Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Time for a Mid-Life Nip and Tuck; This Reinvigorated Load-Lugger Is Spacious, Quiet, Flexible and Well Appointed, Reveals Grant Edwards

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Time for a Mid-Life Nip and Tuck; This Reinvigorated Load-Lugger Is Spacious, Quiet, Flexible and Well Appointed, Reveals Grant Edwards

Article excerpt

REINVIGORATED leading up to the new year, Mazda has tweaked its large load-lugging sports utility vehicle.

With the Japanese car makeras mid-size CX-5 enjoying strong growth a and set to get stronger next year, once a brawnier petrol is added to the range a the larger CX-9 has been updated to keep it competitive in the genre.

The starting price is up by $100 to $44,525 for the base two-wheel drive, but mid-spec offerings are down by $1345.

Most would struggle to pick the difference between this model and its predecessor, although the exterior has been massaged to include new bumpers front and rear, while the grille has been updated to incorporate the new awinga logo.

Nothing has changed under the bonnet, with the seven-seater powered by a V6 engine, while matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Comfort

Spacious and quiet, all grades from Classic, Luxury and tree-topping Grand Touring are generous in feel and specification.

New piano black finishes on the dash and Tom Tom sat nav functionality add some class. Range-topping models have suede and red stitching on parts of the door trim and seats with black leather trim. Seven adults can be accommodated, although the third row has limited head- and leg room.

While three zone air-con is standard, there is no vent in the back for those who draw the third row short straw. The pews up front are nicely supportive, and there is ample steering wheel and seat adjustment for the driver.

On the road

Only one engine variant is available across the range: the hairy-chested V6 mated to a six-speed automatic.

The bent six does a good job of hauling the large SUVas frame and is happy to rev when prompted. Given the proliferation of steering wheel paddle shifters nowadays, the CX-9 feels somewhat naked without them a although you do have the option of manual changes by throwing the shifter across and shunting it backward or forward. …

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