Mazda_Biante_ 002

The Mazda model lineup in Malaysia is set to expand before the year is out – reports have it that Bermaz plans to launch the Mazda Biante eight-seater MPV as well as the CX-9 facelift sometime in November. This was indicated by the company last week during the sending-off of its first export batch of Malaysian-assembled CX-5s to Thailand.

The Biante has just been introduced in Indonesia – the live photos of it you see here were taken by Hafriz at the ongoing IIMS – and is being sold as the New Biante (with a 2.0 DISI engine) and Biante SkyActiv in the country.

Mazda_Biante_ 003

In its SkyActiv variant form, the 4.71 metre long MPV – facelifted last year and a direct competitor to the Nissan Serena C26 S-Hybrid – is equipped with a SkyActiv-G 2.0 engine, with output numbers being 149 hp at 6,000 rpm and 190 Nm at 4,100 rpm.

Like the CX-5, the SkyActiv mill in this one is paired with a SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission. The facelift process dresses up the high-roof offering with a new front bumper and grille, new rear LED combination lamps and 17-inch wheels and 215/50 series tyres, among other things. Mazda-related listings on indicate an estimated pricing of RM140k for the Biante, which prices it in Serena S-Hybrid territory. pix cx-9 sydney 01

Meanwhile, the ‘new look’ CX-9, which made its global debut in Sydney at the AIMS last October, will debut alongside the Biante, so goes the word. The SUV is on its second facelift since its launch in 2007, with the first being in 2009. The front and rear ends have been given a revision, while the the interior features minor updates in new trim finishes and material choices.

Available in both FWD and AWD forms, the vehicle continues to be powered by a MZI 3.7 litre V6 offering 273 hp and 367 Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic ‘box. The kit list includes new 20-inch aluminium wheels and a raft of i-Activsense safety features, which include Forward Obstruction Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring and High Beam Control.