Mazda’s CX-9 SUV promises new levels of luxury and connectivity when it goes on sale in early 2021.

Fascinatingly, the updated Azami LE range-topper, can be optioned with a second-row ‘Captain’s Seat’. The two second-row seats are separated by a central console. Each has individual electric adjustment, as well as heating and ventilation functions.

Walk-in access to the third seat row uses a one-touch system, with the second-row seat automatically returning to position once occupants have moved in or out.

Mazda Azami and Azami LE grades have quilted Nappa leather upholstery in the first and second seat rows.

Outside, both models have a new design 20-inch alloy wheels designed to complement the Titanium Grey metallic front grille finish and larger rear tailpipes.

Mazda CX-9 Azami and Azami LE have range-wide connectivity and technology updates.

The GT SP’s exterior theme includes a dark gunmetal grille design and black mirror caps, with black 20-inch alloy wheels completing the look.

Inside, the GT SP has black interior decoration panels, red stitching highlights to the steering wheel, door trims, centre console and armrests. Burgundy leather seat upholstery is a fascinating feature.

Mazda CX-9 has Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 10.25-inch colour screen. Qi wireless smartphone charging is standard on GT models and above. The move to digital rather than analogue signalling sharpens both screen resolution and audio sound quality.

Mazda’s Polymetal Grey joins Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Sonic Silver Metallic, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Machine Grey Metallic, Titanium Flash Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica and Jet Black Mica on the updated CX-9’s exterior colour chart.

Black cloth upholstery is standard on Sport grade, with black leather available on Touring and GT models. Natural Stone and Beige leathers are also available on GT, while Pure White and Walnut Brown Nappa leathers are available on Azami and Azami LE. Rich Burgundy leather upholstery adorns the CX-9 GT SP.

All use 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine with 170kW of power, with 420Nm torque peak available from 2,000rpm. Mazda’s i-stop system stops the engine at rest, restarting it again once brake pedal pressure is relaxed, thus maximising efficiency.

A six-speed automatic is used in all and there’s a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Touring and higher model grades have paddle shifters for control of the automatic.

Official combined fuel consumption is 8.4L/100km for front-wheel drive variants and is significantly higher at 9.0L/100km for the all-wheel drives.

“The Mazda CX-9 is rightfully considered our flagship model,” said Mazda Australia Managing Director, Vinesh Bhindi.

“With these latest updates, we introduce the Azami LE with its luxurious ‘Captain’s Seat’ seating configuration and the sporty GT SP with its bespoke dark aesthetic highlights, to further strengthen its road presence.

“Mazda is also proud to deliver the limited-edition 100th Anniversary CX-9 to the latest specification.

“Combined with several key connectivity and infotainment updates, as well as improved equipment levels and some fresh exterior and interior options, the updated CX-9 is a strong statement for the Mazda brand as we enter 2021,” he said.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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