The all-new seven-seat Mazda CX-9 is expected to be revealed at the 2015 Los Angeles auto show in November, and it is likely that just one engine will be offered with the new model – and it’ll be fuelled by petrol, not diesel.
Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders confirmed the news to CarAdvice at the launch of the updated BT-50 ute, echoing a discussion we had previously had with the brand’s head of sales and marketing, Masahiro Moro.
“It will be a SkyActiv engine,” Benders said, suggesting the new motor will be a four-cylinder unit, and it is already confirmed that the V6 petrol has been axed.
However, there are rumours that this new model will debut the first turbocharged four-cylinder SkyActiv powertrain, likely based around the 2.5-litre unit that is currently seen in the CX-5, Mazda 3 and Mazda 6.
Benders suggested that the reason for no diesel doesn’t come down to a lack of demand for such a drivetrain in Australia, but more that the biggest demand for CX-9 comes from the US, and the diesel desire isn’t high in that nation.
“The dominant market is the US,” Benders said of the CX-9.
“There is a bit of market there,” he said of Australian buyers’ want for a large diesel SUV.
“There’s two sorts of diesels in that market. There’s the diesels that are the LandCruisers and stuff that go off-road, and they’re the same as BT-50s and that in that regard – their use determines it.
“If you then go to the pure, more on-road type stuff, I mean, who’s got diesel that’s big in that segment? Certainly [Toyota] Kluger and [Nissan] Pathfinder don’t have one. I guess [Jeep] Grand Cherokee does, and some of the Land Rover stuff does, but they’re off-roaders to some extent as well,” Benders said.
“If you go to the Europeans, then, you’ve got Q7, Touareg – those ones have got diesel options. But then that comes out of the European market for those ones,” he said, and indeed the Audi and Volkswagen models mentioned both come only with diesel drivetrains.
“Where we sell that vehicle – the CX-9 – is mainly the US. It’s significantly bigger [than Australia],” he said in terms of the demand for the petrol drivetrain.
Still, Benders suggested the current model hadn’t been helped by its V6 petrol engine.
“The current one is a little bit thirsty, and that probably does cause it an issue in terms of ownership costs versus a diesel,” he said.
“But how many of those live in private school pick-up territory? Diesel doesn’t really give you much advantage in that sort of environment,” he said.