Mazda's largest model gets some much-needed improvements.
The second-generation Mazda CX-9 arrived in 2017 and there have been few significant changes since. Now, the 2021 Mazda CX-9 is here, and it brings some much-needed improvements to help maintain relevancy in the ever-competitive three-row midsize crossover space.
Since this is just a facelifted rather than an all-new model, not much has changed under the hood of Mazda's largest vehicle where a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder still produces 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium gasoline. These figures drop to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque on regular fuel and power still goes out to front-wheel-drive or optional i-Activ all-wheel-drive through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, Mazda replaced the outdated infotainment system with a standard 10.25-inch version of its latest Mazda Connect infotainment. This new screen includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Mazda Connected Services, and i-Activsense safety features all as standard equipment. Even the base CX-9 Sport comes well equipped with heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, three-zone automatic climate control, six-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, Bluetooth, two front USB inputs, keyless entry, and push-button start.
Stepping up to the Touring trim adds leather and adjustable bench seating in the rear. The Touring Premium Package includes luxury features such as the Bose 12-speaker premium audio, wireless phone charger, moonroof, parking sensors, and second-row sunshades. Buyers of this trim level can also opt for optional captain's chairs in the rear.
New for 2021, a CX-9 Carbon Edition builds on the Touring Premium Package with a fresh Polymetal Gray exterior paint matched with black accents and a red leather interior. The Grand Touring sits above it with more safety features and other niceties while the Signature tops the range with a unique front grille, 20-inch wheels, new quilting and piping on the Nappa leather seats, and Santos Rosewood interior trim.
Pricing for the 2021 Mazda CX-9 Sport starts at $33,960 for FWD or $35,860 with AWD. At the top of the lineup, the CX-9 Signature rings in at $46,605 with standard AWD.
Mazda says the 2021 CX-9 will be available at dealerships starting later this month.