The 2016 Mazda CX-9 is in its second generation, and it shows. The full-size crossover SUV sports a new look based off the automaker's KODO – Soul of Motion design philosophy. Length-wise, it's shorter than the outgoing model. However the wheelbase, or the length between the centers of the front and back wheels, has been lengthened. This not only creates a more sporty, wagon-like appearance, but increases interior spaciousness especially rear row legroom. A new exterior colour called Machine Gray expands the already extensive pallet of Deep Crystal Blue, Jet Black, Snowflake White Pearl, Sonic Silver, Soul Red and Titanium Flash.
The interior underwent extensive renovation. Fit-and-finish from the door panels to the center stack placement is top-notch and could easily rival the best from premium and even luxury brands. Supple leather conveys a richness not usually associated with the segment. Same with the aluminum accents shined with satin and polished finishes. Passengers will find the interior an even more quiet place thanks to the generous use of thicker floor sheet metal, sound-blocking underbody panels and sound-deadening materials underneath the carpet.
A new engine powers the 2016 Mazda CX-9. Called the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T, the 2.5-liter turbo-four is part of the automaker's famed SKYACTIV engine family (hence the name). That means it's optimize to deliver both great power and impressive fuel consumption figures. Output is an excellent 250 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque which are transferred to the front or (optional) all four wheels via the six-speed automatic transmission. According to Mazda, fuel economy rose up to 20 percent compared to the outgoing model.
A host of technologies were used to achieve these impressive figures. The CX-9 uses a unique "exhaust pulsation" system to regulate how much engine exhaust is routed back to the turbo's turbines to maximize power. That exhaust is also controlled by a 4-3-1 setup to optimize energy. Compression is maxed via a unique cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system as well. Finally, the CX-9 dropped up to 113kg overall versus last year's model, further reducing fuel consumption.
The 2016 Mazda CX-9 will be offered in four trim levels. The base GS comes with such niceties as push-button ignition, heated front row seats and a rearview camera system just to name a few. The GS-L builds on the lower trim with such notable items as a power liftgate and keyless entry via a fob while the GT adds larger wheels, a premium audio system with 12 speakers and a new head-up display system.
The Signature is the new range-topping trim level of the CX-9. It comes with most of the items from the lower trims as standard, including many of their options. Exclusive bits to this all-new trim include upgraded leather, premium wood inserts and lots of interior LED interior lighting.