The missing piece in Mazda’s impressive ‘SkyActiv’ passenger-car range – the new-gen CX-9 seven-seat SUV – goes on sale in Australia next month and will offer customers a greater choice of equipment and safety equipment across a broader model range.
There's better value too, with a newly named entry-level Sport model starting at $42,490, which is $1280 lower than its predecessor. The front-drive Sport model (replacing Classic), will be accompanied by an all-wheel-drive entry-level alternative for the first time.
The Sport AWD demands a $4000 price premium and shares Mazda’s new turbocharged 2.5-litre ‘SkyActiv’ four-cylinder petrol engine and six-speed automatic ’box with its front-drive sibling. Previously, you had to spend $56K to drive all four wheels in a CX-9.
Above Sport sits the Touring (from $48,890), and like every new Mazda CX-9 variant, it will also be available with front- or all-wheel drive, again with a $4000 premium for the latter.
The CX-9 GT will start at $57,390, while the range-topping Azami kicks off at $59,390. The most expensive new-gen CX-9 will be the Azami AWD at $63,390 – $1710 dearer than the old Grand Touring AWD range-topper.
What Australia won’t see at launch is the CX-9 Signature. A bells-and-whistles, premium-brand fighter featuring Nappa leather and matte exposed-grain rosewood trim, the Signature caps Mazda’s US line-up but the Aussies were afraid of the whole ‘wood-trim’ thing … until they saw it.
Given its surprisingly tasteful execution, and a still-competitive expected sticker approaching $70K, the Signature could be a welcome addition to Australia’s CX-9 line-up in the future.
While the new-gen CX-9 has less power than the heavier 3.7-litre V6 model it replaces (170kW versus 204kW), a big slug of turbocharged torque (420Nm at 2000rpm) means it is unlikely to be any slower than the previous version. For the record, the old CX-9 managed 0-100km/h in 8.5sec and the standing 400m in 16.2sec in Wheels testing.
Of far greater relevance is the new CX-9’s huge leap in fuel efficiency. The official figure for the front-driver is just 8.4L/100km (down from 11.0L/100km) while the AWD’s fuel number is 8.8L/100km (compared to 11.3 for the old V6). And that’s using regular 91-octane unleaded.
For the first time, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and ‘Smart City Brake Support’ (forward and reverse) will be available across the entire CX-9 range.
The range-topping Azami will expand the CX-9’s technology cache with equipment like adaptive LED headlamps, auto high-beam, driver attention alert, lane-keeping assist and full ‘Smart Brake Support’.
The new-gen Mazda CX-9 hits Australian showrooms in July.
2016 MAZDA CX-9 PRICING
|CX-9 6A Sport FWD||$42,490|
|CX-9 6A Sport AWD||$46,490|
|CX-9 6A Touring FWD||$48,890|
|CX-9 6A Touring AWD||$52,890|
|CX-9 6A GT FWD||$57,390|
|CX-9 6A GT AWD||$61,390|
|CX-9 6A Azami FWD||$59,390|
|CX-9 6A Azami AWD||$63,390|