After a whopping nine years on the market, Mazda’s first-gen CX-9 large SUV has at last been replaced by an all-new, tech-laden successor.
Going on sale in Australia this week, the 2016 Mazda CX-9 boasts massive improvements in comfort, fit and finish, equipment and driveability compared to the outgoing model - and all for a starting price that undercuts its predecessor.
The range begins with the CX-9 Sport FWD at $42,490, which retails for $1280 less than the previous-gen CX-9 Classic FWD.
The flagship CX-9 Azami AWD caps off the range at $63,390, and though it costs $1690 less than the departing CX-9 GT AWD it comes with a substantially fatter equipment list that includes, among other things, a high-end Bose audio system, radar cruise control and a colour head-up display that projects onto the windscreen.
Two other model grades sit between the Sport and Azami, with the Touring being the lower-mid spec and the GT occupying the gap between Touring and Azami.
All are available with the same 2.5 litre turbo petrol inline four and six-speed auto, and all can be had with either FWD or RWD drivelines. There’s no diesel option available, which puts the CX-9 in the same category as other exclusively petrol-burning three-row SUVs like the Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Kluger.
However, Mazda says its 2.5 litre turbo four - an all new motor that takes over from the outgoing CX-9‘s 3.7 litre petrol V6 - has the low-end torque and tractability to rival most diesel motors in its segment.
Power peaks at 170kW (186kW with 98RON premium unleaded) at 5000rpm, while maximum torque is 420Nm at a low 2000rpm.
Power goes to either the front wheels or all four wheels (the latter being an on-demand AWD system to promote efficiency), and average fuel consumption is a claimed 8.4 l/100km for all FWD models and 8.8 l/100km for all AWD models.
The 2016 CX-9 occupies a fractionally shorter footprint than the previous model, though it measures in slightly wider and taller with a 55mm stretch in wheelbase.
Interior dimensions are marginally smaller again, but by repositioning the seat mounting points, reshaping backrests and lowering the rear floor, Mazda has been able to preserve cabin comfort for all seven occupants.
Cargo capacity undergoes the biggest reduction, with luggage space with all three rows raised dropping from 267 litres to 230 litres, and down from 928 litres to 810 litres with the third row folded flat.
With both second and third rows folded, total luggage capacity is a respectable 1641 litres.
- Cruise control
- Tri-zone climate control
- Central locking
- Cloth upholstery
- AM/FM/USB audio
- 7-inch colour touchscreen display
- MZD Connect infotainment system
- Bluetooth phone/audio integration
- Satellite navigation
- 18-inch alloy wheels with space saver spare
- LED headlamps
- Reversing camera
- Rear parking sensors
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Blind spot monitoring
CX-9 Touring (in addition to CX-9 Sport)
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Dusk-sensing headlamps
- LED front foglamps
- Power front seats with adjustable lumbar for driver
- Heated front seats
- Fold-down centre armrest for 2nd row with USB port
- 8-inch colour touchscreen display
- Leather upholstery
CX-9 GT (in addition to CX-9 Sport)
- 2-position seat memory for driver
- Colour head up display
- DAB+ digital radio tuner
- Auto-up/down windows on all doors
- Heated wing mirrors
- Power tailgate
- Glass sunroof
- BOSE premium audio
- 20-inch alloy wheels with space saver spare
CX-9 Azami (in addition to CX-9 GT)
- LED daytime running lamps
- Radar cruise control
- Lane keep assist
- Adaptive LED headlamps
- Driver fatigue monitor
- Forward collision warning
- CX-9 Sport FWD - $42,490
- CX-9 Sport AWD - $46,490
- CX-9 Touring FWD - $48,890
- CX-9 Touring AWD - $52,890
- CX-9 GT FWD - $57,390
- CX-9 GT AWD - $61,390
- CX-9 Azami FWD - $59,390
- CX-9 Azami AWD - $63,390