Believe it or not, you haven’t seen this car before. It’s the new 2025 Mazda CX-70, and if you’re thinking it looks an awful lot like the CX-90 crossover we first saw last year, you aren’t wrong. Think of this as Mazda’s take on a large two-row crossover, emphasis on large. It’s here to provide a little showroom diversity and to court the small handful of buyers who wouldn’t, under any circumstances, buy a three-row crossover.
Everyone expected the Mazda CX-70 to be a wider version of the CX-60 two-row crossover sold in Europe, Asia, and other regions that aren’t North America. Nope. Instead, the CX-70 is essentially a two-row CX-90, a three-row crossover we’ve seen before. This thing:
Now, the CX-90 is pretty great, but it’s also pretty big. Those expecting a smaller two-row crossover are going to be disappointed. Compared to the popular Mazda CX-5, and even the existing two-row CX-50 in Mazda’s lineup, the CX-70 is a different beast entirely. Sure, the new car’s longitudinal platform has something to do with it, but the CX-5 and CX-50 are compact crossovers while the CX-70 is huge.
To differentiate the CX-70 from the CX-90, Mazda’s pasted on the sportiness, or perhaps the stereotypical American sportiness, with hexagonal grille mesh, fake vents accompanying real air curtains in the front bumper, rakish wheel designs, and more faux vents in the rear bumper. I wonder how many Pontiacs there are in Hiroshima? The really amazing takeaways are simple — one, this thing still looks leagues better than much of the competition, and two, the CX-70 is nearly indistinguishable on the outside from a three-row CX-90. Indeed, Mazda has confirmed that the CX-70 is “the same basic size as [CX-]90,” although the CX-70 is “a teeny bit lighter” due to the lack of third-row seats and third-row HVAC.
Yes, Mazda’s positioning this thing as a sports bus, although without details on engineering changes, the tweaks we can see are largely cosmetic. We’re talking about an optional red leather interior and dark red trim contrasting the CX-90’s top-spec off-white leather and wood. It looks a bit like of set of Etnies I used to have as a child, but that’s the appeal.
Mind you, ditching the third row comes with an upgrade in cargo flexibility, namely a massive cubby area beneath the cargo area’s false floor that Mazda claims is somewhat weatherproof. In the words of a Mazda USA representative, “you can put cool drinks back there and ice, and it’s not going to ruin it.”
As for powertrains, you get exactly the same choices you do in the CX-90 — a 3.3-liter turbocharged mild hybrid inline-six, and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder plug-in hybrid powertrain. Expect performance figures to be, in Mazda’s words, “directly comparable” to those of the CX-90, from power to fuel economy to PHEV electric range.
Unsurprisingly, because the CX-70 is essentially the same vehicle as a CX-90, it gets a ton of available kit, from a Bose stereo to heated and ventilated rear seats to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. New to the CX-70 is a neat active safety feature called unresponsive driver support, which will put out a series of warning chimes if it detects a period of no input through the pedals and/or steering wheel. If those chimes go unattended to, the CX-70 will slowly bring itself to a halt, hopefully before any mayhem occurs. It’s a promising idea, even if coming to a stop in a live lane of traffic seems sketchy.
The Mazda CX-70 looks good, but also seems like a head-scratcher. How many people would go with it when the CX-90 is almost the same vehicle with an extra row of seats? Normally, three-row and two-row vehicles different enough to have their own model names have substantially different bodystyles, like the Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport, or the Jeep Grand Cherokee L and shorter Grand Cherokee. Instead of chopping out noticeable length, Mazda claims to be positioning the CX-70 as a psychological play for customers who, for whatever reason, don’t want a third row of seats. Still, more choice is a good thing, and it shouldn’t be terribly difficult for Mazda to adjust production depending on demand. Expect pricing and full specifications for the 2025 Mazda CX-70 to be released in about a month, when we’ll see just how much like the CX-90 it really is.
Now has anyone seen a Cosmo around here?
(Photo credits: Griffin Riley)
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