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2017 Mazda CX-9 Packs Turbo Power, Fresh Style

On Monday, November 23rd, 2015

After nearly a decade of sales, Mazda finally introduces the second-generation CX-9 crossover. It delivers a comprehensive interior and exterior overhaul, blessing the CX-9 with a powerful, efficient Skyactiv powertrain, and instilling even more of the sporting character that makes Mazdas so darn charming.

2017 Mazda CX-9

Like every other vehicle in Mazda’s catalog, the CX-9 now wears the handsome, suave stylings of the company’s Kodo design language. We think it looks great, but feel free to disagree in Comments.

The second-generation CX-9 is the perfect example of Mazda’s growing interior design prowess. As is so often the case, it’s not so much the style but the choice of materials that stands out. Nappa leather can be paired with real Japanese rosewood and aluminum accents to craft a cabin that feels far more expensive than what you might expect from Mazda. The quality is impressive, even on the pre-pre-production prototypes we tested (drive impressions coming soon).

The other headline, aside from the gorgeous interior, is the powertrain. The heart and soul of the operation is a new 2.5-liter, turbocharged Skyactiv engine. Although it only produces a modest 250 horsepower, that figure is complemented by a whopping 310 pound-feet of torque. Importantly, torque is easy to access in the lower part of the rev range, with peak twist coming in at just 2,000 rpm. It drops off rather suddenly north of 4,000 rpm, but as Mazda tells it, most consumers rarely venture above that figure. Mazda expects the CX-9’s core market to be perfectly happy with the robust low-end output.

A six-speed automatic is responsible for doling out that grunt, and is meant to play nicely with the same i-Activ predictive all-wheel-drive system found in the CX-5 (although the two cars don’t share any AWD components). Using 22 different sensors, the system measures road conditions 200 times every second and will even send up to half the engine’s power to the rear axle. The entire car, meanwhile, rides on the same Skyactiv architecture as the CX-5 and Mazda6, meaning a multi-link rear suspension has been paired with MacPherson struts up front. Eighteen-inch wheels will be standard, although 20s will also be on offer.

You can expect to hear much more on just what the new CX-9 is like to drive next week. Until then, enjoy the official images from Mazda, and keep an eye open for live shots from the LA debut, headed your way soon.

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