Inside the 2025 Mazda CX-70 Is a Better Car That's Eager to Get Out

a gray car parked on a gravel road
Inside 2025 Mazda CX-70 is a Better CarHearst Owned

The new 2025 Mazda CX-70 is a CX-90 shorn of its third-row seat. Thanks everyone for visiting, try the veal and tip your waiters generously. Remember, be good to your parents because they’ve been good to you. And don’t forget this eternal musical promise…

I'll be seeing you
In all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces
All day through

In that small cafe
The park across the way
The children's carousel
The chestnut trees
The wishing well

I'll be seeing you
In every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way


I'll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you

Good night, everyone!

cx 70
Why are the guys in press photos always dressed like this and carrying a portfolio?Mazda North America - Hearst Owned

It’s tempting to leave this all at that supper club conclusion, but there’s plenty to like about the CX-70, and there's something intriguing about this SUV that Mazda left on the table.

Again, this is clearly a CX-90 with accommodations for five people instead of seven. That means there’s more room for cargo, including some storage under the floor where the third seat would go, but other than that… not much.

The CX-70 and CX-90 make up half the vehicles the company is producing in Japan on its Large Product Group platform. What doesn’t come to America are the CX-60 and CX-80 run on a 113.0-inch wheelbase compared to the CX-70 and CX-90 that ride upon a long 122.8-inch wheelbase. The CX-70 shares (more or less) the same mission as BMW’s five-passenger X5 that rides atop a 117.1-inch wheelbase, but that long wheelbase stretches out 0.6-inches longer than the three-row X7’s 122.2-inches. The CX-70 is a bruiser.

a car parked on a white surface
"Melting Copper" is the color that flatters the CX-70 best. It’s a $450 option.Hearst Owned

Fortunately, as a bruiser, it has its powerplant positioned longitudinally like a proper rear-driver. Like the CX-90, the straight-six option is a nominal 3.3-liter with a single twin-scroll turbocharger built into the exhaust manifold. Then there’s a mild 48-volt hybrid system and after that a Mazda-made eight-speed automatic transmission with a rear-mounted wet clutch. The hybrid system, mild though it is, adds 16.6 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque and combined with the clutch (in place of a torque converter) knocks all the peaks and valleys out of power delivery. All-wheel drive is standard, and depending on trim level, this drivetrain is available rated at either 280 total horsepower or 340. The difference is strictly in tuning.

a silver car parked on a road
Only the badge gives away that the owner didn’t need a third row seat. John Pearley Huffman - Hearst Owned

The alternative is a plug-in hybrid that’s built around a 2.5-liter four. Total system output – the 189-hp four plus 173 hp from the electric motor – is an impressive 323-hp (these things don’t rise arithmetically) with an even more punchy 369-pound feet of peak torque. The Plug-In uses the same eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive setup.

Here's the thing. When the 17.8 kilowatt-hour battery has some juice in it and everything is working hunky dunky, the plug-in is fine. But once that battery is drained, what’s left is a 5198-pound SUV being hauled around by a 2.5-liter four. That’s, um, not thrilling.

Charged up, the CX-90 plug-in has proved slightly quicker than the six. That means a 5.9-second 0-60 clocking for the plug-in with the quarter mile going by in 14.5-seconds at 97 mph. The high-output six meanwhile, does those tricks in 6.3-seconds and 14.7-seconds at 99 mph. That higher trap speed indicates that the six is likely to pull on the plug-in as speeds reach the triple digits. And really, top end power is the only valid way to compare large SUVs.

Considering that the CX-70 is mechanically identical to the CX0-90 and, according to Mazda, only weighs 36- and 45-pounds less (depending on trim) those performance numbers shouldn’t vary much.

<span class="caption">There’s a lot of room behind he second seat. Even more with the second seat down. It must have been cold out when this was shot because the model is wearing both a hoodie and a leather jacket.</span><span class="photo-credit">Mazda North America - Hearst Owned</span>
There’s a lot of room behind he second seat. Even more with the second seat down. It must have been cold out when this was shot because the model is wearing both a hoodie and a leather jacket.Mazda North America - Hearst Owned

Either with the six or the plug-in drivetrain, the CX-70 has an exceptionally roomy second row seat and a massive 39.6 cubic feet of flat cargo space behind the second row. Put that seat down, and the total cargo area expands to 75.3 cubic feet. And that cargo area is very easy to access with a large rear opening and low load floor. Plus, all the flotsam that fits into the wells under that floor. With a total length of 97.5-inches from the tailgate to the front seats, there’s area enough for a twin-size air mattress with enough room to spare for a Coleman cooler. That’s good to know should the buyer be forced (or choose) to live in the CX-70.

Interior decoration varies greatly with trim level. Base is the “Preferred” with the six. It’s a bit spare and some of the trim is cheese-adjacent. The “Premium” package seems destined to be the mainstream choice and it’s pretty close to choice. At the top is the “Premium Plus” that feels pretty plus. Both the Premium and Premium Plus include an “Active Driving Display” and that’s Mazda-speak for a heads-up instrumentation projected onto the windshield. That alone is worth the spiff up in price.

the interior of a car

While 19s are standard, most buyers will wind up with their CX-70 riding on 21-inch wheels. In the case of the vehicles on hand at the press preview, those wore 275/45R21 Falken all-season touring tires. Nothing aggressive in the tire choice, but they’re quiet and ride well.

a close up of a car tire
These Falken tires have inked a non-aggression pact with the road.Hearst Owned

Mazda’s old “Zoom-Zoom” tag has faded as the market has grown increasingly obsessed with SUVs. It’s a pity because the basic chassis dynamics if the CX-70 and CX-90 are fine. The all-independent suspension is responsive if not particularly communicative and the whole structure feels as if it were carved from a single beryllium ingot. Yet, Mazda should add more zip to this thing. And then some doo-dah beyond that.

Right now, both the big Mazdas feel like wannabe BMWs when they could be better-than-that Mazdas. It’s tough not to conclude that Mazda had an opportunity here to separate off the five-passenger from the seven-passenger version more distinctly. With an edge that’s more than some tweaked trim, a slightly redesigned grille and the omission of a couch. There’s a better machine in this thing that’s eager to get out.

<span class="caption">Like black? "Jet Black Mica" is the only color paint that doesn’t cost extra on the CX-70. </span><span class="photo-credit">Mazda North America - Hearst Owned</span>
Like black? "Jet Black Mica" is the only color paint that doesn’t cost extra on the CX-70. Mazda North America - Hearst Owned

Prices for the Jet Black Mica, 280-hp CX-70 Turbo Preferred with the six start at $41,900 including a $1455 destination. Any color other than Jet Black adds between $450 and $595 to the price. The Jet Black Mica, high-output six-cylinder Premium Plus Turbo S is $57,405. The plug in Premium starts at $55,855 in, of course, Jet Black Mica. The range tops out at the plug-in Premium Plus at $58,905 as long as it’s, naturally, Jet Black Mica. Those prices are all about the same as the comparable 2024 model year CX-90 trims.

a car parked in a parking lot
Visually, the plug-in version of the CX-70 is virtually identical to the six.Hearst Owned

Not many people remember the original 1988 Mazda 929 sedan. But mom had one and it was staid, extremely comfortable, and not that sporty (even though mom’s had a five-speed manual). Somehow the CX-70 and CX-90 seem to be channeling that car, not the Miata or RX-7 or anything MazdaSpeedy. But that zoomy spirit was in that 929 and it’s in the CX-70… trying to get out.

a white car with red lights
The end.John Pearley Huffman - Hearst Owned

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