Editors’ Picks for March 2024: Refreshed Acura TLX, Mazda CX-90 and more

Editors’ Picks for March 2024: Refreshed Acura TLX, Mazda CX-90 and more

This month, a variety of body styles and power recommendations earn Editors’ Choice status. The all-new Mazda CX-90 has impressed us in many ways, but that’s no surprise. The Tonale from Alfa may not be a high-performance SUV like the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, but it’s still captured our love. And for those who want to stay down to earth, the V60/V60 Cross Country brings style to the small pie that is the wagon market. Finally, Acura is updating its TLX, and the package just gets better.

If you’ve missed previous Editors’ Choice posts, here’s a quick look at what’s going on here. We rate all new cars we drive on a scale of 1-10. Cars that are exemplary in their respective segments earn the title of Editors’ Choice. That is what we would recommend to our friends, family and anyone who is curious and asks a question. You’ll find the entire list of Editors’ Choices at this link here, which we regularly update as cars are added or removed from the list. The cars you’ll find below include every car we rated in March that earned an Editors’ Choice.

2024 Mazda CX-90

Quick take: A three-row driver’s SUV. Enthusiasts in need of space should seek out the CX-90. It translates Mazda’s passionate DNA into a people mover.

Score: 8

What it competes with: Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Chevy Traverse, Subaru Ascent, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento, Buick Enclave, Nissan Pathfinder, VW Atlas

Advantages: It’s nice to drive the inline-six; premium interior; it will make you forget that you are driving a family car

Disadvantages: Small space in the third row and luggage compartment; PHEVs are rough around the edges

From the editors:

News Editor Joel Stocksdale — “With excellent driving dynamics, a luxurious interior, powerful powertrains and good value, the CX-90 should be high on anyone’s shopping list, whether they’re looking at classic or luxury brands top. It’s a strong contender in the big business. The available interior puts it on par with other premium brands, but it’s very nice, and bodes well for future Mazdas.

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “There’s little doubt that the CX-90 is an affordable three-row SUV for enthusiasts, and I think the inline-six is ​​your best bet. I appreciate the PHEV’s green leanings, but the powertrain rough and tumble makes it a non-starter compared to the inline six you might be driving around with.”

Detailed analysis: 2024 Mazda CX-90 First Drive Review: A family SUV for the discerning driver

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

Quick take: This Alfa Romeo Tonale is one of the best small crossovers to drive. However, we don’t like its technology or price, and its PHEV credentials could be better.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: BMW X1, BMW X2, Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLB, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Jaguar E-Pace, Lexus UX, Land Rover Discovery Sport

Advantages: Great driving pleasure; strong power and torque; usable electrical range; good design

Disadvantages: Compressed rear seat and small cargo area; some chintzy interior bits; Other PHEVs are more efficient

From the editors:

Associate Editor Byron Hurd — “The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale doesn’t break any ground in terms of powertrains or luxury subcompact SUVs, but the availability of a fun entry and plug-in hybrid in this segment is welcome and long overdue. Competitive pricing and a compelling package, Alfa doesn’t ask to go too far on this link.”

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “I think the Tonale looks great, especially compared to other small SUVs. It won’t be as fun or engaging as the Stelvio to drive, but the PHEV angle makes it compelling from a cost perspective. Together, we’ll ultimately enjoy it.” An Alfa with Stellantis’ fantastic UConnect infotainment instead of Alfa Romeo’s interior unit, which is a huge improvement to the lifestyle cabin.”

Detailed analysis: 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale Review: A fun compact SUV with a green spin

2024 Volvo V60/V60 Crossover Country

Quick take: It’s a beautiful, athletic car with design and comfort up front. The Cross Country adds another layer of capability for people who use extended travel lengths, and Polestar Engineered gives you performance.

Score: 8.5

What it competes with: Audi A4 Allroad, and that’s it!

Advantages: One of the best looking family cars on the road; more performance from Polestar; Real off-road and Cross Country capabilities

Disadvantages: A limited color palette on the V60 Polestar; Cross Country has a few options for strength training

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “There’s very little not to like about the V60 and V60 Cross Country. The barebones is Polestar-only now, and it’s certainly a rocking performance package. And the Cross Country continues to be an attractive option for anyone who wants a good looking car with a little more utility Volvo’s recent updates make both versions excellent cars, making them a shoo-in for Editors’ Choice status.”

Detailed analysis: Volvo V60 Cross Country First Drive | Crossing (and falling into) Arctic Sweden

2024 Acura TLX

Quick take: The Acura TLX is an excellent sport sedan with impressive handling and a sweet variant of the S Type. The transmission is low-end, but the quality of the interior, technology and overall design is a big success for this reasonably priced four-door.

Score: 7.5

What it competes with: BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac CT4, Acura TLX, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, Genesis G70, Volvo S60

Advantages: It’s shockingly good to drive; clever styling; solid value

Disadvantages: Infotainment does not have many defenders; tight back seat

From the editors:

Road Test Editor Zac Palmer — “Acura didn’t redesign the TLX’s mid-cycle tuning wheel, so it’s still the same driver’s car we’ve loved from the start. The Type S offers the right high-performance option, but every TLX it handles so well this sports sedan is one you can’t ignore if you’re in the market for something attractive, attractive and luxurious.”

Detailed analysis: 2024 Acura TLX Type S First Drive: Give it more credit

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