The updated 2013 Mazda CX-9 goes on sale in the U.S. with a slightly higher starting price of $30,580 (including a $795 destination charge), up just a smidge from $30,520 last year. As previewed in Sydney earlier this year, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 wears new sheetmetal to help bring the car in line with the Kodo design language used by the rest of the company's models.
The visual changes comprise a new front grille with a big chrome strip, the exhaust tips change from trapezoids to circles, and Zeal Red and Meteor Gray join the color palette. On the inside, a 5.8-inch multi-information display (MID) becomes standard, and the Bluetooth interface has been updated for better control of streaming music, plus the ability to show text messages on the MID and let drivers touch to send several pre-set replies.
There are no changes underhood, so all versions of the Mazda CX-9 continue to use a 273-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive models return 17/24 mpg (city/highway) while all-wheel-drive versions are rated for 16/22 mpg.
Pricing for the CX-9 Sport is $30,580 with front-wheel drive and $32,170 for all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, three-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, Bluetooth and the aforementioned 5.8-inch MID. A $690 option pack can add a power driver's seat, heated front seats, and heated mirrors.
Stepping up to the CX-9 Touring costs $33,025 with front- and $34,615 with all-wheel drive. It adds leather seats, power front seats, automatic headlights, blind-spot monitoring, and a backup camera and sensors. The $3000 Touring Technology package bundles a Bose 10-speaker sound system, TomTom navigation, a power liftgate, push-button start, a moonroof, and fog lights.
Finally, the top-spec Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring wears a sticker price of $35,580 with front- and $37,170 with all-wheel drive. It adds goodies like 20-inch alloy wheels, exterior chrome trim, an alarm, rain-sensing wipers, automatic HID headlights with LED running lights, blind-spot monitoring, and a power liftgate. There are three option packs for the Grand Touring. The $2435 GT Technology package includes a 10-speaker Bose sound system, TomTom navigation, and a moonroof. The GT Rear Seat Entertainment System costs $3245 and consists of all the Technology package equipment, plus a nine-inch video screen and 11-speaker sound system. Finally, the $100 Towing Prep package (standard on all-wheel-drive models) adds a heavy-duty transmission cooler, larger radiator, and reprogrammed engine computer that increase the crossover's tow rating from 2000 to 3500 pounds.