New Mazda CX-9 review

Mazda has taken the wraps off a new look CX-9. But those hoping for a diesel version will be disappointed. It does however get some extra goodies and is the second Mazda to feature its range of active safety systems, although they remain optional.

VALUE

Prices range from $44,525 up to $63,828 for the top of the range Grand Touring model, $100 more than before in the case of the entry model but for a better equipped vehicle. It's available in front wheel and all-wheel drive and comes in three different grades: Classic, Luxury and the top of the range Grand Touring.

All CX-9s get three-zone climate control air-conditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control and power windows and mirrors. An MP3/WMA compatible CD player is operated through a display which includes a reversing camera with rear parking guidelines. The range topping Grand Touring model adds Bi-Xenon headlamps, a remote operated power tailgate, as well as keyless entry and engine start.

The upgraded infotainment system features the latest audio, navigation and speech-recognition systems based on an intuitive HMI (Human Machine Interface) and Bluetooth comes as standard across the entire range. A USB connector has been added to the audio system and the Bluetooth profile has been upgraded and allows the user to repeat tracks, shuffle tracks, and select folders via the steering wheel controls.

TECHNOLOGY

The classy seven seater is powered by the same thirsty 3.7-litre petrol V6 that powers the current model. The 3.7-litre V6 pumps out 204kW of power at 6250 revs and 367Nm of torque at 4250 revs. It's hooked up to a six-speed auto and goes like a jet, delivering between 11.0 and 11.2 litres/100km depending on model (all wheel drive is a little thirstier).

SAFETY

'i-ACTIVSENSE' - active what? Active safety systems that go looking for trouble before it finds you. They include Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and High Beam Control (HBC)-- all of which anticipate danger and help the driver avoid it. Unfortunately, this suite of safety systems is available only with the top of the range model.

Not rated by ANCAP, but comes with a full complement of safety gear including six airbags (offering protection for all three rows), dynamic stability control, anti-lock braking system, emergency brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution, roll stability control and a reversing camera.

DESIGN

Within the front grille, the new signature wing is adopted, LED Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) with a halo ring light guide around the head lamp are added to selected models, and rear combination lamps incorporating the new design signature.

VERDICT

One of the more stylish ways of carrying the tribe, but that big V6 is going to be thirsty in real life. Mazda offers fuel efficient diesel alternatives with other models and to our way of thinking the CX-9 is crying out for one.

Mazda CX-9

Price: from $44,525
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Crash rating: Not rated
Safety: 6 airbags, ABC, TC, ESC, EDB, EBA
Engine: 3.7L V6, 204kW/367Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, FWD
Dimensions: 5.11m (L), 1.94m (W), 1.73m (H)
Weight: 1966kg
Spare: Space-saver
Thirst: 11.0L/100km (91RON), 257g/km CO2

SPECIFICATIONS

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RIVALS

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