I know what you're thinking: So what? The last one was a boring, minivan-esque suburban driveway flower. But the latest Mazda CX-9 Crossover, to be introduced in North America sometime late this year or early next, will be all new.
Mazda has officially unveiled the new-for-2013 model, and will debut it at the Australian International Motor Show next month. The new model sports a shift from older Nagare design language to the bolder lines of the newer Kodo style. In North America, the CX-9 will be released as a 2014 model.
There is speculation that Mazda might ditch CX-9's current thirsty 3.7-liter V6 for something along the lines of the more efficient SKYAVTIV four-bangers used in the smaller CX-5 (that's what they apparently have planned for the Mazda6). But the model to be shown at the Aussie show will have the 3.7, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The SKYACTIV 4-cylinder engines used in the CX-5 are the 163 hp 2.0-liter gasser and the 148 hp 2.2-liter diesel. Both run a 14:1 compression ratio — high for a gas engine and low for a diesel. Mazda engineers said it gives the 2.0 more torque and more complete combustion, and makes the diesel run cleaner.
Will new styling and more efficient engines make you want to buy a CX-9? We'll tell you for sure what we think of it when it lands on American shores.
Photo credit: Mazda USA