At long last, here is the new 2017 Mazda CX-9, revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Just days ago, we showed you leaked images of the brand’s new flagship SUV, and now, we have full details of the model.

In its second generation now following a nine-year stint of the first-gen, the three-row SUV is doused in all of the brand’s latest Kodo Soul of Motion designs, lining it up nicely alongside the popular CX-5 and CX-3.

Typically not as popular as its smaller SUV siblings, Mazda has certainly stirred things up and dropped the bomb with this CX-9 by introducing a new Skyactiv-G 2.5T turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Based on US EPA test cycles, Mazda claims that its CX-9 is now the most efficient vehicle in its class, besting the likes of the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Pathfinder.


The new 2.5 litre turbocharged engine is largely based on the existing naturally-aspirated Skyactiv-G 2.5 engine that’s already in service. The mill features a world-first technology Mazda calls a Dynamic Pressure Turbo system, which can vary the degree of exhaust pulsation depending on engine speed. The system can route the engine’s exhaust to the turbocharged turbine through smaller ports at lower rpm.

Based on 93-octane petrol in the US, the 2.5 litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine delivers 250 hp and 5,000 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. Based on 87-octane, power is reduced to 227 hp. Mazda hasn’t yet revealed performance figures for its CX-9 with this engine, but says that it offers effortless acceleration and loads of torque, negating the need to hunt through its Skyactiv-Drive six-speed torque converter automatic transmission for a boost.

The engine is also equipped with a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system which prevents excessive amounts of fuel burning when the engine is operating at high temperatures. From a usual 500 degrees Celsius, the EGR system can bring heat down to 100 degrees Celsius, allowing the 2.5T to operate with a compression ratio of 10:5:1.

Mazda has also incorporated its new i-Activ AWD system that first debuted in the CX-5 into its latest CX-9. The system which used to feature just 10 sensors for monitoring road conditions and adjusting torque distribution according has now been updated to have 27 sensors in total, and can send up to 50% of the engine’s torque purely to the rear wheels.

The new CX-9 relieves its previous Ford-sourced architecture and gets a new one that features a 55-mm longer wheelbase that is now 2,930 mm long — effectively increasing cabin legroom and easing entry and exit for rear passengers.

The length of the new CX-9 is also marginally shorter than its predecessor, stretching out to 5,065 mm, and is also 30-mm narrower with a width of 1,900 mm. The body of the car features shorter overhangs as well, trimming 59 mm off the front and 25 mm off the rear.

In total, Mazda says that its new CX-9 has shed up to 90 kg in its front-wheel drive variants, and up to 130 kg in all-wheel drive versions against its predecessor.

As clearly visible, the exterior of the car has finally adopted Mazda’s KODO, Soul of Motion design language, which lines it up nicely alongside the brand’s latest range of Skyactiv models such as the CX-5, CX-3, Mazda 6 and more.

The business end of the car you see here, which is specifically the range-topping CX-9 Signature variant, gets a bold, five-point front radiator grille with double bars, flanked by full LED headlamps. There are also lots of chrome elements that line the vehicle’s sculpted shape.


The rear features a set of sleek LED tail lights which are linked together by a chrome strip, while dual exhaust tips are visible on the lower end of the SUV — blink, and you could easily mistake this for a CX-5’s rear end. Wheel sizes for the CX-9 range between 18- and 20-inch options.

Inside, Mazda has completely reworked the interior of its CX-9, presenting it with what the carmaker calls a Heads-Up Cockpit, featuring a vertically stacked centre console and dashboard that work to keep driver eyes level with the road.

A three-spoke multi-function steering wheel is present, with a triple-binnacle instrument panel behind. Two of the instrument binnacles feature analogue dials while the most right one features a 4.6-inch full-colour TFT display screen. There is also a full-colour head-up display in the Signature variant, which offers navigation and cruise control visuals.

The cabin of the Signature variant pictured here features Auburn leather upholstery with Rosewood trim on the centre console and front of the cabin. The wood is said to be supplied by an unnamed premium guitar maker — dare we say, Japan’s Ibanez?

As is the case with other Mazda Skyactiv models, a free-standing display touchscreen is featured in the centre of the dash, and is available in sizes of seven or eight inches. The MZD Connect system is also utilised, bringing forward a similar rotary MZD commander controller on the centre console. A specially-designed 12-speaker Bose premium audio system is included in this range-topping variant.

Mazda said that it has also reworked its seven-seater SUV’s seating accommodations to be more easily accessed — even a child is said to be able to make their way into the third-row seat all on its own, by just a single pull of a lever to fold the 60/40 middle-row seat bench.

The new CX-9 also features improved active noise-cancellation technology, with the Japanese car maker also claiming that up to 24 kg of sound deadening material was used to quiet the SUV’s cabin. With even its windows thickened to 4.8 mm, the interior noise is said to be 12% better than its nine-year old predecessor.

Safety systems have also been reworked for the new CX-9, which gains a full-suite of i-Activsense technologies that notably includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane-Keep Assist, Smart City Brake Support, Distance Recognition Support System and more. Of course, the availability of these will also be determined by various markets.

Mazda has also developed a new signature Machine Grey body colour which it says makes the CX-9 look as if “it was carved out of a single ingot of steel.” Lessons learnt from the careful creation of the brand’s other signature Soul Red colour were used to develop this grey paint. Other colour options will include a Snowflake White Pearl, Sonic Silver, Jet Black, Deep Crystal Blue and Titanium Flash, although the availability of these will depend on individual markets.