Mazda seems to be on a roll lately. Since introducing the CX-5 with the vaunted Skyactiv technology in 2012, the Hiroshima-based carmaker hasn’t looked back. It has given its entire product lineup the same advanced and fuel-efficient engines, transmission and chassis treatment--not to mention the Kodo Soul of Motion design language. Just check out the swoopy 2, 3, 6 and MX-5, and you’ll know what we’re referring to.
Well, those who really know the brand will be aware that there are some models that still don’t possess Skyactiv under the skin. One of these is the CX-9 full-size SUV. First introduced in 2007, this seven-seat SUV was fielded to give buyers the chance to have some fun behind the wheel, even with the wife and kids on-board. After roughly eight years, a new model arrives.
One look at the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-9 reveals a more premium take on the Kodo theme. Based on the Koeru concept that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it is still bold, with that signature grille and sharp-looking headlights, as well as the muscular fenders that have made Mazdas truly stand out as of late. Yet the front bumper blends nicely with the overall fascia. Plus, the short overhangs give the SUV a sense of stability and athleticism. And with cars and SUVs growing with every new generation, the CX-9 is one of those vehicles that buck the trend with a shorter (by 30mm) overall length, at 5,065mm.
What really sets the second-generation CX-9 apart from the rest of the pack is what’s under the skin. Mazda is taking this opportunity to introduce a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Based on the same naturally aspirated 2.5-liter motor used in the 6 and the CX-5, the new Skyactiv-G 2.5T is a 2.5-liter turbo in-line-four with direct-injection technology. Moreover, it combines the Skyactiv wizardry of more power while consuming less fuel with a new Dynamic Pressure Turbo.
This cool piece of technology varies the degree of exhaust gas pulsation fed to the motor, depending on the engine speed. The higher the revs, for instance, the more exhaust gases are introduced to propel the turbine. What this simply means is better overall response at all speeds, reducing the downside of most turbos--lag. This equates to instant response when power is needed. And since it uses Skyactiv technology, fuel efficiency is promised all throughout. All of this translates to a rousing (for a 2.5-liter) 227hp at 5,000rpm and 420Nm at 2,000rpm.
Aside from the new lump, the new CX-9 features Mazda’s i-Activsense suite of safety gear and i-Activ AWD all-wheel drive system. The former has advanced stuff like lane keep assist, active headlights and the like, while the latter boasts a sensor-laden AWD setup that helps keep the car shiny side up in any road condition.
The 2016 Mazda CX-9 will start deliveries in the US in the second quarter of 2016. We sure look forward to the day when Mazda Philippines will begin offering it in our market. It promises to be one exciting drive, along with the rest of the brood.