From their engaging, confidence-inspiring driving dynamics to their standout KODO—Soul of Motion design, every Mazda is as much a joy to look at and sit in as it is to drive. The all-new Mazda CX-9 midsize crossover SUV is no exception, evidenced by it earning a spot on Car and Driver magazine’s first-annual 10Best Trucks and SUVs list.
CX-9 has been lauded for its upscale design, rewarding and surefooted driving performance and innovative engineering. It is the final vehicle in Mazda’s lineup to undergo a full redesign, implementing lightweight, efficient SKYACTIV Technology and KODO—Soul of Motion design. Among its most notable new features is its turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine, which produces a hearty 310 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm. Housed in a vehicle weighing approximately 250 lbs. less than its predecessor, the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T helps CX-9 achieve a 25-percent improvement in combined EPA-estimated fuel economy versus its predecessor.
CX-9 puts power to the ground via its predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive system that can adjust power output to each wheel more than 200 times per second to maintain optimum grip. Mazda’s i-ACTIV all-wheel drive integrates the functions of 27 sensors—including thermometers, wheel sensors and even windshield wipers—to accurately paint a picture of road conditions to make sure the driver and passengers feel surefooted even when road conditions become suboptimal.
Last but not least, Mazda introduced the new top Signature trim level on CX-9, which further bolsters the crossover beyond the previous top-tier CX-9 Grand Touring trim level. CX-9 Signature comes exclusively with Auburn-colored Nappa leather seating surfaces, real aluminum whose design takes inspiration from Japanese swords and rosewood interior trim that comes from premium guitar-maker Fujigen.
Mazda CX-9 joins the compact Mazda3 sedan and hatchback and MX-5 Miata soft top and MX-5 RF retractable fastback as 2017 Car and Driver awardees. Mazda3 and MX-5 were announced as winners in the car categories during November’s Los Angeles Auto Show.
Additionally, at the L.A. Auto Show, CX-9 was announced as one of the top-three finalists for the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year by an independent organization of 54 media jurors from around the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The winner will be announced January 9 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
For more information about the Car and Driver 10Best awards, visit CarAndDriver.com.