Thanks in large part to its lighter SKYACTIV platform and turbocharged motor, the midsize model achieves ratings of 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway/25 mpg combined, when equipped with front-wheel drive. These numbers make the new CX-9 the most efficient in its class. That class, to be specific, is for non-hybrid, three-row, midsize crossovers.
Should all-wheel driver performance be your thing, the CX-9 still manages excellent numbers at 21 city, 27 highway, and 23 combined mpg. By comparison, the second generation CX-9 is 32 percent more efficient than the first generation.
“SKYACTIV Technology once again demonstrates there’s no need to compromise between driving enjoyment and frugality — even when it comes to hauling around your family,” said Robert Davis, senior vice president of U.S. operations. “CX-9 elevates our brand with a host of new, advanced technology and luxury features but stays true to our company principles: lightweight, fun to drive, stylish and purposeful.”
Under the CX-9’s sleeker hood is a new SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque (on 93 octane fuel). Though down 21 horses from the previous CX-9, the extra torque and 200 pounds of weight reduction (300 in AWD spec) mean greater performance and nimbler handling. Unique to Mazda’s new engine is its Dynamic Pressure Turbo with a cooled EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) to lower engine temperatures without adding extra fuel.
Mazda’s optional predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive can sense a loss in traction by measuring road and vehicle conditions more than 200 times per second via 27 sensors, which is approximately the same sensitivity as a vulnerable impala taking a sip of water in the savanna.
On a more subjective note, the new CX-9 is one of the more handsome models on the market, so the complement of leading fuel economy figures should help the crossover sell quite well come this summer.