Bermaz Motor has updated the Mazda CX-9 for 2021, with notable changes to the three-row SUV’s styling and equipment. As before the fully-imported (CBU) model comes in two variants – 2WD and 4WD – both with nearly identical specifications, with the only difference being the presence of an all-wheel drive system.

Pricing-wise, the 2WD goes for RM319,847.40 on-the-road without insurance, while the 4WD will set you back RM336,215.40. Both prices take into account the ongoing 50% sales tax exemption for CBU cars and are inclusive of a five-year/100,000 km warranty and free maintenance.

In terms of styling revisions, the CX-9 gets an “Ignite Edition” appearance package as standard, which adds on a gloss black grille and side mirrors, complemented by 20-inch black metallic aluminium alloy wheels.

The CX-9 is available in a choice of six colours, with the brand’s trademark Soul Red Crystal joining existing hues: Deep Crystal Blue, Jet Black, Machine Grey, Snowflake White Pearl and Sonic Silver; these are offered for both variants.

Moving inside, you’ll find burgundy-coloured leather seats that contrast the black interior trim found on the dashboard, door panels and handle bezels. The nine-inch Mazda Connect touchscreen infotainment system from last year’s update is still here, but there’s now wireless Apple CarPlay support to go along with the existing wired Android Auto. Also new here is a wireless charger and paddle shifters for the SkyActiv-Drive six-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

The auto gearbox is paired with the familiar SkyActiv-G 2.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that continues to provide 228 hp at 5,000 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. It’s front-wheel drive with the 2WD variant, while the 4WD option gets Mazda’s i-Activ all-wheel drive system.

The latter also comes with Off-road Traction Assist, which is an extension of the SUV’s Traction Control System (TCS) to help out the driver when going over uneven terrain. Other carried over items from 2020 include the i-Stop idling system and Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus).

As for the rest of the kit list, it’s pretty much the same as before, with both variants equipped with 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.

2021 Mazda CX-9 2WD spec sheet (left), 4WD (right); click to enlarge

There’s also powered front seats (10-way adjustable with a memory function for the driver, six-way adjustable for the front passenger) with ventilation and heating functions, a 4.6-inch instrument cluster display, a coloured, windshield-projected head-up display, triple-zone climate control with second-row vents, a navigation function and a 12-speaker Bose sound system.

The seven-seat SUV also retains the same safety kit as before, including 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 the same 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 comes with pedestrian detection for both the front and rear.