Mazda’s CX-9 has been in production since 2007, offering Mazda drivers a midsize SUV with three rows of seating and plenty of luxury features. However, that model has now been joined by the larger and more luxurious 2024 Mazda CX-90. This all-new Mazda SUV builds on what the CX-9 brings to the table, making it a more refined and modern vehicle. One of the biggest changes for this SUV is the addition of hybrid technology.
Every version of the CX-90 uses at least a little electric power alongside an internal combustion engine. However, while the base 2024 Mazda CX-90 Turbo is a mild-hybrid that’s still mostly powered by gasoline, there’s also the 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV that provides a great compromise between the convenience of a traditional powertrain and the environmental benefits of electric vehicles.
The CX-90 PHEV is similar to the mild-hybrid CX-90 Turbo in a lot of ways, sharing styling and features. But it also has plenty of unique benefits, thanks to its efficient powertrain and electrification. If you want to get a better idea of the difference between the two, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at how the CX-90 PHEV differs from the CX-90 Turbo.
Fuel Economy Ratings
According to the EPA, the average vehicle gets 25 MPG combined. Since the CX-90 is on the larger end of the spectrum, offering seating for up to eight passengers, it may be surprising that the base model meets that average. Thanks to its efficient Skyactiv turbocharged inline-six engine and mild-hybrid system, the 2024 CX-90 Turbo has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 25 MPG combined. That’s certainly an improvement over the 23 MPG combined rating of the 2023 Mazda CX-9, but you’ve probably already guessed that the CX-90 PHEV does much better in this category.
Using its gasoline engine, the 2024 CX-90 PHEV also has a fuel economy rating of 25 MPG combined. However, on electrical power, it gets 56 MPGe and has an estimated range of 25 miles before it needs to burn any gasoline. That’s more than double what the CX-90 Turbo can get and should go a long way toward saving you from pain at the pump. With both electric power and gas power, the CX-90 PHEV has a total range of up to 490 miles, which is certainly impressive for a model of this size that comes standard with all-wheel drive. Of course, that’s assuming you keep the battery charged. But if you have access to Level 2 charging, either at home or on the go, Mazda estimates that you can charge from 20% to 80% in 90 minutes. That means you can plug it in while shopping, working, or sleeping and easily take full advantage of the CX-90 PHEV’s maximum fuel efficiency.
The base engine on the CX-90 Turbo is a 3.3L turbocharged inline-six that provides 280 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. The CX-90 PHEV’s combination of a 2.5L inline-four engine and a 68 kW electric motor works to produce 323 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That extra power means faster acceleration, which can come in handy on the freeway when you need to pass with confidence. While the plug-in hybrid option does overpower the base mild-hybrid engine, it isn’t the most potent powertrain in the CX-90 lineup. There is also a high-output variant of the 3.3L turbocharged engine that delivers 340 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. When it comes to towing, the CX-90 PHEV and base trims of the CX-90 Turbo offer a solid 3,500 lbs of maximum towing capacity. However, the higher trim levels of the CX-90 Turbo can tow up to 5,000 lbs.
The 2024 CX-90 Turbo is offered in eight different trim levels. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of each, including starting MSRP and important features.
- Turbo Select ($39,595) seats up to eight and comes standard with i-Activ all-wheel drive and selectable sport and off-road drive modes. It has a 10.25-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay but requires a wired connection.
- Turbo Preferred ($43,445) adds some extra styling features, like a mesh front grille with a gloss black finish and a power-sliding glass moonroof. It’s also available in more colors, including Platinum Quartz Metallic and Soul Red Crystal Metallic. The interior gets some extras, like heated front seats and retractable window shades in the second row.
- Turbo Preferred Plus ($45,900) adds a tow mode to the selectable drive modes and has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs instead of 3,500 lbs. This level also comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a wireless phone charger.
- Turbo Premium ($48,900) comes standard with seating for seven rather than eight passengers, replacing the second-row bench with more comfortable captain’s chairs. It also features a hands-free rear power liftgate and a panoramic moonroof that lets in more natural light.
- Turbo Premium Plus ($52,950) has a more luxurious interior with Nappa leather seats and a larger 12.3-inch infotainment display. It also comes standard with a 360-degree View Monitor, making it easy to keep track of your surroundings.
There are also three Turbo S trims that are equipped with the more powerful high-output version of the 3.3L turbocharged engine. However, they have more differences from the standard Turbo trims than just the engine.
- Turbo S ($51,750) is the first trim to offer the more powerful high-output engine. It also features Mazda’s Adaptive Front-Lighting System for extra safety while driving at night. However, it doesn’t have all of the features that Premium Plus offers, such as the Nappa leather-trimmed seats and 360-degree View Monitor.
- Turbo S Premium ($56,450) brings you the more powerful engine and premium features like Nappa leather seats and interior-matched door panel inserts. You’ll also get Mazda’s Driver Personalization System, which automatically suggests an optimized driving position (including seat settings, steering wheel position, and mirror angles) based on your height, weight, and an in-vehicle scan. This trim seats six, with all three rows of seating accommodating two people each.
- Turbo S Premium Plus ($59,950) comes with ventilated seats in both the first and second rows, a windshield wiper de-icer, faux suede door panel inserts, and other premium features.
The 2024 CX-90 PHEV lineup is simpler, with only three trim levels. In part, this is because it only has one powertrain option, offering the same power and performance across the board. This makes it easier for buyers to make a decision since they have fewer differences to compare and contrast.
- PHEV Preferred ($47,445) features an EV mode in addition to sport and off-road modes. Like the CX-90 Turbo, it comes standard with i-Active AWD and seats up to eight. Heated side mirrors, paddle shifters, and three-zone automatic climate control all come standard. The interior also has luxury features like a power-sliding glass moonroof and heated front seats.
- PHEV Premium ($52,900) upgrades the infotainment to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a wireless phone charger. It also switches out the second-row bench for captain’s chairs and the standard moonroof for the panoramic option. A towing mode is added to the selectable driving modes, although the towing capacity remains at 3,500 lbs.
- PHEV Premium Plus ($56,950) delivers the larger 12.3-inch center display and Nappa leather seats, as well as ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel. A windshield wiper de-icer, automatic power folding side mirrors, and an auto-dimming driver’s side mirror also come standard. In the back, there’s a second-row center console with storage and USB charging for mobile devices.
Which One is Best?
Any way you look at it, the CX-90 is an improvement over the older CX-9. It has kept all of the best features of Mazda’s premium three-row SUV while improving efficiency and bringing in more modern tech, including hybrid technology. The CX-90 Turbo mild-hybrid does have some power and performance options that the CX-90 PHEV can’t match, like its higher towing capacity and high-output engine. However, if you’re a climate-conscious driver, it’s hard to beat the increased fuel efficiency of the PHEV, as well as its ability to drive short distances on electric power alone. Unless you have a particularly heavy trailer that you need to bring along for the ride, the 2024 CX-90 PHEV’s benefits will almost certainly overpower its shortcomings.