Now that it finally has arrived, buyers are offered four trim variants. The base model Sport kicks off at $42,490 (plus on-roads), and receives 18-inch alloys, MZD connect, navigation, a reversing camera with sensors, LED headlamps and city braking and blind-spot monitoring as standard.
Stepping up into the $48,890 Touring variant adds front fog lamps, a larger 8.0-inch MMI, heated electric seats, leather upholstery and safety equipment like smart city brake and blind-spot monitoring.
The range has grown to four model grades available in a choice of front-drive or all-wheel-drive, but there’s only one engine and transmission combination: a new 2.5-litre turbo petrol matched to a six-speed automatic.
Conspicuous by its absence is the lack of a diesel option, which accounts for more than half of sales of seven-seat and luxury SUVs.
But Mazda says it has invented a petrol engine with diesel-like levels of performance and frugality.
However, by lowering the floor at each outboard second row seat to increase foot room, engineering thinner backrests to improve knee-room and raising the overall height and stretching the wheelbase by 55mm, the new CX-9 doesn’t really feel any less roomy than the car it replaces.
The second row can slide fore or aft to free up some additional room in the third row, and this 5’8” writer can fit comfortably (though snugly) in the CX-9’s rearmost seats.