It’s no secret that Mazda has positioned themselves to be a more premium brand than ever, and that duty largely falls onto their ever-expanding portfolio of SUVs. Their all-new midsize flagship, the CX-90, introduced last year, is a prime example; and while the compact CX-50, introduced two years ago, is tailored more for the active and outdoorsy North American buyer, it certainly aims high in its own rights.

With a presumed satisfaction of their three-row SUV efforts a la the 90 and their equal pride in the 50, the next logical step is to combine the two for a middle ground– and that they did. The 2024 CX-70 is a new two-row, midsize SUV taking a place between its aforementioned predecessors.

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We were invited up to New York City to check it out a week before today’s reveal. Based on our hour of hands-on (but non-driving) time with it, the CX-70 does attempt to carve out a niche of its own, giving Mazda an entry in the midsize two-row segment. Despite being one row less in capacity, the CX-70 is actually about the same size as the three-row CX-90, built on the same large platform. That also means similar powertrain offerings, including a 3.3-liter turbo inline-six paired up to a mild hybrid system or a plug-in hybrid setup; again, the same as the 90, which has three powertrains, including two versions of the inline-six, as well as a PHEV, utilizing a 2.5-liter inline-four complimented by a 100 kW electric motor and 17.8 kWh battery.

The two rows of seating provide enough room for five, so the stereotypical nuclear family should fit in just fine. Cargo capacity numbers are yet to be confirmed, but we assume it’ll be close to the CX-90’s 40.1 cubic-feet behind the second row. The larger trunk space and 60/40 split row means that there’s more room for antiques, golf clubs and a number of rescue dogs, size dependent. And for additional organization, Mazda has outfitted a “sub-trunk” below the main cargo floor, perfect for first aid kits and pickleball gear. This is all to say that the CX-70 is a midsize SUV poised for the midsize family, though it’s not to say a buyer needs to have a family as a prerequisite for signing off on a 70.

It could be bought by the active or semi-active buyer who once looked at the CX-50 but decided they needed more room. Maybe some DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids) who want room for even more rescues. And it could also be bought by anybody with money, because who are we to say how you should spend your money?

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Regardless, the large foundation of the CX-70 should be enough for many. And although size may not clearly define it as the inbetweener utility, the design does with somewhat of a cross pollination between 50 and 90. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so all we can ask is for you to behold and decide for yourself. Us? We think the styling is both on-brand and on-point. The lines are simple, flowing back from a more chiseled out front— a face that wears familiar Mazda design language. There are more black accents found around the body, distinguishing itself from the shinier bits found on the 90. Available are 21-inch wheels, black with a machine-cut finish, further playing into the premium aesthetic.

Interior amenities are perfectly fine for us; that is to say, expectedly modern without going full bore. A digital gauge cluster and a moderately sized infotainment screen standout as the headlining tech, with everything else blending into the cabin nicely. The infotainment is paired up with built-in Alexa, so voice controls for HVAC, weather updates and operating smart home devices are very much on the table. Though there are still plenty of physical controls, and with Mazda’s consistent design language, those coming from a CX-50 or -90 will have no trouble feeling at home, all the way down to the center console commander knob. Mazda is also referencing their venerable MX-5 Miata with an available red Nappa leather— specifically inspired by the 100th Anniversary Special Edition MX-5.

And at the moment, that’s all we can really say about that. We’re going to assume the ride and driving experience will closely mirror the CX-90’s, given the similar powertrains and identical platform. And what we really hope is that Mazda was able to retain that sports car DNA that has somehow trickled down into their utility lineup. We’ll know about that when it’s time for the inevitable First Drive.

Upon first impressions, the 2024 CX-70 is an interesting addition to Mazda’s lineup. The only other major piece that’s missing is final pricing, which we assume will be unveiled as we inch closer to launch. We’ll have the word on that in the near future, so stay tuned.