The 2007 Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV, the one that will replace the popular Mazda MPV people hauler on the North American and Australian markets (as you may have heard, starting this model year, the MPV is discontinued not only in North America, but also in Europe where people, too, start to think that a minivan is not sexy enough to compete with a crossover SUV), will be officially unveiled at the upcoming 2006 New York International Auto Show.
Designed specifically for the North American market (Mazda will sale it in Europe, too) and built on the Ford CD3 Platform, the Japanese seven-seater will combine powerful engine with modern looks.
Sharing its platform with the new 2007 Ford Edge, the new crossover however looks very different replacing the American car’s somewhat dull design with exaggerated wheel arches, and a more streamlined exterior design that seems to be more in line with its smaller sporty hatchbacks.
The different bodywork also makes the car less prone to dings and scratches when negotiating truck lanes or parking in snow. Of course, this is not an off-roader, so the vehicle comes with low-profile light alloy wheels that will make the CX-9 easier to drive on a highway.
Like its smaller sibling, the CX-7 (counter-intuitively, the model with “9” in its index seats only seven and the one with the “7” has only seats for five passengers), the new Mazda CX-9 has been created with young families in mind.
That’s why the new SUV features roomy interior and
metrosexual trendy, not SUV-like, exterior.
The interior seems to be quite ergonomic with its easy to read instruments cluster and easy to reach buttons on the 2DIN entertainment system (mind though that its shape is not standard so replacing it with an aftermarket unit may become a pain). There seems to be enough small compartments to store your belongings including a couple of bottles, although I don’t see an easily accessible tray for a cell phone.
Its huge (for a Japanese crossover) MZI 3.5-liter V6 engine is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. The engine is good for 263 hp and 338 Nm (249 lb-ft) of torque.
It is not really thirsty, that’s why the heavy (it tips the scales at 1955 kg of curb weight) SUV has an EPA fuel economy rating of 24 mpg (9.8 l/100km) on the highway and 18 mpg (13.1 l/100km) in the city.
The CX-9 can be ordered with either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive transmission.
Different trims come with different options, but what comes standard on all of them is safety.
In its press release, Mazda says that the CX-9 will feature standard DSC, RSC and ABS, as well as six airbags, remote keyless access, air conditioning, electrically powered windows and door looks and cruise control.
The new Mazda CX-9 will have to compete against the 2007 Ford Edge, Subaru B9 Tribeca, 2007 Toyota Highlander (and its upcoming replacement) and the GMC Acadia. It is expected to appear in North American showrooms early next year.
Additional photos, prices and full technical specifications will be published later.
See also: 2007 Toyota Highlander Sport SUV