The Mazda CX-90 vs Kia Telluride

June 8th, 2023 by

Mazda is introducing a new player to the midsize SUV game this year, the CX-90. Replacing the long-lasting CX-9 as the SUV capable of transporting the most passengers, the CX-90 has elevated the third-row SUV into premium status. As a new offering on the market, our team at Capistrano Mazda wants to highlight this impressive vehicle by comparing it to one of the most popular third-row SUVs in the Orange County area, the Kia Telluride. While both SUVs have a lot to offer, we think you’ll be dazzled by the new kid on the block.

Mazda CX-90 vs. Kia Telluride: Trim Levels

Mazda has ensured there’s something for everyone with the CX-90, so it’s included eight trim levels for you to choose from: the 3.3 Turbo Select, 3.3 Turbo Preferred, 3.3 Turbo Preferred Plus, 3.3 Turbo Premium, 3.3 Turbo Premium Plus, 3.3 Turbo S, 3.3 Turbo S Premium, and 3.3 Turbo S Premium Plus. All trim levels feature Mazda’s distinctive athletic design, with smooth lines, roof rails, rear privacy glass, and an all-wheel-drive badge.

The Kia Telluride has a lengthier list of trim levels, including the LX, S, EX, EX X-Line, SX, SX X-Line, SX X-Pro, SX Prestige, and SX Prestige X-Pro. While exterior features such as roof rails and a sunroof give the Telluride a sporty aesthetic, they aren’t available on all trim levels. But you’ll find other features, such as privacy glass and heated side mirrors, standard across all trim levels.

Mazda CX-90 vs. Kia Telluride: Performance

With the debut of the CX-90, Mazda is ready to bring something new to the market. For starters, the CX-90 includes three brand-new hybrid powertrains, so if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle, it’s the way to go. The first is the 3.3 Turbo, a 280-horsepower turbocharged 3.3-liter inline six-cylinder that pairs with a mild hybrid assist. The 3.3 Turbo S is an upgraded version that increases horsepower to 340. The mild hybrid system helps to boost acceleration and improve fuel efficiency for your workday commutes around Orange County. 

The third powertrain offering is Mazda’s first-ever American plug-in hybrid: a 323-horsepower 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that pairs with an electric motor. The 7.8 kWh battery pack provides power to the motor and will power the SUV for approximately 26 miles of all-electric driving. All-wheel drive and an automatic eight-speed transmission come standard across the board. Towing capacity is 3,500 pounds for the base trim levels and 5,000 for all others.

With its extensive list of trim levels, you’d think the Kia Telluride had at least a little variety in its available powertrains, but you’d be mistaken. The same engine powers all the trim levels: a 291-horsepower naturally aspirated 3.8-liter V-6. You won’t find any upgraded engine options or hybrid engines here. Unlike the CX-90, which has standard all-wheel drive on all trim levels, front-wheel drive is standard on the lower trim levels of the Telluride, while all-wheel drive is available as an optional upgrade. 

The Telluride has an eight-speed automatic transmission, but you won’t find the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters the CX-90 has. The Telluride’s maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds matches that of the CX-90.

Mazda CX-90 vs. Kia Telluride: Interior

The CX-90’s interior has the luxurious feel of a much higher-priced SUV at the affordable price point you’d expect from a Mazda. Interior materials include premium touches, such as wood, chrome, and a unique fabric available as trim for the dashboard and doors. The seating is lush and comfortable, with optional second-row captain’s chairs and a roomy third-row bench seat, so you can cruise around Orange County in style. The maximum cargo capacity is 74.2 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. 

Many have long recognized the Telluride’s upscale and comfortable interior. Like the CX-90, the Telluride can seat eight passengers with a second-row bench seat or seven if you opt for the second-row captain’s chairs. Large windows help to make the Telluride feel open and airy. Cargo space is abundant, with 87 cubic feet available with the rear seats folded.

Mazda CX-90 vs. Kia Telluride: Technology

A 10.3- or 12.3-inch intuitive and easy-to-navigate touch screen controls Mazda’s infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard, allowing you to access some of the most popular apps from your phone, with wireless connectivity available on the higher trim levels. The CX-90 lower trims include a 7-inch digital gauge display, while a larger 12.3-inch display is optional.  

When it comes to driver assistance technology, Mazda wants you to feel confident behind the wheel. Standard driver assistance features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-keep assist, driver attention alert, vehicle exit warning, and a lane departure warning system. If you opt for one of the higher trim levels, you’ll have access to a more extensive suite of features. These include a 360-degree-view monitor, front and rear parking sensors, and cruising and traffic support, ensuring you can safely travel around Orange County.

As for the Kia Telluride, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen comes standard that helps to control features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but wireless phone connectivity is absent here. You’ll find a matching 12.3-inch digital display cluster on the SX trim levels and above. 

The Telluride also includes driver assistance features similar to the CX-90. Standard features include those found on the CX-90, plus forward collision warning and avoidance and highway driving assist, which helps control your vehicle’s steering, acceleration, and deceleration functions. 

Are You Ready To Test-Drive a Mazda CX-90?

The Mazda CX-90 and the Kia Telluride have plenty to offer if you’re in the market for a third-row SUV. While both offer premium interior features and many technology options, the CX-90 shines with its unique all-hybrid lineup. With three engines to choose from, you can get what you’re looking for out of your vehicle’s performance while enjoying the benefits of a hybrid engine, no matter which trim and engine option you choose. Be sure to check out our latest inventory of the brand-new CX-90 to find an option that suits your needs today.


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