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Mazda cuts CX-9 consumption

Fettled: Mazda's largest model - and engine - gets economy upgrades for 2011.

Greater efficiency and new wheels for Mazda CX-9, at no extra cost

25 Oct 2010

MAZDA has again lowered the fuel consumption – but not the prices - of its seven-seat CX-9 crossover, which also scores new wheels for 2011.

A year after the 2010 CX-9 arrived with a thirst cut from 13 to 12.2 litres per 100km, another updated CX-9 is now in showrooms with an upgraded 3.7-litre petrol V6 that is a further 0.9L/100km more fuel efficient.

At 11.3L/100km, the CX-9’s 204kW/367Nm DOHC 16-valve S-VT six-cylinder engine is now more frugal than petrol versions of Holden’s top-selling mid-size soft-roader, the Captiva (11.5L/100km), as well as the most economical Ford Territory variant (TX RWD: 11.6L/100km).

In terms of efficiency, Mazda’s largest wagon also moves further ahead of petrol-powered versions of Australia’s most popular medium SUV, Toyota’s Prado (13.0L/100km) and Mitsubishi’s evergreen Pajero (petrol: 13.5L/100km).

However, the big CX-9 continues to use more fuel than Hyundai’s diesel-only Santa Fe (7.5L/100km), the Captiva diesel (up to 8.7 L/100km), Pajero diesel (up to 9.2L/100km), Toyota’s petrol-only Kluger (11.0L/100km) and diesel versions of Australia’s most popular medium SUV, the same brand’s Prado (up to 8.8L/100km).

22 center imageMazda says the Japanese-built, US-oriented CX-9 features upgraded engine combustion control to “optimize efficiency during deceleration and at idle”, plus improvements to its on-demand Active Torque Split (ATS) all-wheel drive system’s differential gear control and reduced transmission friction.

Also contributing to the efficiency gain are lighter new 18 and 20-inch alloy wheels with lower rolling resistance tyres, which are claimed to reduce unsprung weight and enhance ride quality and visual appeal.

Mazda has not followed the lead of Toyota, which lowered its pricing for this month’s facelifted Kluger, with the six-speed auto-only CX-9 remaining available in three petrol specification grades, priced at $50,015 (Classic), $57,015 (Luxury) and $63,133 (Grand Touring).

The CX-9 has shared in this year’s overall SUV sales boom with its best sales since being released in Australia in December 2007 and an 18.5 per cent year-on-year sales increase, yet Kluger sales remain static in 2010.

While the Prado and Captiva have captured a dominant 19.2 and 18.0 per cent slice of the mid-size SUV segment this year, the Kluger’s share is down to 14 per cent from 17.8 per cent at the same point in 2009 - just ahead of the Territory (13.2 per cent), Pajero (7.8 per cent), Santa Fe (5.7 per cent) and CX-9 (4.9 per cent),.

“With over 12,000 sold since its introduction in 2007, the seven-seat Mazda CX-9 has been well-received by Australian families,” said Mazda Australia national marketing manager Alastair Doak.

“We’re sure that these latest improvements will also be welcomed by those families who value style but also like to keep an eye on efficiency.” This year’s updated CX-9, facelifted Kluger and new-look Prado will be joined in the first half of 2011 by a re-engined Captiva range and an overhauled Territory with diesel power for the first time.

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