Mazda announced this week that it will reveal a new CX-9 on November 20th at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The outgoing CX-9 is an aging design that was first introduced in 2007. It is the last remaining model that was created during Mazda’s partnership with Ford. Although it has had two facelifts and the engine was changed shortly after introduction, the CX-9 is, for the most part, an almost ten-year-old platform.
We don’t have any knowledge of the details of this new three-row crossover. However, it is safe to say that it will follow Mazda’s new Skyactiv design philosophy that incorporates efficiency throughout the entire vehicle. The bar is now quite high. The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander are both Top Safety Pick Plus rated vehicles that have strong V6 engines and excellent interior designs tilted heavily toward families. The Nissan Pathfinder went to great lengths to become a strong third party, and Subaru has announced a new Crossover in this size as well, which it will build in the U.S.
We assume that Mazda will keep its V6, but we would not be shocked if a 2.0 to 2.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder was the powerplant. Also, we assume Mazda will stick with a geared automatic transmission, but if it wants to stay ahead of the MPG race, Mazda would be wise to be bringing a CVT transmission to market.
Styling and handling will be strong points for the new CX-9. Our prediction is that it will be a favorite of reviewers and will boost Mazda’s sales.