Mazda's new CX-9 is here, and it's headed to the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney: the automaker previewed the family hauler a month before the refreshed car will take the stage.
The CX-9 is new for 2013, but it's not necessarily what you'd expect--it's a refresh, not a complete redesign. The SUV's 3.7-liter V-6 (which pumps out 273 hp and 250 lb-ft) and six-speed automatic transmission will stay under the hood, and there isn't a Skyactiv-branded piece of powertrain technology in sight. Mazda's all-wheel drive system, which sends 100 percent of torque to the front wheels during normal situations but can send up to 50 percent to the rears in slipperier conditions, is still available.
Still, the trucklet will feature some new design bits and a tweaked interior. The CX-9's fascia moves from the old Nagare design language (famous for its "smiley face" grilles) to the Kodo design language (which debuted on the CX-5 and continues on the Mazda 6). It's instantly familiar, thanks to the chromed trim strip that runs through the headlight assemblies and around the lower perimeter of the grille insert. Mazda hasn't released any photos of the CX-9's rear quarters, but says that designers have also updated the the crossover’s tail end.
Inside, the CX-9’s infotainment system is slightly refreshed, yet it retains the old "Human Machine Interface" setup (which places the display near the top of the dash), and doesn’t adopt the newer TomTom-sourced, double-DIN unit used on the CX-5 and new Mazda 6. The car will also have available collision warning and lane departure warning systems, as well as automatic high beams, at least for the Australian market. Mazda gave the 2013 CX-9 "enhancements in craftsmanship and interior design" as well, although it didn't say exactly what is upgraded.
The 2013 CX-9 will bow at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney on October 18th. Mazda’s North American representatives say the refreshed crossover will likely make its U.S. debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show a month later, and go on sale around the same time.