This is uncomfortably honest, but the Mazda CX-90 might be the most irritating & nagging press car I’ve ever driven. The Mazda CX-90 DINGed at me for nearly every breath I made behind the wheel. Who in the world – wants their car to constantly nag them with beeps & warnings? This thing dinged when I got in it, it dinged when I got out of it, it dinged when I started it, dinged if cars were behind me, beside me, in front of me, or coming in my general direction. The Mazda CX-90 even annoyed my safety-conscious mother-in-law. It was comically ridiculous. The car would beep over it’s own beeps, like it was interrupting itself. You wanna put the CX-90 into a total panic attack, try backing out of a parking spot with the door cracked & your seatbelt off in a busy parking lot. Awful. A valet’s wort nightmare.


But here’s where it gets really serious:

At 2 different points, the Mazda CX-90 decided to yank the steering wheel unexpectedly (and hard), putting me in a flat-out dangerous situation. Let me be clear: The safety tech, was unsafe… and it could have caused an accident. Infuriating. I still have no idea why the CX-90 did that. Only explanation I can come up with is: The sensors clearly misread road markers, and thought I was driving off the road when I was in fact, just passing a vehicle. Again let me be clear: The safety features in the Mazda CX-90 are distracting… and potentially dangerous. And clearly irritating. They ruin an otherwise decent vehicle. And if a person actually needs all these safety features to protect themself from… themself? Then there’s absolutely no question – they shouldn’t be driving.

CX-90 turbo S premium plus

On the last day with the Mazda CX-90… 

I finally figured out how to turn all the nanny BS off. And at that point, the CX-90 went from totally annoying… to alright I guess. But honestly, it was too late. I already had a bad, bad taste in my mouth that wouldn’t go away. If I’m going to invest into a new car (and at these prices they ARE investments), I want that investment to go towards an actual good vehicle… not a gaggle of idiotic safety features that mom me to death. 

CX-90 turbo

I hope Mazda hears people like me… 

Because the sting of not liking the CX-90 is worse when you really wanted to like it. It’s clear that Mazda is trying to find their place in the 3-row SUV/crossover world, and its not their comfort zone. Maybe they could find that place better, if they stayed true to the enthusiast-minded drivers who appreciate the brand. The ones for whom “Driving Matters”. That’s the slogan, isn’t it? The turbocharged CX-50 is exceptional & underrated. And of course, the Miata is legend. But the CX-90 misses. And that’s a shame because… 

CX-90 turbo S

The styling of the CX-90 is sharp… 

You come to appreciate it more & more, the more you look at it. Mazda carefully chooses colors that break the mold & accentuate the understated body lines. The interior of the Mazda CX-90 is slick, with a careful ‘performance-inspired’ attention to detail & texture. It’s a refreshing slim/trim interior that naturally draws you in. 

CX-90 safety

The CX-90 inline-6 turbocharged engine is new & intriguing…

The higher performance version of the engine makes 340hp. Internally, it’s the same as the entry-level engine, just with a larger turbo & corresponding tune. Fair enough – but it’s not really all that special/memorable behind the wheel honestly. Mazda boasts they went above & beyond to dial-in the suspension, giving it more stability & less body roll. But it’s not an engaging vehicle to drive… so you don’t really notice any of that. It just kinda moves through the environment like a big 3-row SUV does. Nothing to write home about.

CX-90 interior

On a road-trip… 

The inline-6/hybrid stretched-out 27mpg though! That was the average! That’s pretty eyebrow-raising for a vehicle of this size & versatility. And definitely something to consider if you do a lot of long-distance driving with the family. In closing, I wish Mazda would stop this transparent safety-pandering foolishness. And approach “safety” more authentically, through true driver engagement, rather than these bogus nanny devices that ruin vehicles. 

CX-90 turbo S

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