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Mazda slashes CX-9 fuel consumption

Petrol prowess: The only model to come close to Mazda's CX-9 fuel economy is the similarly named XC-90 from Volvo.

Fuel use cut by as much as a quarter for new Mazda CX-9

4 Mar 2016

MAZDA's CX-9 large SUV has taken a significant step up in fuel economy for its second-generation, with a weight reduction of up to 160kg and a smaller, more efficient engine accounting for as much as a 28 per cent cut to fuel use.

With a downsizing of its 3.7-litre V6 petrol to a smaller turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder, the new CX-9 has the greatest gains when in front-wheel drive configuration, which now uses 8.4 litres per 100km on the combined cycle or 11.0L/100km about town – improvements of 24 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

For the four-wheel drive version, combined use is down 21 per cent to 8.8L/100km and exactly a quarter less in the urban test to 11.4L/100km.

Range-wide on average, those improvements represent just under a 25 per cent increase in fuel economy – the best in its class says the Japanese car-maker.

With only one other four-cylinder petrol rival in the seven-seat SUV segment, the CX-9 trumps all the key players for economy, including the Nissan Pathfinder (9.9L/100km) and Toyota Kluger (10.2L/100km), which both have 3.5-litre six-cylinders.

Fiat does offer a 2.4-litre four-pot version of its Freemont with an economy figure of 9.8L/100km, but customers have to step up to the 3.6-litre V6 Crossroad variant to get seven seats, increasing fuel use to 10.4L/100km.

Only the Volvo XC90 T6 comes close to the Mazda with a figure of 8.5L/100km with its turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder, but at $93,950 before on-road costs, the all-paw-only Volvo is likely to be significantly more expensive than the CX-9.

Land Rover's Discovery Sport is also on offer with an efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine but seven seat-versions are only available with diesel power.

Pricing for the new Mazda large SUV range is yet to be confirmed but it is not expected to deviate greatly from the $43,770 starting price of the current model, when the first examples arrive in Australia mid-year.

At its core, the second-gen CX-9 uses the company's newest SkyActiv-G engine, which has direct injection, a dual-valve Dynamic Pressure turbo and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to produce 170kW at 5000 rpm and 420Nm of torque from 2000 rpm.

In addition to the advances in Mazda engine tech, the new model also features lightweight SkyActiv construction techniques found in other models, i-Activsense active safety systems, and i-Activ off-road technology for all-paw variants.

Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said the new model would continue to attract loyal customers with its range of features and improved fuel economy.

“The fuel economy numbers alone position brand new Mazda CX-9 as a class-leading option for buyers wanting a large, seven-seater, petrol SUV,” he said.

“The CX-9 has always been very highly regarded we think that even more SUV buyers will want to acquaint themselves with this car once they see the brand new model in the metal. There’s a lot to like in this vehicle.”

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