Once again it’s been excellent to catch up with a vehicle a couple of months after getting along to the launch and spending a full week getting to know it.
I can happily report that I’m just as big a fan of the large Mazda SUV after the extended period.
All-important fuel economy was as expected, about 12.0L/100km in city/suburban driving.
This is where the new Mazda has a big advantage of its rivals with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the CX-9 consistently more economical than the V6 Toyota and Nissan rivals.
It is also an easy car to live with and the standard features, even in the base-model Sport specification, are generous.
Priced from $42,490 (2WD) and $46,490 (AWD) the CX-9 Sport offers:
- 18” alloy wheels
- Push-button ignition
- Tilt & reach steering adjustment
- LED Headlights
- Six-speaker stereo
- Electric park brake
- Reverse camera
- Rear parking sensors
- Forward and reverse collision mitigation
- Height-adjustable driver and passenger seats
- Rear climate controls
Value is also offered in the rather minimal and reasonable $250 charged for two premium paint colours – Soul Red and Machine Grey.
The only thing missing that would be a nice addition is Digital Radio.
On the road the Mazda CX-9 is an easy car to drive with a raised seating position helping with vision.
Perhaps the only area that you need to really be on your toes with is the forward ¾ visibility, this can be somewhat affected by relatively chunky ‘A’ pillars (the pillars next to the windscreen).
The ride, especially on the 60 Series tyres fitted to the Sport grades 18” alloy wheels, is excellent.
The Mazda CX-9 grips well (my test car was an AWD version) and reassuringly in corners and handles exceptionally well for a seven-seat SUV.
Most importantly the new turbocharged engine is no slouch with performance and provides more than enough power and torque for family applications.
Nicely-weighted steering helps cap off what is a pleasant and nicely engineered vehicle.
The seats are also comfortable and the layout through the cabin is simple and nicely designed.
Children won’t have any trouble accessing or using the third-row of seats and there is, at a pinch, enough space for a couple of adults, though comfort over a period of time would probably be compromised.
Perhaps the only design foible, and perhaps this will only affect taller drivers, is the rather hard lip on the edge of the centre console.
I found that when resting my leg here on longer trips that it got a bit uncomfortable.
All grades get the reassurance of a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up: right now the Mazda CX-9 is the petrol-powered family SUV to beat as there really isn’t what you would call a ‘weak spot’ in the new model.
It drives well, looks good, is competitively priced, safe and comfortable
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Mazda CX-9
Engine: 2.5 litre turbo-petrol producing 170kW/420Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Three year
Price: from $42,490