All-new, the 2016 Mazda CX-9 three-row crossover SUV made its debut at the LA Auto Show, finally replacing the last of the Ford related vehicles in their North American lineup. And in such, the new Mazda CX-9 gets the family DNA of KODO styling from the ground up.
It has a confident new face which is unmistakably Mazda. A wide prominent grille has the latest iteration of the wings which flow into its headlamps and a low chin line is outlined with chrome in a way that emphasizes it, but also looks more upscale.
It has a longer appearance than the current model afforded by its longer wheelbase, now stretched over 2-inches. And, the windshield is pushed backward almost 4-inches, which provided a long nose and more car like stance.
The side profile is decidedly new as is the rear three-quarter view which has elegantly designed tail lights thar almost have a headlamp eye to them. Wheel choices will range from 18 to 20-inches on the new top-end Signature model.
In all of this however, the CX-9 is actually just over an inch shorter than the outgoing model. And, it also weighs up to 287 pounds less. And this is a good thing as the old 3.7 liter V6 from Ford gives way to a new turbocharged four-cylinder.
The new SKYACTIV-G 2.5T four-cylinder will be the first application of such in North America. And in the CX-9 it brings 227 horsepower on regular unleaded and 250 horsepower on premium, which seems a bit thin from a competitive standpoint, but does offer 310 pound-feet of torque.
Mazda chose the route of a larger displacement turbocharged engine to offer the power of competitors smaller mills, but says will have better fuel-efficiency. In fact they say it may be class-leading. This comes by way of a Dynamic Pressure Turbocharger which allows more tuning variation for driving conditions and what is likely a pretty mild tune overall.
The interior is where the CX-9 really seems to step up from the current model though. With top trims, it receives high detail and quality materials including genuine rosewood and Nappa leathers. Genuine satin and polished aluminum accents abound as well.
It’s design is more flowing than we’ve seen from Mazda in the past, more upscale it is vibe. The dash for instance has a wide horizontal span, grounded with a substantial center console that really makes a statement.
All three rows of passengers will enjoy easier ingress and egress so says Mazda. And they’ll also enjoy more connectivity and utility. Rear seat passengers get USB charging ports on door armrests, and the second row seats fold forward so easily Mazda says, a child can do it.
And with all the new driving-assistance and crash-prevention technologies that will be available with the CX-9, one could even say a child could drive it. You can expect an advanced blind-spot monitor, radar cruise control with auto braking, and lane keeping assist just to name a few.
Mazda tells us the new CX-9 will go on sale in the spring of 2016. Pricing, final specifications including that new fuel-efficiency they brag about should come closer to that time.