What to Expect from the Two-Row Mazda CX-70 that Follows the CX-90
Mazda just revealed the new CX-90, which will share a platform, a new longitudinally mounted inline-six, and a plug-in-hybrid setup with the upcoming CX-70.
We don't expect much about the turbocharged six-cylinder to change for the CX-70, meaning the smaller crossover should maintain the 340-hp output.
The CX-70 may also receive the CX-90's plug-in hybrid system with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 17.8-kWh battery, which made its debut in the Europe-only CX-60, pictured here, last year.
The Mazda CX-90 represents the first of two U.S.-bound crossovers riding on the Japanese automaker's new longitudinal-engine platform, part of Mazda's push into a more premium market space. Utilizing a new 3.3-liter inline-six, the seven-seat CX-90 will be followed by a five-seater called the CX-70. The CX-90's unveiling provides a much clearer picture of what to expect from the upcoming CX-70, giving a taste of Mazda's new styling direction and revealing details on the automaker's latest powertrains.
While the CX-90 effectively replaces the aging CX-9, the CX-70 will occupy a space in Mazda's lineup that has been vacant since the death of the CX-7 in 2012. Slotting in above the compact CX-50, the CX-70 will share its platform and powertrains with the larger CX-90. It will be a two-row mid-size crossover that will aim to compete with vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Honda Passport while also encroaching into more luxurious territory where SUVs such as the Lexus RX reside.
The CX-70's styling should mimic the CX-60’s (pictured), a closely related SUV for the European market. Like the CX-90, it should have a sculpted front end and lots of chrome. The CX-70 will have wider bodywork than its European counterpart, though, as will the U.S.-bound CX-90 compared to its global equivalent, the CX-80. The CX-70’s longitudinal-engine configuration should bring the same long hood and upscale proportions as we can see on the CX-90, and its wider U.S.-specific bodywork should help alleviate some of the CX-60's gawkier angles.
The CX-70 is likely to offer the same powertrains as the CX-90, with the first being a turbocharged 3.3-liter inline-six providing 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. That output requires premium fuel—a downgrade to 89 octane gas corresponds to a decline in power, but Mazda hasn't specified how severe the hit will be. This powertrain also has a 48-volt hybrid system, with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission. We expect all CX-70s to be all-wheel drive.
The CX-70 could also offer the CX-90’s plug-in-hybrid setup that combines the 2.5-liter inline-four from the CX-5 with an electric motor nestled between the engine and a new eight-speed gearbox (which is also used with the inline-six). Combined output is rated at 323 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, with a 17.8-kWh lithium-ion battery providing 39 miles of electric range on Europe's more optimistic WLTP test (EPA estimates are not yet available).
We're not yet sure whether the hybrid will be positioned above or below the six-cylinder powertrain when it comes to price. Europe receives 3.3-liter diesel and a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-six that uses variable compression, but we don't expect these motors to come to the U.S.
The CX-70 is expected to debut later this year and should start around $38,000. Our first drive of the CX-60 revealed a well-appointed, high-quality cabin and Mazda's typically sharp handling, even if the plug-in powertrain proved a bit unrefined. But the inline-six borrowed from the CX-90 should help bring the extra oomph to go along with the handling prowess when we get our first experience of the CX-70 later in 2023.
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