Mazda's new seven-seat crossover shows the next evolution of Kodo design language and will go on sale in the US in spring, but won't be coming to the UK
Darren Moss
19 November 2015

The all-new Mazda CX-9 crossover has been revealed at the LA motor show, and will go on sale in the US early next year.

The CX-9 shows the next evolution of the Kodo design language, and Mazda says the crossover "moves towards a more premium design execution that befits a three-row mid-size crossover SUV".

It previews how the design will evolve, and acts as a bridge to the next generation of products. Examples include the 3D effect of the grille and the way it runs backwards into the bonnet line and into the shoulder line. The lines can also be tracked inside.

The CX-9, which was 10 years old in its previous generation, is also the last of the old Ford-based models to be replaced. There are some CX-5 components in there, but it’s all put together differently.

Julien Montousse, design director, Mazda North America, said his team kicked off the design of the project, before collaborating with the main design team in Japan.

“It’s a seven-seat passenger vehicle that looks sexy without being over the top. Most cars like this are practical boxes; we wanted to offer more than a practical SUV. People are now looking for a balance between family and self indulgence. 

“There has been a push to move away from all-Ford powertrains and platforms, and show we can do a seven-seat vehicle."

The CX-9 will be sold in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the Middle East.

As for the lack of sales in Europe, Montousse said he "needed to speak to product planning about it”.

“Seven-seaters are usually boxy," he said. "But this car has sophistication; people want to own it. I think it would do well in Europe.”

The seven-seat crossover, which will sit at the very top of Mazda's US range, takes clear styling cues from the Koeru concept car unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in September. The CX-9 also takes on a more aggressive appearance than its predecessor.

Inside, the CX-9 follows the smaller CX-5 and CX-3 in receiving a free-standing infotainment screen on the centre console, operated via a rotary controller, but features more premium materials in keeping with its range-topping position. 


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The car's shape was first hinted at by an official design sketch, revealed earlier this month.

Power for the car comes from a new 2.5-litre 250bhp SkyActiv-G petrol engine, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Mazda says the new engine is the most powerful unit in its line-up. It's based on the same engine currently offered in the Mazda 6 and CX-5 in the US, but is now turbocharged. By comparison, the current CX-9 is offered with a 269bhp 3.7-litre V6.

The CX-9 will also be available with the option of all-wheel drive, and will come with Mazda's i-Activesense suite of safety technologies.

Speaking at the launch of the CX-9 in LA, Mazda boss Masamichi Kogai said: “The US is a key market for Mazda. We will keep this momentum and aim for further growth going forward. A key driver of this growth will be the all-new CX-9.

“Our US team took the lead in planning and designing the model to make sure it meets the needs of consumers here.”

Sales of the CX-9 will start in the US next spring. Mazda says it is targeting sales of around 50,000 units globally for the CX-9, with around 80% coming from North America.

Despite the growing appetite for SUVs and crossovers in Europe, there are currently no plans to sell the new Mazda CX-9 here.

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4 November 2015
Mazda!! You must sell the CX-9 in Europe, as the article states, there is a 'growing appetite' for SUV's. It would compete with the likes of the Kia Sorento/Hyundai Santa-Fe which look to be selling in good numbers. If CO2 outputs are a concern for European markets, the diesels in the range should more than suffice. Mazda may even looked at a higher output version of the 2.2d. I think this would be a missed opportunity. As I've said before, we love my wife's CX-5, but it is just lacking in boot space for our camping trips. Please bring it to Europe Mazda

17 November 2015
The engine and size are similar to the Toyota Venza, Kia Sorento and Ford Edge. If a salesman actually bothered to help me I could have test-driven one and, who knows, have bought one! As it stands no one apparently was interested in making money at the local Mazda dealership so the Toyota won out. The Kia's ride was too stiff and the Edge just didn't do anything outstanding. The Ford also had an annoying pseudo-turn signal stalk that automatically centered itself even if you engaged it for a full turn. If you hit it to make a left turn, for instance, the signal would go but the stalk went back to the center in a very rubbery motion. It was disconcerting and, as Citroen found out, not very many people want to deal with idiosyncrasies from straight-forward bits like the turn signal stalk.

18 November 2015
I don't see why this wouldn't do well in the European market. Diesel has come and gone bring on the Petrol. Based on pictures I would pick the new Volvo XC90.

19 November 2015
The CX-9 sells strongly in Australia and New Zealand. Can't see why it wouldn't sell well in Europe too.

I guess the argument is that it's too large for European roads ... but It's almost exactly the same size as the Audi Q7 and arguably smaller (certainly narrower) than the current Range Rover or the Merc GLS. It can't be much larger than the new XC90 or the X5.

What it does have is a third row where adults can fit in, and still with luggage space behind that. Unlike an RR Sport or X5 where you need your lower limbs amputated after a ride in the back.

And I'll wager it'll also have a lot more zoom-zoom than the average 7 seater. Mazda's on a roll at the moment, it's a shame Europe is missing out.

20 November 2015
I would want one, but i suspect I would end up opening my wallet for a Eurobranded BM Audi Volvo, or most likely a more practical people carrier, for car of this size. they don't have diesel that will drag it around with much gusto, so I can understand Mazda's reticence, its more of a America/ South American fit

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