The upcoming Mazda CX-9 SUV will be one of the safest vehicles in its class when it goes on sale mid-year, thanks to its i-ActivSense safety suite.
Mazda is claiming its next-generation SUV will feature luxury, safety and affordability that is ahead of all its competitors.
In the outgoing first-generation model that first appeared in 2007, only the top-shelf Grand Touring variant currently comes equipped with blind-spot monitoring (BSM), forward obstruction warning (FOW) and rear cross traffic alert (RCTA) active safety systems.
With its incoming new second generation, the CX-9 will feature advanced blind-spot monitoring (ABSM), rear cross traffic alert (RCTA) and Smart City Brake Support for forward and reverse (SCBS F/R) as standard across the full range.
Above: City smart braking senses possible collisions and applies the brakes to avoid or lessen an impact in forward or reverse
The new Mazda CX-9 will also be offered in a choice of four variants for the first time; Sport, Touring, GT and Azami. The Azami flagship will come equipped with several firsts for the brand’s large SUV, including adaptive LED headlamps with high-beam control, driver attention alert, lane-keep assist and Smart Brake Support.
Adding to the list of safety features, the entire CX-9 range will feature a reversing camera and rear parking sensors as standard equipment.
Above: Lane departure warning
The inclusion of these active safety systems will make the CX-9 one of the safest in its class, with the popular Toyota Kluger, for example, offering only lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring and pre-collision warning with light auto braking assistance on the top-spec Grande variant.
A forthcoming 2017 facelift for the Kluger may rectify that, however, which in US-spec includes autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure alert, radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring and a surround-view camera system. Local specification is yet to be confirmed, though.
Meanwhile, the similarly-sized Nissan Pathfinder gets blind-spot monitoring and a surround-view camera system, but only with its flagship Ti specification.
Above: Adaptive LED headlamps automatically 'dip' the headlights when it senses oncoming vehicles
Rounding out the new CX-9’s new features is the new 2.5-litre turbocharged Skyactiv petrol engine, which is almost 25 per cent more efficient than the outgoing 3.7-litre V6.
Producing 170kW of power and 420Nm of torque, the new engine may be down on power, but with more torque and a much lighter kerb weight, the CX-9 claims a fuel consumption rate of 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres in front-wheel drive models and 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres for all-wheel drive variants.
Stay tuned for pricing and specifications of the new Mazda CX-9 when it arrives in local showrooms in around a month’s time.