Sports car-like steering in the family SUV: Long-term update on the 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV

When I first started driving our long-term 2024 Mazda CX-90 PHEV, I immediately noticed the unusually heavy steering. It’s a bit surprising for a three-row family SUV, but it’s just what I expect from Mazda.

Mazda’s approach to steering is different from most manufacturers, sticking to a consistent steering effort across all driving modes. While the CX-90 offers Normal and Sport modes, the steering feel remains the same. This is unlike other brands that adjust steering effort based on the driving mode. Mazda has stayed true to this philosophy for a while, similar to Porsche.

I appreciate the consistency of a single steering mode for safety and predictability. However, I believe there could be a balance between Mazda’s heavy steering and the light steering of other SUVs like the Hyundai Palisade to appeal to a wider audience.

While I enjoy the weighty steering of the CX-90 on highways, the effort required in tight parking lots or when backing out can be a bit tiresome for a family SUV. Offering adjustable steering modes could cater to both enthusiasts and everyday drivers, making the CX-90 more versatile and appealing.

Adjustable steering modes could provide the best of both worlds, allowing enthusiasts to enjoy a sportier feel while providing a lighter option for everyday driving. While Mazda’s dedication to fun-to-drive cars is commendable, a little flexibility in steering tuning could enhance the overall driving experience for a broader range of drivers.

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