The redesigned Mazda CX-9 employs the company-wide design philosophy known as KODO. The new crossover weighs 250 pounds less than last year's model, thanks in no small part to replacing big 3.7L V6 with a new 2.5L turbocharged four. The engine powers the full CX-9 range and produces 227 horsepower when using regular unleaded and 250 horsepower on 93 octane. The engine also makes an impressive 310 pound-feet of torque from just 2,000 rpm. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The CX-9 boasts three rows of seating with room for up to seven passengers, and it comes with standard front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is available. The CX-9 comes in four trims: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Signature. Even the base Sport is nicely equipped, with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights, 3-zone automatic climate control, Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch color touchscreen, a rearview camera and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity.
The Touring adds keyless entry and start, a power tailgate with programmable height adjustment, heated mirrors, leather seating with heated front seats and 8-way power adjustability for the driver and an 8-inch color touchscreen. Standard advanced safety features include a blind-spot warning system with rear cross traffic alert. An available Premium Package brings LED fog lights, Bose stereo, navigation, back-up sensors and more.
Stepping up to the Grand Touring affords 20-inch alloy wheels, a power glass moonroof, and chrome exterior accents with aluminum roof rails. Inside there's a head-up display 12-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, aluminum inlays, driver's seat memory, and i-ACTIVESENSE advanced safety features such as adaptive headlights, automatic high-beam control, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and more.
Finally, the top-of-the-line, CX-9 Signature brings standard all-wheel drive in addition to LED accent lighting in the grille, LED interior ambient lighting, Napa leather seating and trim with rosewood inlays, and a leather steering wheel.
Standard safety features on all CX-9s include dual front airbags, front side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, a rearview camera and a tire-pressure monitor.
The Mazda CX-9 is completely redesigned for 2016. It benefits from Mazda's KODO "Soul of Motion" design philosophy with a muscular, athletic shape front to back. Underhood is an all-new turbocharged 2.5L engine making 250 horsepower. In front-wheel-drive versions, the CX-9 returns an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in combined city/highway use. Base price for the new CX-9 is $31,520.