Production of 2017 Mazda CX-9 Starts in Japan
Mazda’s Biggest Crossover Debuts 2.5L Skyactiv Turbo
Mazda has endeared itself to enthusiasts with its combination of a singular focus on a rewarding driving experience, while remaining affordable for the unwashed masses. One would think with the industry’s tectonic shift toward crossovers that small manufacturers like Mazda would simply be bowled over and forced to produce anonymous blandsmobiles. Quite the opposite. Mazda has worked tirelessly to meet market demand for crossovers with the CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9. The latter, once the elder statesman of the Mazda lineup, is finally getting a much-needed redesign, with greater focus on fuel economy and driving dynamics. Production of the highly anticipated 2017 model has just started in Mazda’s Ujina No. 1 plant in Hiroshima, Japan.
The CX-9 also marks Mazda’s wholesale shift to four-cylinder engines. The last-generation CX-9 was the last-remaining V-6 in the lineup, a Ford-based 3.7L unit. The new Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine represents the first application of turbocharging to its line of Skyactiv GDI engines. In the CX-9, the engine produces 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque on premium fuel, and 227 hp and the same amount of torque on regular unleaded. Although peak horsepower is down between 23 and 46 hp over its predecessor V-6, torque is up 40 lb-ft over a much wider powerband, making for what Mazda claims is a more rewarding driving experience and delivering more power under “real-world” driving conditions. The new CX-9 will be in U.S. dealerships starting spring 2016.