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2024 Mazda CX-70

Fun with clever features.

With its new two-row vehicle, Mazda is targeting a new kind of customer: Someone who doesn't need or want a third row. Ever. The 2025 Mazda CX-70 hits the near-luxury segment with roomy two rows, an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, clever storage solutions and posh styling. Built on the same large platform as the CX-90, the CX-70 is the same - but different.

CX-90 vs. CX-70

From the side profile, the 2025 Mazda CX-70 and CX-90 look similar with the same swoopy lines and long hood line. But as a two-row SUV, the CX-70 is inherently sportier, and you see it with the blacked-out accents on the grille and extra venting under the headlights.

The CX-70 also gets what Mazda is calling a "sub-trunk," which is a fancy way of saying underfloor storage. It also gets a new exclusive color: Melting Copper.

As the newest vehicle in the Mazda lineup, it also gets a few tech features you won't see on the CX-90, and that includes Alexa built-in, a new trailer hitch view and unresponsive driver technology that will bring the vehicle to a stop if the vehicle detects the driver is not responding.

Interestingly, the price for the CX-70 and CX-90 will be identical. The CX-70 drops the base Select trim, and jumps right into the Turbo Preferred, with a starting price of $40,445, without the $1,455 destination added in. Though the CX-90 Select starts at $37,845, the CX-90 Turbo Preferred also starts at $40,445. The rest of the trims and pricing are the same.

PHEV vs. gas models

Similar to the CX-90, the 2025 Mazda CX-70 comes with three power options: Turbo, PHEV and Turbo S. Both turbos use a 3.3-liter inline-6, and the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) uses 17.8 kW battery mated to a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The power delivery and fuel economy for each option is as follows:

* Turbo: 280 HP, 332 lb-ft, 25 MPG combined (regular fuel recommended)

* PHEV: 323 HP, 369 lb-ft, 26 miles all electric, 56 MPGe (premium fuel recommended)

* Turbo S: 340 HP, 369, lb-ft, 25 MPG combined (premium fuel recommended)

Interestingly, other than the "PHEV" or "Inline 6" badging on the side of the vehicles, there is only one visual cue that shows the difference between the PHEV and gas models: cladding. The PHEV will have a matte black plastic cladding around the wheel wells, and the gas models have body colored cladding. That's it.

2025 Mazda CX-70 driving impressions

First drive programs are always really brief, but Mazda did a really good job of giving us a mix of driving conditions from highways to twisty bits to showcase the sporting nature of the 2025 Mazda CX-70. Since the base Turbo isn't available until fall, we only had access to the PHEV and Turbo S powertrains, and both are really good.

For the PHEV part of the drive, I was mostly on suburban streets and flat highways. I was able to use the electric-only mode for a good bit of my drive, and as you'd expect, it's smooth, fast and quiet. When you've burned through the electric range, engine kicks in and the vehicle operates like a regular hybrid. You still have a nice power boost, but I will say the 2.5-liter engine is a bit buzzy.

For the Turbo S drive portion, I had the opportunity to drive on the Palm to Pines Scenic Byway, which has about a 10-mile stretch of incredible twisties as you wend your way up the mountain. I was skeptical that a vehicle the size of the CX-70 would do well, but it did. It held the corners well, and I was able to push through some of the bends at a faster clip than I expected. In fact, the CX-70 handled so well, I caught up to a line of other vehicles that didn't quite have the same handling chops.

But even that didn't dim my excitement. Whether you're playing with the sporting dynamics or cruising at a more comfortable clip, the CX-70 is competent.

The good stuff

This is where I offer a full disclosure that I'm a Mazda fan girl. I've loved pretty much every vehicle this automaker has pushed out, except maybe the Mazda6 a couple generations ago. So, in getting behind the wheel of the 2025 Mazda CX-70, I expected a lot of good stuff. And I got it.

From the fit and finish to the materials, this is a well-thought-out and well-put-together vehicle. While I'm a particular fan of the caramel interior color with the suede seat and dash inserts, all the interiors have nicely stitched seats and door accents. I like both the aluminum trim pieces on the red and black interiors as well as the wood trim on the caramel. From the texture to the attractiveness, you'd be hard pressed to find a luxury automaker that does a better job than Mazda.

In an age where everything gets embedded in swathes of screenage, I was pleased to see the CX-70 with actual buttons and knobs for the HVAC and audio controls. Of course, that also means you still have the dial adjustment rather than a touch screen for infotainment control, but that either good or bad depending on your perspective. For me, it was neither good nor bad - it's just something you have to get used to. The good news: The wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto does utilize touch-screen capability. It's just the native infotainment system that does not.

I also really like the sub-trunk on the CX-70. Living in the city, I like the ability to hide my stuff from prying eyes. While the underfloor storage doesn't provide oodles of space, you can tuck small gear underneath, like paddle ball rackets and balls or bottles of water. There's one long cubbie just behind the second row seats, and I'll be honest, my first thought was: That space would be perfect for a hunting rifle.

Finally, I really liked the Bose premium 12-speaker audio system in the top-tier trims we were driving. Mazda included a USB key with some test music, and the clarity and quality of the speakers was, to my untrained ears, impressive. I pumped up the volume and didn't hear any distortion, and on one Norah Jones song, I could hear her breaths between verses.

The bad stuff

As a fan girl, I try to look extra hard for the bad things on Mazda vehicles, and outside of the dial for the infotainment system, I was only able to find two things that bothered me.

The first will come as no surprise to anyone who's read my reviews before. The wireless charging in the 2025 Mazda CX-70 is a problem. In addition to heating up your phone so that you get the red exclamation mark on the infotainment screen to show your phone stopped charging, the charger itself doesn't hold your phone in place very well. So, with every turn or bump in the road, you phone slides off the charging pad and stops charging. It's annoying. I'm a firm believer that if an automaker can't make wireless charging work, they shouldn't waste the money to put it in the vehicle.

The only other thing I didn't love on the CX-70 was the front cup holders. They had two prongs to help hold in your beverage, which was enough for a cup of coffee or a Yeti. But it wasn't grippy enough to hold in a small bottle of water or can of soda. If it had an extra prong, that would probably solve the problem.

The bottom line

The 2025 Mazda CX-70 isn't a drastically different vehicle than the CX-90, so if you're expecting crazy changes, you'll be disappointed. But I do think the CX-70 feels a bit lighter and being someone who doesn't have kids and never carries passengers, a two-row SUV is right sized for someone like me. The cargo space is nice, and the sub trunk is an excellent add.

Overall, I think the CX-70 is an excellent, fun-to-drive and well-done SUV.