Published on December 23rd, 2022 | by Subhash Nair


Mazda CX-90 Plug-in Hybrid Teased Ahead Of North American Debut

Mazda is in the midst of an all-out SUV assault and the new CX-90 will be at the helm.

The first Mazda CX-5 rocked the market back when it debuted in 2012. Ten years later, the company is in the middle of revamping and expanding the range of available SUVs. The CX-50 was shown late last year as a rugged alternative to the CX-5. Early this year, Mazda presented the CX-60 – a larger SUV with a longitudinally-mounted engine and the brand’s first inline six-cylinder and plug-in hybrid powertrain options. We know a CX-70 and CX-80 are coming, but the company is teasing an even larger model – the CX-90 first.

The CX-90 will make its world premier in North America. It will be available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), likely to improve emissions and fuel economy ratings. This e-Skyactiv powertrain is said to be tuned specifically for the North American market for performance and efficiency.

Do we think the CX-90 will come to Malaysia? Maybe, but we doubt it. If the CX-90 goes into production exclusively at the shared Mazda-Toyota plant in Alabama, then there’s close to no chance of it coming here. However, if Mazda also produces it in Japan for export to Australia, then we have a shot at its Malaysian introduction.

Mazda CX-90 teaser photo
2024 Mazda CX-90

Ultimately, it will be up to Bermaz to weigh the marketability of such a vehicle. The CX-90 will likely cost close to RM400,000 given the tax structure on large displacement vehicle imports. As it is, the CX-9 Ignite Edition is nearly RM350,000 with a 2.5-litre turbo and doesn’t sell particularly well.


That being said, the premium SUV market has shifted somewhat in recent years. Back in 2016-2020, BMW could sell the X5 PHEV at a sub-RM400K price due to favourable incentives and a 2-litre engine. Today, only Volvo takes advantage of that sub-RM400K price. Mercedes-Benz and BMW both now have to consider the existence of a locally-assembled Porsche Cayenne at RM575,000.

If Mazda’s PHEV system is compatible with their 2.5L turbo engine and the Malaysian government offers favourable pricing there’s a chance the Mazda CX-90 PHEV could fill the gap in the market left by the last X5 PHEV.

Here’s the press release.


Ahead of its world premiere in January 2023, Mazda North American Operations announced the first-ever 2024 CX-90 will be available nationwide as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

While this is Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid in the U.S., the CX-90 PHEV will maintain the responsiveness, performance, and driving dynamics that define Mazda vehicles. This all-new e-Skyactiv powertrain, tuned specifically for the North American market, will provide customers with the best of both worlds in terms of performance and efficiency.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through approximately 780 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada Inc. in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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