Mazda CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs Go Upmarket with New Platform, Inline-Six

·2 min read
Photo credit: Illustration by Ben Summerelle-Youde/Fox Syndication - Car and Driver
Photo credit: Illustration by Ben Summerelle-Youde/Fox Syndication - Car and Driver
  • Mazda is planning to launch two new crossovers in the U.S. called the CX-70 and CX-90.

  • They will both use the company's new longitudinal-engine platform and inline-six engine.

  • The CX-90 is expected to debut first, later this year, with the two-row CX-70 to follow in 2023.

CORRECTION 5/16/22: The CX-90 will arrive before the CX-70, not the other way around, according to Mazda documents. A Mazda financial presentation states that the CX-90 will begin production by the end of the year. We've updated the article accordingly.

The upcoming CX-70 and CX-90 mid-size crossovers will be the first U.S.-bound Mazda models to use the company’s new longitudinal-engine platform and inline-six engine. The three-row CX-90 replaces the CX-9, while the CX-70 is a two-row variant. Mazda has already shown the CX-60, a global model that's narrower than the eventual wide-body U.S. versions, but its styling likely previews what we'll see on our shores, as illustrated above in our idea of what the CX-90 will look like.

While Mazda promises gasoline, diesel, and Skyactiv-X compression-ignition variants of its new inline-six, diesel is unlikely for the U.S. And Mazda has yet to certify the Skyactiv-X technology here, so our market will likely get a gasoline 3.0-liter. The engine is expected to have a turbocharger and a 48-volt hybrid system with an output somewhere in the mid-300-hp range. A plug-in-hybrid powertrain using an inline-four and a single AC motor is also in the works. It'll likely be similar to the CX-60's plug-in setup, which produces a total of 323 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and has a 17.8-kWh battery pack.

The new platform and engine are Mazda's bid for premiumness, to become more like BMW and less like Honda or Toyota. The longitudinal-engine layout should allow engineers to better tune ride and handling, and it also creates that all-important dash-to-axle ratio that implies luxury. All-wheel drive will likely be standard across the board, as we think it's unlikely that Mazda will offer rear-wheel-drive versions of these models.

The seven-passenger CX-90 will arrive sometime before the end of 2022 starting at about $40,000, with the five-passenger CX-70 set to follow in 2023 with a starting price around $38,000.

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