hands-free power tailgate, head-up display, and a full suite of advanced safety technology.

This standard equipment level is equivalent to, or just below, the GT version of the CX-9 – which is priced from $68,700 plus on-road costs with all-wheel drive.

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More expensive CX-90 model grades add 21-inch wheels, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, 12.3-inch instrument display, adaptive LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, 12-speaker Bose sound system, and power steering column adjustment. Optional $6500 SP and Takumi packages for the Azami flagship swap the three-seat second-row bench for individual ‘captain’s chairs’ with ventilation, and add unique white or tan seat trim.

Key details 2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring
Price $76,400 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Rhodium White
Options Premium paint – $995
Price as tested $77,395 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $84,331 (Melbourne)
Rivals Genesis GV80 | Volkswagen Touareg | Hyundai Palisade

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How much space does the Mazda CX-90 have inside?

The CX-90’s cabin certainly presents as a step above the old CX-9, important if it’s to keep justifying the price hike. It really is a nice habitat, headlined by synthetic leather on pretty much every surface. 

Front-row occupants enjoy excellent accommodation, and the generosity of space extends to the second row, where tilt and slide adjustment ensures exceptional comfort. The outer pair in the second row also benefit from seat heating. The Touring has three-zone climate control providing rear occupants with their own control panel.

The CX-90 accommodates two individuals in the third row, making it one of the more spacious seven-seaters in the rearmost seats. Although the third row may not be ideal for extended adult-friendly road trips, convenient features like easy-entry second-row folding, USB-C sockets, dual cupholders on each side, and air vents contribute to a more comfortable experience.

The CX-90’s distinctive high-sided profile results in a surprisingly generous amount of head room in the third row, making it one of the better seven-seaters and almost the equal of the Nissan Pathfinder and Hyundai Palisade.

The ample space in the rear two rows also translates into abundant storage when full passenger capacity is not needed. With the third row folded into the boot floor, the CX-90 offers an expansive 608-litre luggage area. If the second row is stowed, this volume increases to a massive 2025L.

Even with all seven seats in use, there is a respectable 257L of space at the back, which includes room under the small removable boot floor. While the absence of a full-size spare wheel is notable, the presence of a space-saver is a preferable alternative to the inflator and sealant kit.

2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring
Seats Seven
Boot volume 257L to third row
608L to second row
2025L to first row
Length 5120mm
Width 1994mm
Height 1745mm
Wheelbase 3120mm

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Does the Mazda CX-90 have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Being the Mazda family’s new flagship, the CX-90 steps up its technological prowess and incorporates a noteworthy array of luxurious features. All three variants – Touring, GT and Azami – seamlessly support wireless Android and Apple phone mirroring, complemented by front-row wireless device charging.

Throughout the cabin, a multitude of USB-C ports is accompanied by a 12-volt power outlet and a 150-watt mains power outlet catering to the needs of auxiliary equipment like fridges or compressors.

The digital display landscape is comprehensive, with three units of differing sizes across all variants. In the Touring model, the central screen spans 10.25 inches with narrow letterbox proportion, while the driver’s instrument cluster is a touch downmarket with old-school dials flanking a smallish 7.0-inch TFT display for trip computer details. 

The GT grade steps up to a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, while the top-spec Azami matches that with a 12.3-inch driver’s instrument cluster as well. But really, for $75K-plus, all three grades should get the double 12.3-inch installation.

In contrast to some previous Mazda models, the central screen does not function as a touchscreen for the native menu system when the vehicle is stationary. However, the BMW iDrive-style controller is user-friendly – phone mirroring can be ‘touched’ on-screen when the vehicle is not in motion. The only minor drawback is the graphics, which are lacklustre.

The Touring grade gets a head-up display that projects driving information onto the windscreen. 

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Is the Mazda CX-90 a safe car?

The CX-90 has not yet been assessed by ANCAP or its overseas equivalent, Euro NCAP, and as such does not yet carry an applicable safety rating.

However, with a generous level of standard safety equipment for all three grades, we would be very surprised if it didn’t earn the full five-star rating.

2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring
ANCAP rating Untested

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What safety technology does the Mazda CX-90 have?

The CX-90 is equipped with 10 airbags, forward autonomous emergency braking (AEB), front cross-traffic alert with braking, reverse AEB, lane-keep assist, vehicle exit warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beam, blind-spot monitoring, driver attention detection, rear cross-traffic alert, multi-collision braking and lane-departure warning.

The forward AEB features vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist detection, along with the ability to stop you from turning across oncoming traffic in an intersection.

The CX-90 Touring also has a 360-degree camera to see all sides of the car or any hazards that may have moved in the way when parking. The entry-grade Touring has LED headlamps but misses out on adaptive lighting technology.

Despite the sheer volume of safety gear, it all works pretty well and we didn’t experience any false alerts or false alarms during our week-long test.

How much does the Mazda CX-90 cost to maintain?

The new CX-90 is covered by Mazda’s five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, with roadside assistance coverage to match. Interestingly, the petrol asks for servicing every 12 months or 15,000km, but the diesel cuts that back to a 10,000km interval over 12 months. That’s a factor for you to consider if you cover long distances more frequently because you’ll be up for servicing more regularly.

Mazda offers capped-price servicing for the CX-90, which fixes the price each time scheduled maintenance is required for five years.

