With almost sporty handling, attractive styling, well-build and high-quality interior, good safety gear and more, the three-row Mazda CX-9 is one of best picks in the class. The model was all-new for the 2016 season and received some important upgrades for the 2020 version. The 2021 Mazda CX-9 should return with minimal interventions mostly in the equipment organization but it should be the last iteration of this second-generation version.
The 2020 CX-9 received several important upgrades to stay fresh ahead of the full redesign expected for the 2022 model year. Mazda upgraded torque and added captain’s chairs for a middle row while received also additional standard equipment, more safety gear and all with a higher base price. The next 2021 version should be a carryover model while the prototype version of the next-generation CX-9 should appear on the roads soon and hit the market as the 2022 version.
2021 Mazda CX-9: Design
The Mazda CX-9 hasn’t changed much visually since the introduction of the second-generation version in 2016 but it is still one of the best-looking models in the class. The CX-9 is designed around the SkyActiv platform while implementation of the KODO styling language makes it appealing to the eye. Thanks to the combination of the sleek and dynamic body lines and contours the model looks attractive and smaller than it is.
The front section of the model wears the brand’s familiar grille form and headlights combined with a nice front bumper design. The profile is sleek and elegant while the rear gets attention with sculpted tailgate, bright trim strip and nicely fitted bumper.
The model comes on the 18-inch wheels in the base version while switches to 20-inch alloys from the Grand Touring trim.
The cabin of the 2021 Mazda CX-9 will also remain the same as the exterior while there will be several changes in the equipment availability. The model comes well-equipped from the base version with standard active safety equipment.
The base CX-9 offers LED headlights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a 7-inch display-based infotainment system six speakers and several active safety systems. An array of standard active crash avoidance systems includes adaptive cruise control, active lane control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Skipping the base trim will add a power liftgate, automatic wipers, leather upholstery, an 8-inch touchscreen and more.
A near the top Grand Touring model will be equipped with 20-inch wheels, a sunroof, ventilated front seats, heated middle row, heated steering wheel, specific aluminum trim inserts, navigation, Bose sound system with 12 speakers and more. This version will also install surround vision cameras.
The top-grade CX-9 will upgrade over the previous trim with the premium leather upholstery, unique trim inserts, and more.
Buyers will like models logically arranged controls and impressive build quality. However, while the first and middle row offers good comfort the last row won’t offer enough space for adults. The cargo capacity isn’t also impressive compared to what rivals offer. The CX-9 provides up to 71.2 cubic feet of the cargo room with all seats folded. Behind the third row, there are 14.4 cubes for the cargo.
2021 Mazda CX-9: Performance, Efficiency
The next 2021 Mazda CX-9 will again rely on the same powertrain as the things stand now but the hybrid option should appear in no so distant future.
A 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 250 hp and up to 320 lb-ft of torque when fed with 93 octane fuel. With 87 octane fuel, it delivers 227 horsepower and torque of 310 lb-ft. The engine works in the combination with the 6-speed automatic transmission. The front-wheel drive is standard with available four-wheel drive.
At the efficiency level, buyers should expect 22 mpg city, 28 highway or 24 mpg combined with the front-wheel drive. With the four-wheel drive, the CX-9 should manage 20 mpg city, 26 highway or 23 combined.
2021 Mazda CX-9: Release, Price
The 2021 Mazda CX-9 should appear at dealers in late 2020. The price was increased for the 2020 version for about $1, 500. The 2021 model should stay close to the current price range with the base model available for about $33, 800. The best-equipped CX-9 should be in mid-$40, 000s.