All-New 2017 Mazda CX-9 Three-Row Crossover Debuts With 250HP 2.5L Turbo

The second-generation Mazda CX-9 has been developed specifically for North America

Nine years after the original Mazda CX-9 was launched, the Japanese automaker has unveiled the second-generation model at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The all-new CX-9 is completely overhauled inside and outside, bringing a fresh design, a new engine and new technologies. The new midsize three-row crossover SUV was penned according to Mazda’s KODO – Soul of Motion design philosophy, and we have to admit the result is quite spectacular.

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 has an elegant and sleek shape, with a front end dominated by the big five-point grille with double bars, sharp LED headlights and aggressive front bumper. The long hood, swept greenhouse, large wheels (18- and 20-inch) and short overhangs contribute to the impression of stability and dynamism, while also giving the SUV harmonious proportions.

Compared to its predecessor, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is 1.2 inch (30 mm) shorter, but at 199.4 inches (5,065 mm) it’s still a long vehicle. However, the wheelbase has been stretched 2.2 inches (55 mm), increasing leg room for rear seat passengers as well as facilitating entry to and exit from the rear. The new CX-9 has shorter overhangs on both ends - 2.3 inches (59 mm) shorter up front and 1 inch (25 mm) shorter in the rear, while the A-pillars are moved back 3.9 inches (100 mm).

Inside, the all-new CX-9 features a vertically stacked center console with details that wrap around from the dashboard to the rear seats. A single piece of aluminum crosses the dashboard, which is adorned with Auburn accents in the new, flagship Signature grade.

Other enhancements include satin and polished finishes on the aluminum plinth inspired by Japan’s famous hand-made knives, rosewood trim on the center console and front of the cabin and supple Auburn Nappa leather covering the seats (on the Signature trim).

Beneath the skin, Mazda sought to make the CX-9 a dynamic SUV, with agile handling, tight steering and a responsive powertrain. Using SkyActiv Technology, Mazda found solutions to keep the structure light, yet rigid: the 2017 Mazda CX-9 is approximately 198 lbs (90 kg) lighter than the outgoing model (in FWD configuration).

But the big news is the introduction of an all-new SkyActiv-G 2.5T engine that contributes to an estimated 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption over the previous model 3.7-liter V6 engine. When running on 93-octane gasoline, the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 250 hp at 5,000 rpm and 310 lb-ft (420 Nm) of torque at 2,000 rpm. Switching to 87-octane gasoline results in a drop of 23 hp to 227 hp. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and can be had with standard front-wheel drive or optional i-ACTIV AWD.

The all-new Mazda CX-9 also comes with the i-ACTIVSENSE suite of safety systems including Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM), Lane-Keep Assist System (LAS) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), Distance Recognition Support System (DRSS) and more.

The 2017 Mazda CX-9 goes on sale in the United States in spring 2016.

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