Mazda’s CX-9 Redefines Near-Luxury

The second-generation 2017 Mazda CX-9 takes on new skin on the outside, new furniture on the inside. and drives with a new purpose-built powertrain.

DESIGN & AESTHETICS
While we are familiar with the first generation CX-9, Mazda's first-ever three-row crossover that arrived in 2006, the new iteration of this crossover is a much more suave and sophisticated vehicle.

Key exterior features

  • It is 5,075mm long, 1,969mm wide and stands 1,716mm tall
  • Wheelbase has been stretched 55mm for better interior space 
  • 5-slat chrome grille and a sinister-looking squint of the headlights
  • Wheel arches have been replaced by organic-looking surfaces over the wheels, while maintaining the bulge
  • It sits less like a chunky SUV and a more elevated MPV
  • The rectangular rear lights are now more artistically sculpted, which ups the sporty quotient.

Key interior features

  • Two-tone cockpit with satin trims 
  • Three-spoke steering wheel with a nice centre-piece
  • Set of analogue gauges with chrome bezels
  • All variants come with black trims on the centre console
  • Tablet-like infotainment screen with its iDrive-inspired jog wheel
  • Large windows for the rear occupants to enjoy the vistas
  • Nicely designed bench that can seat three abreast - you can slide and recline them.

POWERTRAIN & PERFORMANCE

  • High-performance SKYACTIV-G technology
  • Dynamic Pressure Turbo technology
  • Easily eclipsing the 100 km/h mark under 9 seconds
  • 4-3-1 exhaust, optimised for turbocharger efficiency
  • Overall weight reduced by some 100 kilos
  • Fuel economy is up almost 20 per cent
  • 6-speed automatic.

FEATURES & FUNCTIONALITY

In the base GS models you'll get:

  • 7-inch screen with a standard rear camera 
  • 6-speaker audio
  • AUX- input, USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Dual-zone air conditioner
  • The seats are upholstered in fabric
  • Leather-wrapped steering with cruise control buttons

Step up to the sporty-sounding GT trim and you'll find:

  • A larger 8-inch screen
  • Leather seats
  • A power lift gate and LED headlamps.
  • The 20-inch wheels are reserved for the top spec LTD model
  •   Aspecially-tuned 12-speaker Bose audio
  • You get adaptive cruise control and a roster of modern and safety technology including Blind Spot Monitoring System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, adaptive beams that show concern for on-coming traffic, Lane Keep Assist and Smart Brake Support. In terms of object-hauling, the CX-9 is a delivery guy's dream.

VERDICT
The 2017 Mazda CX-9 is a vehicle that can be many things to many people. A large, family-friendly crossover, that can haul up to seven people. You have to applaud Mazda for delivering equal measures of power and fuel efficiency with the new SKYACTIVE engine.

Thanks to its expressive design, the new CX-9 is something you wouldn't mind parking in your garage.