The Mazda CX-9 has been updated again, this time for the 2020 model year. The seven-seat SUV was previously given some new features back in October 2018, which included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a 360-degree camera as well as a ventilation function for the front seats.

Buyers will still have two fully imported (CBU) from Japan variants to choose from, both with nearly identical specifications, with the only difference being whether you require all-wheel drive. The 2WD version retails at RM319,610.40 on-the-road without insurance, while the 4WD variant will set you back RM336,610.40. Both come with a five-year/100,000 km warranty and five-year/100,000 km free maintenance. It should be noted that the prices are RM29,000 higher than before spec-for-spec compared to before.

In terms of styling changes, the CX-9’s badge and font designs have been altered to suit the carmaker’s latest corporate identity, while a new grey metallic finish is applied on the aluminium alloy wheels, which retain their 20-inch sizing.

Inside, there is now silver stitching on the black leather seats and the eight-inch Mazda Connect infotainment touchscreen has been upgraded to a larger nine-inch unit, still with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, along with Commander Control.

Less obvious additions include an automatic brake hold button located near the electronic parking brake, while the seatbelt reminder system now covers all three rows of seats instead of just the front driver and passenger previously. Third-row passengers will also benefit from two USB charging ports, which join the existing ones available to those in the first and second row (two each).

The SkyActiv-G 2.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine continues to be of service here, providing 228 hp at 5,000 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. It is paired with a SkyActiv-Drive six-speed torque converter automatic transmission, with drive going to the front wheels or all four via the i-Activ all-wheel drive system.

The AWD model now comes with Off-road Traction Assist, which is an extension of the SUV’s Traction Control System (TCS). A dedicated button replaces the regular traction control button here, and when engaged, assists the driver when going over uneven terrain by reducing engine torque and increasing the braking force on the wheels without traction.

Another new feature for the powertrain is the i-Stop idling technology that wasn’t available previously, but the i-ELOOP capacitor-based energy recovery system is still missing. Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) makes its way into the CX-9 as well, replacing the previous G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system without torque vectoring by braking.

Standard equipment on both the 2WD and 4WD variants includes automatic, self-levelling LED headlamps, LED taillights, automatic wipers, a powered tailgate, a powered sunroof, front and rear parking sensors (four on each end), as well as keyless entry and start.

On the inside, you get powered front seats, with the driver’s side having 10-way adjustability and a two-position memory function, while the passenger has six-way adjustability only. As mentioned earlier, seat ventilation and heating functions are standard upfront.

Moving further back, the second-row bench comes in a 60:40 split with easy access controls to the third row, which is also a bench but with a 50:50 split. Other items include a 4.6-inch instrument cluster display, a coloured, windshield-projected Active Driving Display, triple-zone climate control with second-row vents, a navigation function and a 12-speaker Bose sound system.

The safety kit is pretty much unchanged from before, and includes six airbags (front, side and curtain), ABS, DSC, EBD, Emergency Brake Assist, the aforementioned TCS, Hill Launch Assist, Emergency Stop Signal and Isofix child seat anchors for the outer, second-row seats.

Also retained is the i-ActivSense driving assistance and safety suite that consists of Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Lane Keep Assist System (LAS) and Driver Attention Alert (DAA). The Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system is still here, but has been improved with pedestrian detection for both the front and rear.

The CX-9 is available in a choice of five colours – Deep Crystal Blue, Jet Black, Machine Grey, Snowflake White Pearl and Sonic Silver – for both variants, and there are a few optional accessories on offer. These include a tonneau cover for the boot that is priced at RM2,600 and safety tint film (Skytint) for RM2,000. Find full specifications of the 2020 Mazda CX-9 on CarBase.my.