In a year of really big news – for both Mazda and the larger industry – a freshened CX-9, Mazda’s venerable 3-row crossover, wouldn’t be high on the list of must-sees at any gathering. This may explain why Mazda will pass on the Paris show – which begins at the end of September – to unveil its 2013 CX-9. A lot of competition for media eyeballs will be in Paris, while in Sydney this October most of ‘that’ competition is on the beach and not at the Aussie’s International Motor Show.
From the release issued by Mazda, substantive changes to the new CX-9 are limited to the front and rear fascias, along with enhancements to its interior design and infotainment. The CX-9’s front and rear mods incorporate Mazda’s KODO (Soul of Motion) design theme, which is seen on Mazda’s all-new CX-5 and upcoming Mazda6. From the available photography the design modifications seem well incorporated, but won’t – in and of themselves – move the needle for 3-row prospects. That, we think, can still be done with a demo drive, as the CX-9 remains extremely attractive (winning a comparison test against much newer competition conducted by Motor Trend magazine) for those still wanting to combine an element of ‘sport’ with their ‘utility’.
Interior refinements are appropriate, given the number of years since the CX-9’s initial launch. With the continued inattention on the part of American drivers, the addition of advanced active-safety features (Forward Obstruction Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System and High Beam Control System) should be welcomed by young (distracted) families, America’s seniors and the Braille Institute. And while the 2013 CX-9 will benefit from Mazda’s ‘unique’ brake energy regeneration system, there is no indication that this new(ish) CX-9 will receive a SkyActiv powertrain.
The Australian International Motor Show is open to the public from October 19th thru the 28th.