YOU could call it the quiet success story of the Mazda range but the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-9 takes this seven seater crossover to a whole new level in every aspect.
The first thing that strikes most people is the way Mazda’s tech gurus have used thick sheet metal and sound absorbing materials to provide a surprisingly noise-free ambience for the upgraded CX-9.
However, that is only the start of what is a full top-to-tail reinvention, for the new generation model.
More than that, Mazda has produced something of a classic three-card trick, yes the CX-9 is a perfect seven seater family vehicle but it also has all of the flair of the marque’s zoom zoom essence.
The Limited CX-9 provided for the test drive, one of three models, really does offer something extra.
Extras like 20-inch alloy wheels, 12 speaker premium audio system, a remote operated tailgate, privacy glass, heated exterior mirrors and a sun roof add some final gloss to what is a highly attractive package.
The active-sense safety package includes Mazda radar cruise control, a distance recognition support system, adaptive LED headlights, smart brake support, forward obstruction warning, a lane keep assist system, and driver attention alert.
A head-up windscreen driver notification system shows your speed and also alerts you if you have strayed over the boundaries of the road or track on which you are driving.
It is worth noting that all these extras come on top of a pretty useful basic package which has things like automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, three-zone climate air conditioning, a voice-activated infotainment system, a reversing camera as well as trailer sway control and hill start assist.
There is a whole new engine for the 2016 CX-9 range. This is a 2.5 litre turbo petrol engine that has ample power wtih 70kW at 5000rpm but also has been developed to provide 420Nm of torque at 2000rpm, about the same as a conventional V8. It has a six-speed automatic transmission and fuel consumption has been kept down to 8.8 l/100kms.
Before we run out of room, let’s mention the stylish leather interior, a sporting and sophisticated exterior design, including a prominent three-dimensional grille and a sleek upper body in sync with Mazda’s Kodo “soul of motion” concept.
Mazda has produced a work of art with new suspension that provides ride stability and comfort. This is enhanced by the recalibrated electric power steering which keeps the manoeuvrability that customers expect.
Quiet, comfortable, stylish, and safe, the CX-9 limited meets all the practical needs of its target market and offers them something more.
Originally published by the Gisborne Herald, written by John Jones