THE GAME CHANGER!

THE GAME CHANGER!

Mazda CX-9 re-writes the rules for a class flooded with wannabes!

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Squeezing charm and charisma into a three-row crossover is no easy feat, but Mazda does it with the CX-9—earning it a place in Car and Drivers 2017 10 Best Trucks and SUVs list.

A well-tuned suspension offers great handling; steering is light but precise. A 250-hp 2.5-liter turbo four mates with a six-speed automatic and a choice of front or all-wheel drive. is also available. With adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking as standard on Grand Touring and Signature trims. You couldn’t really ask for more.

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Engine Bits

2.5 litres, Inline 4

Power: 250 hp @ 5000 rpm

Torque: 310 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

0-60: 7.2 sec

Top speed: 214 Kph

Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

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The Luxury

  • Mazda’s material choices look and feel rich. Many of the plastics are so finely grained and soft to the touch that they have an almost silk like quality to them and exude premium quality.
  • The instrument panel sees three large round analogue dials. But unlike in almost every other Mazda, one of the round gauges is actually a colour LCD screen that can display trip-computer information and a compass. On all but the lowest 'Sport' trim level, which gets a seven-inch screen, there’s an eight-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard. It’s a bit too far to touch while driving, sothe screen can also be controlled by the BMW iDrive–like knob behind the shifter. Navigation and audio controls are logical and easy to use with either the knob or the touchscreen.
  • There’s ample space for adults, and the split-bench second row folds forward to ease entry into the way back. The Mazda’s rearmost row is kid-friendly, and spacious, perfect for large families. There is a 14-cubic-foot cargo hold and folding the third row down increases that to 38 cubic feet. With both rows folded flat, there’s 71 cubic feet of space. You will however be doing the folding yourself as power-folding seats aren’t available.

The Outside

The new CX-9 lifts the design ideals of Mazda’s own CX-5 but also borrows some styling tips from the Infiniti QX70 (the SUV formerly known as the FX). The Mazda is big, especially on its optional 20-inch wheels, and it looks chic enough to wear a more luxurious label. The large chrome grille has a menacing presence with LED lighting inside it. Designers appear to have sculpted the sleek shaped body lovingly, taking time, care and design inspiration from the simplest and purest of Japanese aesthetics. Even the Mazda’s paint looks like it could break the bank. Covered in a finely flaked hue called snowflake white pearl, the CX-9 glows. This SUV has both presence and style.

The Juicy Facts

  • Mazda has worked hard on suppressing the tire roar that plagued the previous CX-9. The replacement has a thicker floorpan, 53 pounds of sound deadening under the carpet, and an acoustically laminated windshield and front windows. The work pays off with a low 65 decibels of noise at 70 mph, four less than the last CX-9.
  • The Skyactiv-chassis and body act in harmony with each other. Innovations is structure, constructions and materials make the CX-9 lighter, safe and more ridged. The frame work is forged in high tensile steel, helping to maintain a greater collision resistance. Thechassis itself features strut geometry at the front and multi link layout at the rear, perfectly tuned for an SUV of this size.
  • If technology is your thing, then this beaut will do more then just impress you. Mazda’s infotainment system MZD Connect gives you an internet connection whilst driving - the system 'Aha' by Harman allows you to connect your smartphone via Bluetooth, and can read your messages aloud as well as allowing you to access social media services such as twitter and Facebook. Add in a navigation system as you would expect along with magnificent 12-speaker Bose sound system to blast your tunes out of.
  • For the safety conscious, Mazda offers a full cache of driver-­assistance systems, including blind-spot monitoring, radar-based cruise control, and lane-departure warning and correction. Only Grand Touring and Signature models get the radar-based active cruise control that makes the collision-warning system possible. If the vehicle senses an imminent collision, it will slam on the brakes whether you like it or not.

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The Verdict

Some may consider us car snobs…and truth be told we are. Some may also call us brand whores…and again... yes we are. Of corse we like to ere on the side of luxury and yes we do like to splash the pages of Arabia Motors with cars only people with deep wallets can afford to buy…but deep at heart we are serious petrol heads.

That being said we would never turn our nose up at driving a more affordable everyday car and that is exactly what this car is. We had been told to expect a small amount of power on a heavy car, but in fact it was the opposite. Quick off the mark, powerful and an incredibly smooth and comfortable ride, are the basic selling points of the CX9. Add in that luxury interior and 'tech-smart' cabin and you have the best bang for buck in this class. We couldn’t suggest any better, for a modern, technology fronted, reasonably priced family SUV. A super thumbs up to this one!

© COPYRIGHT ARABIA MOTORS JULY 2017

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