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Midlife facelift for Mazda CX-9

Nose job: No pricing as yet but the new facelifted Mazda CX-9 SUV will go on sale locally in December.

New nose brings Mazda’s large CX-9 seven-seater in line with its newer siblings


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23 Oct 2012

MAZDA’S facelifted CX-9 – which made its world premiere at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney last week – will go on sale in Australia from December 3.

Mazda Australia managing director Doug Dickson told GoAuto the company was still in the process of finalising pricing.

The current series ranges from $44,425 for the Classic two-wheel drive to $61,605 for the all-wheel-drive Grand Touring.

Designed to carry the five-year-old seven-seater through for at least another three years, the restyled nosecone’s adoption of Mazda’s current ‘Kodo’ design language is designed to make the large SUV look even bigger for the US market.

A Mazda insider told us that Americans rated the outgoing CX-9 as being too small for a seven-seater.

The longer and more pronounced bumper adds 7mm to the vehicle’s length, taking it to 5096mm, but width, height and wheelbase are unchanged.

More expensive models gain daytime-running lights, while the tail-lights have been redesigned to refresh the rear end.

Interior changes are minor, with black trim predominating, along with glossy metallic-look inserts to bring a more upmarket ambience, and the instrumentation illumination has been changed from orange to white.

On the tech front, the 2013 CX-9 gains forward-obstruction warning, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and automatic high-beam headlights, as well as an updated infotainment system with voice-recognition, Bluetooth connectivity and Tom Tom satellite-navigation.

However, it misses out on the radar cruise control and autonomous braking system that will be fitted to the forthcoming Mazda6.

Mazda’s vaunted SkyActiv drivetrain and chassis technology will have to wait for the next-generation CX-9, as the facelift continues with the familiar Ford-derived 204kW/367Nm 3.7-litre V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission.

Although 31.6 per cent up on last year’s supply-constrained sales, the CX-9’s sales tally of 3423 to the end of September this year represents only 4.5 per cent of the local Large SUV segment.

Toyota Prado leads the segment (13,239 units for a 17.2 per cent share) from the Ford Territory (11,232 units for 14.6 per cent), Toyota Kluger (10,050 units for 13.1 per cent), Holden Captiva 7 (8314 units for 10.8 per cent), Jeep Grand Cherokee (5822 units for 7.6 per cent) and Mitsubishi Pajero (4824 units for 6.3 per cent).

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