When you need to transport a big family and a minivan is out of the question, a 3-row crossover SUV may be the answer. The new kid on the block, the 2024 Mazda CX-90 brings elegance and some premium features to the school drop-off zone. The 2024 Hyundai Palisade is in the veteran position, now in its fourth year of production and coming off a 2023 refresh.

Mazda prides itself on its driving experience and styling, while Hyundai emphasizes fresh looks and exceptional value. The CX-90 and Palisade are their brand’s flagships and represent the best each company can offer.

Which 3-row crossover SUV is best for you and your family? Let’s compare the 2024 Mazda CX-90 and the 2024 Hyundai Palisade to find out.

2024 Hyundai Palisade

The 2024 Hyundai Palisade benefitted from a 2023 makeover, its first since its debut as a 2021 model. All Palisade models use a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6 gasoline engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. FWD is standard on SE, SEL, XRT, Limited, and Calligraphy trim levels, or you can upgrade to AWD for $2,000. The Calligraphy Night trim comes with standard AWD. Pricing starts at $36,400.

Hyundai Palisade Highlights

Luxury features and trim levels: Hyundai went all-in with the Palisade’s new top trim, the Calligraphy Night, loading it down with standard features you’d expect in a luxury car. Where else would you find quilted leather door panels and a microfiber headliner, for example? Add hydrophobic front door windows, one-touch second-row seat access, power-folding third-row seats, heated second and third-row seats, a power driver-seat cushion extension (great for tall drivers on long drives), and more, and you’ve got a flagship SUV that’s mainstream in name only. Mazda has taken a similar approach in the CX-90’s top trim but can’t match the total feature list Hyundai has compiled.

Exceptional warranty: Hyundai protects Palisade buyers with a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Mazda sticks with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. The longer warranty can be a significant factor for many buyers, especially those who keep their vehicles for extended periods.

Available Digital Key: Palisade owners with iPhone, Apple Watch, and Samsung Galaxy smart devices can use them as virtual vehicle keys to lock, unlock, and drive and can share those keys with others via text messages. Mazda owners don’t have access to technology like this.

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

2024 Mazda CX-90

2024 Mazda CX-90 in Artisan Red Metallic with clouds in the background.

The 2024 Mazda CX-90 is an all-new entry for the model year, replacing the discontinued CX-9 at the top of the lineup. The CX-90 comes with a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain. We’re focusing on the ICE version in this comparison. Base models use a 280-horsepower, 3.3-liter turbocharged inline-6-cylinder engine with rear-biased all-wheel drive (AWD) and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine is a mild hybrid, using an 11-kW electric motor to provide up to 16.6 hp of boost when needed. The S models get a hotter engine, capable of up to 340 hp using Premium gas. Prices start at $39,995.

Mazda CX-90 Highlights

A new engine in a new platform: Mazda developed a new inline-6 engine specifically for the new large SUV platform underlying the CX-90. A V6 arrangement, like the engine used in the Palisade, is much more common, but Mazda praises the inline-6 for its smoothness and lower complexity. Not lost on gearheads is that BMW is famous for its inline-6 engines — a hint that Mazda has high ambitions for the CX-90.

Electrification leads to efficiency: A mild hybrid system like the one in the CX-90 is not flashy but can have a tangible impact on efficiency. It adds a little punch to the SUV’s acceleration, and the electric motor also helps the transmission shift smoothly and takes over some minor tasks usually handled by engine components. The EPA reports fuel economy test results of up to 24 mpg city/28 mpg highway/25 mpg combined for the Mazda, while the Palisade gets up to 19/26/22 mpg with front-wheel drive. Opt for AWD, and the Palisade gets 19/24/21.

Upscale interior: Mazda has been moving closer to the luxury designation for several years, and the CX-90 makes a good case for a reclassification. A top-of-the-line CX-90 3.3 Turbo S Premium Plus starts at $59,950 and is loaded with standard features like Nappa leather, ventilated front- and second-row seats, and an available “Ambiance Set.” The Palisade matches the CX-90 on many luxury fronts, with available premium Nappa leather, ventilated and heated seats, and 64-color ambient interior lighting. The top Palisade, the Calligraphy Night, starts at $53,600.

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


Up to 8-passenger seating; plenty of available luxury and technology features.


The Mazda CX-90 and Hyundai Palisade comparison is an excellent example of the diversity in the automotive landscape. Even though the basic description “3-row SUV” fits each crossover, the differences between the two are so distinct that the choice between them becomes very personal. Both vehicles pack in features, deliver value for the money, and present as family haulers with style and charm.

The good news? You can’t go wrong in this comparison, with the right choice coming down to your personal needs and tastes.


2024 Mazda CX-90 2024 Hyundai Palisade
Starting Price $39,595 $36,400
Popular Powertrains
Engine 3.3-liter turbo inline-6 with AWD 3.8-liter V6 with FWD
Horsepower 280 hp @ 5,000 rpm 291 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 332 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm 262 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 24 city/28 highway/25 combined mpg 20 city/26 highway/22 combined mpg
Towing capacity 3,500 – 5,000 pounds 5,000 pounds
Also available 340-hp turbocharged 6-cylinder; 323-hp 4-cylinder plug-in hybrid AWD
Basic warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars 5 stars
Max Seating Capacity 8 8
Wheelbase 122.8 inches 114.2 inches
Overall Length 201.6 inches 196.1 inches
Width 77.6 inches 77.8 inches
Height 68.2 inches 68.9 inches
Turning Diameter 38.1 feet 38.8 feet
Headroom, Front 39.7 inches 39.3 – 40.7 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.3 inches 38.8 – 40.1 inches
Headroom, 3rd Row 36.9 inches 37.2 – 37.8 inches
Legroom, Front 41.7 inches 44.1 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.4 inches 42.4 inches
Legroom 3rd Row 30.4 inches 31.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.2 inches 61.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 58.1 inches 60.8 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd Row 53.3 inches 55.2 inches
Cargo Volume 15.9/40.1/75.2 cubic feet 18.0/45.8/86.4 cubic feet

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