It’s only been on the Australian market for just over a year, but the Mazda CX-9 has been lightly updated for the 2018 model year, including new equipment, new technology and a new colour: Soul Red Crystal from the smaller CX-5. Mazda has also worked hard at further decreasing the car’s overall noise and comfort levels, with an enhanced middle seat folding mechanism to increase the passengers’ access to the third row of seating.
With newly available features such as Mazda’s G-Vectoring chassis technology now standard across the range, the CX-9 range is now better equipped than ever. Accompanying the additions is a $1,400 price rise across the range, with the CX-9 range now starting from $43,890 plus on-road costs. The CX-9 continues to compete with the Skoda Kodiaq, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Kluger.
“Although it has barely been a year since the debut of the current CX-9, it is important to Mazda to drive the evolution of this vehicle as our flagship SUV, responding to customers who seek quality, design, driving pleasure, safety, value and passenger comfort,” said Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak.
Mazda’s G-Vectoring chassis technology has been made available across the range. Debuting on the facelifted Mazda 3 and having been adapted to almost all other Mazda models, G-Vectoring subtly alters the engine’s torque levels and monitors the driver’s steering input to enhance the overall driving experience.
When we tested the Mazda CX-9, we couldn’t help but notice just how quiet the car is with its NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels – a real class act and something of real improvement from Mazda, which has struggled with the NVH levels in its cars. However, Mazda disagrees and has tried to further improve the CX-9’s NVH levels and has added a whole multitude of noise countermeasures, including reducing the height difference between the roof moulding and tailgate, as well as adding more noise-insulating material on the back of the boot side trim.
A higher density fiber used in the floor mats better absorbs noise and the insulation layer added to the ceiling liner reduces reverberation of sound. All of these measures has seen noise levels in the CX-9 improve – Mazda claims that the clarity of voices in the second and third rows has been improved by some five percent, making it easier to engage in conversation with your passengers.
Other changes to the Mazda CX-9 include a higher threshold for the autonomous emergency braking system, expanding from 4-30km/h to 4-80km/h. Traffic sign recognition, a system that takes speed limit information off passing speed limit signs, has been added to GT and Azami models and displays the speed limit in the heads-up display so that drivers can see it more effectively.
Mazda has also paid attention to the seats to enhance practicality and comfort for all occupants. The power driver’s seat on Touring models and above now adjusts for base angle adjustment, while the second row’s mechanism has been revised for added usability when using the third row of seats. The back of each second row seat now leans 33 degrees forward when the seat is slid forward, increasing space between the second row seat and rear wheel housing from 60mm to 200mm.
A third-row tether hook has been added to the third row as well, meaning that child seats can be placed in all three rows of the CX-9, though ISOFIX inputs are still limited to the second row. The second row’s seating comfort has been enhanced with the addition of heated outer seats in the GT and Azami models. The electric seat adjustment switches for the front seats now get a powder-chrome finish.
Auto-folding mirrors are now also standard equipment across the CX-9 range, which is the first time that feature has been made available on the CX-9.
The CX-9 is selling well in 2017, with overall sales at 5,576 – a drastic increase of over 380 percent compared to this time last year, though this generation of CX-9 had just launched and supply was very tight.
2018 Mazda CX-9 pricing (plus on-road costs):
Sport FWD: $43,890
Sport AWD: $47,890
Touring FWD: $50,290
Touring AWD: $54,290
GT FWD: $58,790
GT AWD: $62,790
Azami FWD: $60,790
Azami AWD: $64,790
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for news regarding the Mazda CX-9. You can read our review of the CX-9 here.