2022 Mazda CX-9 Improved With Standard AWD And New Trim

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It's now cheaper to drive off in an AWD-equipped CX-9.

Family-friendly SUVs with three rows and space for everyone's paraphernalia don't often evoke any emotion; they serve a functional purpose and they do so well. The Mazda CX-9, however, at least tries to appeal in other ways. It's not only attractively styled, but it handles better than most in this segment and the interior has a premium veneer that feels special. For the 2022 model year, the CX-9 - currently Mazda's largest SUV - is getting even better. Although Mazda's SUV lineup will expand rapidly in the years to come, there's no need to wait for any of those new models as the existing range is superb, if not as practical as Korean alternatives like the Kia Telluride.

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The big news for 2022 is that the CX-9 now comes standard with the brand's i-Activ all-wheel-drive system. This means that the front-wheel-drive derivatives fall away. It does mean that the 2022 CX-9 is more expensive, though. The base Sport starts at $35,280, although this is cheaper than the least expensive 2021 model when it had AWD ($36,060). Following the Sport is the Touring at $37,430 (an extra $2,080 with the Touring Premium Package), the new Touring Plus at $41,660, and the sporty Carbon Edition at $43,580. Topping the range are the Grand Touring ($44,440) and Signature ($47,210) models. The Signature is $405 more than the 2021 version. These prices exclude a destination charge of $1,225.

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As before, all CX-9s are powered by the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium gas. The mid-range Touring Plus is a new addition to the lineup and adds features like ventilated front seats, 20-inch black metallic alloy wheels, and a gloss black front grille. Other models retain their generous list of features. The base Sport includes a 10.25-inch color display, heated front seats, radar cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring. The top-spec Signature has heated second-row captain's chairs, Nappa leather in the first two rows, and Santos Rosewood interior trim. The 2022 CX-9 arrives at dealers this winter.

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