Details of the new and updated Mazda models launching in Australia in 2016.
CX-9 — mid 2016
Mazda had a big 2015. It will finish the year in second place, behind only Toyota, in the overall sales race, while over the course of the year it launched the updated CX-5, Mazda 6 and BT-50, and the new Mazda 2 sedan, CX-3 and MX-5.
There’s only one major release in 2016, though, and that’s the final piece in its puzzle — the new-generation CX-9.
Revealed in LA last month, the new seven-seater will arrive around the July, ready to take on the likes of the Toyota Kluger, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Ford Territory.
It is, as Mazda calls it, the “grandest expression” of its Kodo design theme to date, with its clean and uncluttered lines, prominent on-brand curves and dominant family trademark grille flanked by slim and sporting (standard LED) headlights.
But it’s not the looks that are the headline — it’s the engine, a potent turbocharged version of the 2.5-litre petrol four used in the Mazda 3, Mazda 6 and CX-5. It’s called the SkyActiv-G 2.5T, and its outputs are 186kW at 5000rpm and 420Nm of torque from 2000rpm.
This compares to the outgoing car’s thirsty 3.7-litre V6 that makes 204kW/367Nm. As you’d expect, downsizing the engine yields a claimed improvement to fuel consumption of about 20 per cent.
Under the new body is the largest iteration of Mazda’s modular and more rigid SkyActiv platform, which is in part responsible for the 90kg of kerb weight Mazda has managed to shave off here in the front-drive version and 130kg in AWD guise.
At 5065mm long, this iteration of the CX-9 is actually 30mm shorter than the outgoing model, but the wheelbase is now 55mm longer. Mazda says it also made the front seat backs thinner (though apparently more comfortable) to increase legroom in the middle rows.
Inside the cabin there are numerous luxury car touches including Nappa leather seats, Japanese rosewood trimming, a sweeping aluminium strip adorning the dash and polished finishes designed to “evoke Japanese craftsmanship”, inspired by hand-made knives.
Reflecting this premium bent, there’s also about 24kg of sound-deadening in the floor,