Having been launched in the Malaysian market earlier this month, the 2021 Mazda CX-9 arrives in our market as a fully imported (CBU) model in two variants – the 2WD that starts from RM319,847.40 on-the-road without insurance, and the model featured in this gallery, the AWD that is priced at RM336,215.40.

Like the 2WD version, pricing for this version accounts for the ongoing 50% sales tax exemption that applies to fully imported passenger vehicles, and comes with a five-year, 100,000 km warranty as well as a free maintenance package.

The seven-seater SUV pictured here has been specified with the “Ignite Edition” exterior trim package that brings a gloss black finish to the grille, mirror covers as well as a black metallic finish for its 20-inch aluminium-alloy wheels on 255/50 tyres.

Inside, the seven leather seats come in a shade of burgundy with a contrasting black dashboard, joined by dark gunmetal-look interior trim on the dashboard and door cards, while window switches and the gearlever get gloss black surrounds.

Infotainment continues to be provided by the nine-inch Mazda Connect touchscreen atop the dashboard, carrying over the Mazda Connect update from last year. Smartphone connectivity now includes wireless Apple CarPlay which joins the existing wired Android Auto, plus a wireless device charger.

Other features on the equipment list include automatic, self-levelling LED headlamps, LED tail lamps, automatic wipers, powered tailgate and sunroof, front and rear parking sensors (four each), keyless entry and push-button engine ignition.

Front seats on the 2021 CX-9 are equipped with 10-way power adjustment with memory for the driver, and six-way power adjustment for the front passenger; both get heating and ventilation. Climate control is triple-zone with second-row vents, while the driver gets a 4.6-inch display within the instrument cluster, a colour projected head-up display, available navigation and a 12-speaker Bose audio system.

Powertrain continues to be as before, with a 2,488 cc turbocharged, direct-injection inline-four petrol producing 228 hp at 5,000 rpm and 420 Nm at 2,000 rpm. This AWD variant packs the i-Activ all-wheel drive system, along with Off-road Traction Assist (an extension of traction control for loose, off-road surfaces). Also carried over are G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) and i-Stop automatic stop-start.

Driver assistance systems include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and driver attention alert, while Smart City Brake Support includes pedestrian detection front and rear.

In terms of active and passive safety, the 2021 CX-9 continues to get six airbags (front, side and curtain), ABS, DSC, EBD, Emergency Brake Assist, traction control, Hill Launch Assist, Emergency Stop Signal and Isofix child seat anchors for the outer, second-row seats.

Last but not least, the 2021 Mazda CX-9 is available in Malaysia in a range of six colours – Deep Crystal Blue, Jet Black, Machine Grey, Snowflake White Pearl and Sonic Silver, in addition to the Soul Red Crystal signature finish seen on this example here.