The first and fifth visits are the cheapest at $478, while the third is the most expensive costing $975, which is a little above average for something in its class. Add to that the more frequent visits required by the 10,000km service interval, and you could end up paying more than you expect during the first five years. 

Full comprehensive insurance for the Mazda CX-90 costs $2357 per year based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates will vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

At a glance 2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring
Warranty Five years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 10,000km
Servicing costs $2096 (3 years)
$3217 (5 years)

Is the Mazda CX-90 fuel-efficient?

Officially, Mazda claims the 3.3-litre turbo-diesel engine can return fuel economy as good as 5.4 litres per 100 kilometres and is Euro 5 rated for emissions with 143g of CO2 per kilometre – very good for a vehicle that weighs more than 2.2 tonnes.

During our week we saw an average of 6.9L/100km, which is a fair way off 5.4L/100km, but still a low enough number to keep your wallet happy.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 5.4L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 6.9L/100km
Fuel type Diesel
Fuel tank size 74L

What is the Mazda CX-90 like to drive?

The diesel version of the Mazda CX-90 impresses with its torque and fuel economy, making it a seemingly practical choice for a large SUV. However, the driving experience complicates the decision between diesel and petrol variants. 

The diesel excels in SUV duties with potent off-the-mark performance and minimal turbo lag coupled with excellent fuel efficiency. Yet, the sporty ride is out of character for a large luxury SUV, and may be a bit firm for some preferences.

The diesel uses 48-volt mild hybrid technology to iron out torque delivery gaps, offering a relatively smooth driving experience when paired with Mazda’s eight-speed automatic transmission.

It’s not a perfect partnership, however. We experienced occasional stuttering at low speeds and delayed responses when accelerating from a standstill.

The suspension of the CX-90 has been tuned to provide an overall smooth ride, but it is excessively firm on uneven roads, both at highway and urban speeds. Notably, it becomes particularly harsh during the initial compression phase, often encountered at speed humps.

One notable improvement from Mazda is the enhanced cabin quietness. Through meticulous insulation work, the ambience within remains undisturbed by wind or tyre noise, with the engine only making its presence known during enthusiastic acceleration.

Mazda’s decision to equip the CX-90 with cameras on all sides facilitates easy manoeuvring in car parks and around obstacles. The CX-90’s steering is well tuned to remain light at low speeds and progressively gain weight as the vehicle’s speed increases.

An observation worth mentioning is the CX-90’s comprehensive active safety system. Leveraging the vehicle’s cruise-control radars, it senses proximity to the vehicle in front and adjusts engine performance accordingly. While this system proves disconcerting at times, especially when accelerating to overtake, it also limits your ability to park closely to objects in front in car parks.

Also, while the diesel can tow up to 2000kg, the petrol G50e outperforms with a 2500kg braked towing capacity.

Key details 2024 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring
Engine 3.3-litre inline six-cylinder turbo diesel
48-volt mild hybrid
Power 187kW @ 3750rpm
Torque 550Nm @ 1500–2400rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Eight-speed automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 84.6kW/t
Weight (kerb) 2211kg
Spare tyre type Temporary
Tow rating 2000kg braked
750kg unbraked
Turning circle 10.8m

Should I buy a Mazda CX-90?

The Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring has the equipment, space and performance to justify its higher price. It’s also a generally polished performer, although it has a few rough edges that may give prospective buyers pause for thought.

If Mazda can iron those kinks out – we’re talking the ride quality, drivetrain hiccups and interior tech – then we’d have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone keen to move their family in style.

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How do I buy a Mazda CX-90 – next steps?

Mazda’s website has a lot of information about the CX-90 range, which is a six-choice proposition, with three spec levels and two engine choices. The diesel is likely thriftier and therefore a longer-range proposition but can’t tow as big a load as the petrol.

This entry-level Touring is the pick in our opinion, although we’d prefer the Azami’s twin 12.3-inch digital screens given how much they lift the interior of any car.

Supply is strong according to Mazda Australia, with a variety of specifications available. If a customer places a specific order, wait times are typically three to four months.

You can obviously head down to your Mazda dealer armed with plenty of info from the website and this review (and other reviews here for the Mazda CX-90) and have a look at the cars yourself. Take the whole family to make sure everyone fits, but unless you’re an entire, fully-grown basketball team, you should be just fine.

Ratings Breakdown

2023 Mazda CX-90 D50e Touring Wagon

7.5/ 10

Performance

Safety Technology

Ride Quality

Infotainment & Connectivity

Handling & Dynamics

Energy Efficiency

Driver Technology

Value for Money

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Fit for Purpose

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Glenn Butler is one of Australia’s best-known motoring journalists having spent the last 25 years reporting on cars on radio, TV, web and print. He’s a former editor of Wheels, Australia’s most respected car magazine, and was deputy editor of Drive.com.au before that. Glenn’s also worked at an executive level for two of Australia’s most prominent car companies, so he understands how much care and consideration goes into designing and developing new cars. As a journalist, he’s driven everything from Ferraris to Fiats on all continents except Antarctica (which he one day hopes to achieve) and loves discovering each car’s unique personality and strengths. Glenn knows a car’s price isn’t indicative of its competence, and even the cheapest car can enhance your life and expand your horizons. 

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