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2020 Mazda CX-9 Update: Specs, Price, Release Date + More

The biggest changes you should know about to the updated three-row SUV.

Mazda is giving the 2020 CX-9 SUV some meaningful updates that should enhance its appeal with buyers. In addition to more standard features, Mazda's made improvements to driving performance to further distinguish the CX-9 from the competition. The 2020 Mazda CX-9 is priced from $34,835 with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive adds $1,900. As for its release date, expect the three-row SUV to be available at dealerships sometime this fall. Keep reading to learn the seven biggest changes coming to the 2020 Mazda CX-9.

Standard Advanced Safety Features

Mazda's i-Activsense driver-assistance technologies used to be an option on the base Sport trim. That changes for the 2020 Mazda CX-9, all trims of which now comes with it standard. That means you now get adaptive cruise control, an upgraded automatic emergency-braking system, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert at no extra cost.

More Maximum Torque

When Mazda originally introduced its 2.5-liter turbo four a few years back, it made 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on premium unleaded fuel. Using regular gas dropped output to 227 horsepower but kept torque unchanged. For 2020, the engine has received an update and now makes 320 lb-ft on premium; the horsepower number carries over unchanged.

Second-Row Captain's Chairs

You can still get a seven-seat version of the 2020 Mazda CX-9 if you stick with lower trims. The moment you step up to the Signature trim, though, the SUV becomes a six-seater thanks to newly standard second-row captain's chairs. It's the first time the Mazda CX-9 has offered them, and they're only available on the Touring with Premium package, Grand Touring, and Signature—and the seats are standard and heated on the latter two models.

Available Hands-Free Liftgate

A power liftgate is a common feature among three-row SUVs, but not all of them have hands-free ones. Now, the updated 2020 Mazda CX-9 gets a hands-free liftgate standard on the Grand Touring and Signature grades, meaning you don't have to worry about fumbling with key fobs when you need to open the cargo area with your hands full.

Increased Off-Road Abilities

Mazda has enhanced the traction control system on the refreshed 2020 Mazda CX-9 with the addition of Off-Road Traction Assist on all-wheel drive models. This feature increases brake force on wheels without traction and allows wheels that still have traction to put down more torque, so the SUV can distribute power more evenly. G-Vectoring Control Plus, which first debuted on the 2019 Mazda CX-5, comes standard, too, smoothing out the ride and improving steering response.

More USB Ports for Charging

Grand Touring and Signature models now get extra USB ports in the third row, meaning there's no need to fight over who gets to charge on long drives. You can also get the extra USB ports on the CX-9 Touring if you opt for the Premium package, which bundles them with a 12-speaker Bose audio system.