2016 Mazda CX-9: price, specs and release date

The Mazda CX-9 has been a mainstay for the brand in the USA since 2007 but has yet to make it to these shores. That’s set to change because a brand-new version is bound for Europe aiming to give rivals including the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe a run for their money.

Images from Paultan above and below of a new SUV prototype on the road suggest Mazda’s turned its attention to the ageing CX-9, updating the large seven-seater with an all-new design.

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New Mazda CX-9 styling

The Mazda ‘Koeru’ concept (shown here) could preview some design details of the new CX-9

The design of the new CX-9 should bring it right up to date with the rest of the Mazda range. A sharper front grille and re-designed headlights could mirror the Mazda 6, albeit in a more upright, SUV-proportioned form. Strong creases will adorn the sides of the new car and the rear end should be imposing thanks to the seven-seater’s size.

Design details could take inspiration from the Mazda ‘Koeru’ concept (above) from the Frankfurt Motor Show. Although the overall shape of this futuristic crossover is unlikely to be compatible with the more practical CX-9, interior features and external trim pieces could well be influenced by this well-received show car.

New Mazda CX-9 interior

The new CX-9’s interior could be inspired by both the Mazda 6’s cabin (left) and the ‘Koeru’ concept’s (right)

The outgoing Mazda CX-9 was highly praised for a spacious interior with seating for seven adults. We expect the new model to continue this theme and offer levels of practicality few rivals can match.

Hints have been made that the rearmost seats will be easier to reach thanks to modified internal dimensions, and the interior will receive more up-market trim pieces such as those in the re-vamped Mazda 6.

High levels of safety provision, such as blind-spot monitoring and proximity sensors, should be standard features, and a comprehensive Mazda infotainment system will probably take pride of place on the new dashboard.

New Mazda CX-9 engines

Efforts to reduce weight and improve efficiency will see the old 3.7-litre V6 petrol dropped from the range possibly in favour of a compact 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo unit. Like many large SUVs, the engine will drive the front wheels – four-wheel drive will probably be an optional extra.

The CX-9 has historically sold well in North America and Mazda is targeting this market with its replacement. There is no news yet whether a hybrid drivetrain will be available but, due to the growing popularity of both hybrids and seven-seaters in Europe, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Mazda offered such a system on the CX-9.

New Mazda CX-9 price and release date

It would make sense for Mazda to reveal the new CX-9 at an American motor show considering this car’s main market. This could be Detroit in January, Chicago in February or New York in April. Cars should hit the road towards the end of 2016. Rivals offer cars for prices close to £30,000, so it’s likely the CX-9 will enter the market with a similar price-tag.

It’s also been suggested that 2016 could see a smaller CX-7 arrive based on a similar ‘Skyactiv’ chassis platform. This could be based on a stretched CX-5 with just enough room for a third row of seats – showing Mazda’s continued efforts to tap into the booming SUV market.

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