Mazda CX-9 2021 Review
There can be absolutely no doubt that Mazda is out to redefine their brand and what they’re capable of. They’ve gone from being a left-field mass market brand, to what is arguably the new gold standard for automotive design, both inside and out. Along the way, they’ve also decided to shed any misconceptions that they want to compete as a mass market brand, increasing the complexity and refinement of their products to the point where they can quite nearly compete with European luxury models.
While the market may not realize it yet, this means that Mazda has earned some of the eye-watering prices that their models demand. Their current flagship model is the Mazda CX-9 – a three row, seven seater SUV that comes in two variants locally with a singular powertrain available.
This Mazda CX-9 may be regarded as the second of its kind, although there was such a large gap in development between the two that you can hardly see the similarities except in the broad strokes. First launched here back in 2017, the Mazda CX-9 was available as a fully-imported product from Japan with Australian specifications. In 2018 there was a technical update introduced, with the transition to Malaysian specifications, and subsequent updates being in 2020 and 2021.
Mazda CX-9 2021 Specifications
There is but a singular engine powering the Mazda CX-9 range available in Malaysia, and it happens to be the most powerful powertrain that Mazda produces. It’s known as the SKYACTIV-G 2.5 turbo, and as the name suggests it’s a turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol engine that produces a good 228 hp and 420 Nm of torque.
Both of the variants come packaged with a six-speed conventional automatic transmission, though one is naturally front-wheel drive while the other is all-wheel drive. The latter gets Mazda’s i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system that has some intelligent shuffling of torque to maintain traction in tricky situations.
The all-wheel drive variant also has off-road traction assist that takes your regular electronic traction control functionality and bumps it up a notch to handle rougher roads. Both variants get G-Vectoring Control plus, Mazda’s innovative system that shifts weight forward in turns for more balance and precision in steering.
Dimensionally the two models are identical, with the overall length coming it at 5,075 mm, width at 1,969 mm, and height at 1,747 mm. The wheelbase is a stout 2,930 mm, with a ground clearance of 220 mm and a near-as-makes-no-difference two-tonne kerb weight.
Mazda CX-9 2021 Exterior
You wouldn’t be blamed if you took more than a minute to take in the Mazda CX-9 from the outside. It’s a car that manages to be both masculine and feminine in different, complementary ways. The SUV form is most evident here in its proportions, but the design cues and elements from Mazda’s design language is liberally applied, creating an incredibly handsome product from any angle.
The wheels measure 20-inches in diameter at each corner, finished in black metallic. LED front headlights, daytime running lights, fog lights, and rear combination tail lights provide a very modern look. The radiator grille and door pillar garnish are black in colour for a sportier look, with body-coloured door handles for better blending.
Mazda CX-9 2021 Interior
As captivating as the outside is, the interior of the Mazda CX-9 is also a fantastic place to be. Mazda doesn’t try to go particularly wild with their interior colours, though in this case the seat material is a burgundy leather that tastefully offsets the rest of the interior. The dashboard isn’t the most modern design that was unveiled with the Mazda 3, but it is still composed of excellent soft-touch materials and incredible fit and finish.
Mazda CX-9 2021 Safety Features
Safety features are common across the two variants of the Mazda CX-9. Both variants get adaptive LED headlights, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver attention alert, and Smart City Brake Support (autonomous emergency braking) for both the front and rear – inclusive of pedestrian detection too. Radar cruise control is packaged as standard, a feature that isn’t common even on European products at this price point.
Mazda CX-9 2021 Strengths & Weakness
You can’t talk about Mazda products without the issue of their price coming up. For the most part this is a perception issue – and one that’s mostly local as well. In reality, consumers all over the world are taking to Mazda models with surprising optimism, and many automakers regard this Hiroshima born-and-bred company to be a benchmark.
In that same light, you get a pretty fantastic car for the price. The Mazda CX-9 has many of the fun-to-drive elements that its smaller siblings come packaged with from the drawing board, but it also boasts refinement and build quality that puts it on par with any German SUV. Add in the fact that it is capable of seating seven and you can start to see how that price is justified.
Mazda CX-9 2021 Price
The cost of entering Mazda CX-9 ownership doesn’t come cheap, being the flagship model of the Mazda range and priced as appropriately as you would expect. The more economical of the two variants is the Mazda CX-9 2.5T 2WD, which will set you back RM 319,847.40. The other variant is the Mazda CX-9 2.5T AWD, which goes for a heftier RM 336,215.40. These prices are already inclusive of the current 50% sales tax exemptions, and are also packaged with a five-year, 100,000 kilometre warranty and free maintenance inclusive of labour.
Mazda CX-9 2021 Features
Features is definitely something the Mazda CX-9 can shout about. Besides adaptive cruise control – always a welcome function – you get the Mazda MZD Connect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto readiness on a nine-inch screen, a Bose 12-speaker sound system, six USB ports across three rows, and a 360-degree around view monitor. Keyless entry and start are provided as standard, as is Mazda’s i-Stop idling technology and wireless charging. 10-way power adjustable driver seats and 6-way power adjustable front passenger seats are also present.
Mazda CX-9 2021 Fuel Consumption
While both variants of the Mazda CX-9 come with the same turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol powertrain, the different drive systems in each contribute to significant differences in fuel consumption. The CX-9 2.5T 2WD sips a little less fuel at 8.8 litres per 100 kilometres, or 11.4 kilometres per litre. In contrast, the CX-9 2.5T AWD will consume 9.2 litres per 100 kilometres, or 10.9 kilometres per litre.
For those unaware four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive drivetrains add additional parasitic losses due to the increased roiling resistance from the additional driveshafts and differentials connected to the gearbox. This is why many all-wheel drive systems will decouple one axle as you drive in normal situations in order to improve efficiency to an extent, but the extra weight and drag will remain.
It’s also worth noting that the CX-9 comes with a turbocharged engine, and that naturally means that the fuel consumption figures quoted here are contingent on your driving being relatively sedate and smooth. Hard acceleration and sustained high speed cruising will see you consuming a lot more fuel than you would expect, especially as boost requires additional fuel to produce power and keep cool.
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- Body Type: SUV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 2488 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 7
- Price: RM 280,585 - RM 282,520
20 Oct 2017
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During the early days of SkyActiv Technology, Mazda engineers were very adamant about not going the path of turbocharging its petrol engines. The firm’s persistence on natural aspiration has produced engines that are not only supremely linear in their behaviour, but also impressively efficient in the real world.View full review
User Review of Mazda CX-9
Big but beautiful.