The Japanese brand has confirmed that the new CX-9 will be offered in Sport, Touring, GT and Azami model lines, with all four variants to be offered with front- or on-demand all-wheel drive.
Expect the lower-grade models to still be offered with the brand's MZD-Connect touchscreen media system with navigation and rotary dial controller, while higher-spec versions will add leather, a sunroof and bigger alloy wheels. That's how Mazda does it for its other model lines, after all.
The new CX-9 is powered exclusively by a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 170kW of power (at 5000rpm) and 420Nm of torque (at 2000rpm). It has Mazda's i-stop engine stop-start system, as well as i-ELOOP, the capacitor-based brake regeneration system that stores energy to help the car save fuel.
There's no diesel option available, which could rule the CX-9 out for some family buyers. But the petrol version offers class-leading petrol consumption of 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres for the front-drive model and 8.8L/100km for the AWD model - that's a drop of about 25 per cent over the existing model, which was sold solely with a 3.7-litre petrol V6.
The brand says the new CX-9 will be offered with a range of safety technology that fall under its i-Activsense banner, likely including blind-spot monitoring, land departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and autonomous emergency braking. A rear-view camera and parking sensors are expected to be standard across the range, and the CX-9 has airbag coverage for all three rows of seats.
Stay tuned for more details and pricing on the 2016 Mazda CX-9 as news comes to hand.