The Mazda CX-9’s 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is, as far as claimed fuel use goes, a lot more efficient than its competitors.
The front-wheel-drive versions of the CX-9 use a claimed 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres, while the all-wheel-drive models use 8.8L/100km, according to Mazda. And those figures are based on regular unleaded petrol, too.
That puts the CX-9 ahead of models like the petrol Hyundai Santa Fe (2.4-litre petrol AWD: 9.4L/100km), the Kia Sorento (3.3-litre V6 petrol FWD: 9.9L/100km) and the big-selling Toyota Kluger (3.5-litre V6 petrol FWD: 10.2L/100km; AWD 10.6L/100km).
But unlike those three makers, Mazda won’t offer a diesel model. You can get a Santa Fe diesel (which uses between 6.3 and 7.7L/100km), a Sorento diesel (7.8L/100km) and there’s also the Toyota Fortuner, which uses between 7.8 and 8.6L/100km.
Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said the lay of the land for the likes of the Toyota Kluger means a petrol-only large SUV such as the CX-9 may not deter buyers as much right now as it could have when petrol was more expensive.
“We’ve seen the fuel price come down – petrol consumption isn’t quite at the top of mind as it was a few years ago,” Doak said.
“I’m sure there’ll be a small portion of the market that will say ‘no diesel, no sale’. But Kluger, for example, is doing 12,000 or 13,000 (units per year) without a diesel. So it proves you can satisfy a huge proportion of the marketplace,” he said.
“We have a very clear fuel consumption advantage, even if it’s only on paper. So people will do the comparison, and we would hope that will put us on a number of shopping lists [of buyers] that may not have considered a petrol seven-seat SUV,” he said.