Mazda New Zealand has revealed its all-new CX-9 to the media in Christchurch with the seven-seater expected to make an impact on the large SUV segment.
Priced from $52,995 for the two-wheel-drive GSX and up to $62,995 for the Limited all-wheel-drive, the second-generation CX-9 has gained an all-new 2.5-litre turbo petrol engine SkyActiv plus AWD.
The new SkyActiv engine replaces Mazda’s 3.6l V6 petrol engine and has a 20 per cent increase in fuel efficiency but produces 420Nm of torque at 2000rpms, as much as a conventional 4-ltire V8 claims Mazda.
The 2.5-litre SkyActiv engine was created to produce power in the lower range of gears for use in stop-start traffic and city driving.
The CX-9 contains many of the Japanese company’s ‘Kodo’ design features that are seen in the CX-3 and CX-5, with a new prominent grille, giving it a more aggressive stance on the road.
Mazda New Zealand’s managing director, Andrew Clearwater, told the media that the preference for customers when buying new vehicles was SUVs, with the large off-roaders increasing in sales.
“It’s the large SUV segment that the volume is tracking at a faster rate than the two other (SUV) segments (of small and medium),” he said.
At the international reveal of the CX-9 in Los Angeles last year, Mazda’s chief engineer for the CX-9, Masashi Otsuka, told Driven that the crossover “must have an ‘x factor’, you can’t explain it but it must appeal to your emotions”.
Otsuka was also at the Christchurch event and said that the new CX-9 “is the high end of Mazda’s new car line up”.
He said a lot of thought had gone into the second-generation large SUV, especially the needs of the market.
While “80 per cent of the CX-9 market is North American it doesn’t mean that we didn’t look outside the North American market”, said Otsuka.
He tested a CX-9 prototype in Sydney and Melbourne and calibrated it for Australasian conditions.
Originally launched in 2006, the second-generation CX-9 is 5065mm long, 30mm shorter than its predecessor but its wheelbase has been increased by 55mm.
There are no carry over design elements or parts from the previous model while the CX-9 also has an impressive range of standard safety features, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic monitoring, smart city braking plus a five star Ancap rating.
The third row of seats is now easier to access that the previous model while the cabin is noticeably quieter.