Home Automobile 2024 Honda Pilot vs. 2024 Mazda CX-90 Comparison

2024 Honda Pilot vs. 2024 Mazda CX-90 Comparison

2024 Honda Pilot vs. 2024 Mazda CX-90 Comparison


The two newest designs in the mainstream 3-row SUV class are the Honda Pilot and the Mazda CX-90.

You’ve been hearing about the Pilot for many years, of course. But a recent redesign has radically changed its character. The 2024 Pilot is boxy in a handsome way and has off-road skills earlier Pilots lacked.

You may not have heard of the CX-90. It’s entirely new, replacing the CX-9 with something more sophisticated and flexible. It’s available with a gas-only powertrain common to the luxury classes or a fuel-saving plug-in hybrid setup.

Let’s see how these two compare.

2024 Honda Pilot

2023 Honda Pilot Elite AWD in grey near hills.

The Honda Pilot has long been a reliable and family-friendly 3-row SUV. But Honda redesigned it from the wheels up late in the 2023 model year, giving it a new personality. It’s still a great family hauler but appears more rugged and has an off-road-oriented TrailSport model that backs up the look. Prices start at $37,090.

Honda Pilot Highlights

Lower price: Mazda has been remaking itself as a more upscale automaker, and the CX-90 shows it. But so does its price tag. The base model Pilot starts more than $2,500 under the base model CX-90. As you move up the trim ladder, the gap grows. A fully-loaded CX-90 Turbo S Premium Plus costs almost $7,500 more than the equivalent Passport Elite.

Rugged SUV character: Both of these are available with all-wheel drive (AWD) that will get you through icy weather. But the Pilot comes in a TrailSport edition with a suspension set up for off-road driving, added ground clearance, and grippy all-terrain tires. Mazda has nothing like it for the new CX-90.

More cargo space: We think the boxy look is handsome, but that’s subjective. What’s objective? Measurements. The Pilot has almost 13 cubic feet more cargo space than the CX-90.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Pilot models for sale near you.

2024 Mazda CX-90

2024 Mazda CX-90 driving on an LA freeway.

The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is entirely new, replacing the CX-9 as the flagship of the Mazda showroom. It’s a unique vehicle in the affordable 3-row SUV class, set up like something from a luxury automaker and available in a plug-in hybrid version. Prices start at $39,595.

Mazda CX-90 Highlights

Luxury car bones: Luxury vehicles often have different mechanical layouts than the affordable cars you might be more familiar with. When it built the CX-90, Mazda used a layout common to luxury vehicles. That means a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine – a design known for smooth power delivery – and an AWD system that sends more power to the rear wheels than the front unless it needs to prevent a slip. It feels smoother and more poised.

Elegant design: It’s as if Mazda has spies in the design shops of other automakers. Almost every automaker bringing out a new SUV for the 2024 model year has leaned into boxy, chunky, rugged design themes. Mazda went the other way. The CX-90’s lines say tailored and sophisticated. Showing up to the party underdressed is embarrassing. Showing up overdressed is a power move. The CX-90 made the power move.

Elegant interior styling: That dressy theme continues when you open the door. The CX-90’s cabin feels pricier than the typical family SUV. Light-colored wood trims with lovely straight grain patterns and dashboard stitching drawn from traditional Japanese bookbinding techniques make it feel more considered than the Pilot’s cabin.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the CX-90 models for sale near you.


Just five horsepower separates them. They have identical warranties, and both get 25 mpg in combined driving


2024 is a good year for SUV design. The two newest entries in the affordable midsize class show it.

The Honda Pilot keeps its flexible family nature but brings a handsome new look and real off-road chops to the contest. It offers more cargo space, and is available at a lower price.

The Mazda CX-90 is trying an entirely different approach. It looks more sophisticated, with elegant Euro-luxe lines and an upscale cabin. Its standard inline-6-cylinder engine and rear-biased AWD system give it a more refined driving feel, too. But its price reflects its move uptown and won’t be worth it for some.


2024 Honda Pilot 2024 Mazda CX-90
Starting Price $37,090 $39,595
Popular Powertrains
Engine 3.5-liter V6 3.3-liter turbo inline-6
Horsepower 285 hp @ 6,100 rpm 280 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Torque 262 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm 332 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission 10-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 24 city/28 hwy/25 combined mpg 24 city/28 highway/25 combined mpg
Max Towing 5,000 pounds (with AWD) 5,000 pounds
Also Available AWD Higher output turbo model; Plug-in hybrid
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety TBD TBD
Max Seating Capacity 8 8
Wheelbase 113.8 inches 122.8 inches
Overall Length 199.9 inches 201.6 inches
Width 78.5 inches 84.9 inches
Height 71.0 inches 68.2 inches
Turning Diameter 37.8 feet 38.1 feet
Headroom, 1st Row 40.5 inches 39.7 inches
Headroom, 2nd Row 40.2 inches 39.3 inches
Headroom, 3rd Row 39.3 inches 36.9 inches
Legroom, 1st Row 41.0 inches 41.7 inches
Legroom, 2nd Row 40.8 inches 39.4 inches
Legroom, 3rd Row 32.5 inches 30.4 inches
Shoulder Room, 1st Row 61.9 inches 57.2 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row 61.7 inches 58.1 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd Row 59.5 inches 53.3 inches
Cargo Volume 18.6/48.5/87.0 cubic feet 14.9/40.0/74.2 cubic feet




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