Updated Mazda CX-5 Brings Turbo Engine and Luxury Trim
It’s been less than two years since the second-generation CX-5 went into production and Mazda is already rolling out an update. While it’s not exactly a facelift design-wise, the upgrade adds a more powerful turbo engine and two new trims with more premium features. And higher prices obviously.
Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy
The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.
Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.
2017 Mazda CX-9 – Driven
The Mazda CX-9 has been around for a decade now, having debuted for the 2007 model year. It established itself as a fun-to-drive three-row crossover with a chipper attitude. A facelift in 2010 and again in 2013 kept the first generation CX-9 looking fresh, but it wasn’t until the 2016 model year that things got serious. Mazda’s previous split from Ford meant it could develop its own platform and engines for the crossover, along with reinventing its design language. The result is a stunningly gorgeous vehicle that looks far more upscale than its price tag demands.
Things have remained unchanged for the 2017 model year and its design remains fresh. I was understandably excited to hear Mazda was sending me a 2017 CX-9 to sample for a week. The idea of a beautiful three-row crossover with AWD and an efficient yet turbocharged engine was an enticing one.
The concept of building a fun-to-drive crossover isn’t new, but it’s harder than you might imagine. The taller ground clearance makes for a top-heavy ride and the extra length and seats brings added weight that eats horsepower. Mazda as worked to quell these issues in the CX-9 by removing weight and developing a suspension that could handle well. In the AWD model, 287 pounds has been removed from the first-generation model and the suspension was retuned. The CX-9 uses MacPherson struts up front with a multi-link coil spring setup.
Powering the CX-9 is Mazda’s new 2.5-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder turbo. It might make 23 horsepower less that the previous V-6, but it generates an impressive 40 pound-feet more torque. Best of all, it’s far more efficient. So how does all this work in practice? Keep reading to find out.
Continue reading for the full driven review.
Launched for the 2006 model year, the Mazda CX-9 has soldiered on relatively unchanged until now. The facelifts that Mazda rolled out in 2010 and 2013 brought only minor changes that included new front grilles, updated headlamps, and restyled bumpers. In 2008, Mazda ditched the 3.5-liter V-6 in favor of a 3.7-liter unit, but the larger engine, the only survivor of the brand’s partnership with Ford, has remained unchanged to this day. All told, the current CX-9 is long in the tooth and is long overdue for an overhaul. Fortunately, the much needed redesign has arrived at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show and will hit dealerships for the 2017 model year.
Previewed by the Mazda Koeru concept, the second-generation CX-9 received the company’s Kodo design language and a high-quality interior with premium materials. The engine under the SUV’s long hood is also new. Horsepower is down compared to the previous model, but the new SkyActiv unit pumps significantly more torque to the wheels and returns better fuel economy.
Mazda says that the new CX-9 represents a "capstone for the new generation of Mazda cars and crossovers and a high-end model indicating what is to come." We’ll find out whether that’s true or not in the second quarter of 2016, when the SUV is scheduled to hit dealerships. U.S. sales will commence this spring. In the meantime, be sure to check the review below for all the important details about the new CX-9.
Updated 03/17/2016: Mazda announced prices for the new CX-9 SUV which will be put on sale at dealerships nationwide in late-spring 2016. When compared to the previous model, the new CX-9 is $1,535 more expensive. Check out the "Prices" section to learn more about how much you’ll have to pay for the new SUV.
Continue reading for my speculative review of the 2016 Mazda CX-9.
2016 Mazda CX3 Review
Building crossover vehicles comes much more naturally to Mazda than SUVs. The company got out of the compact-truck game long ago, and its first SUV was the Ford Escape-based Tribute. As car-based crossovers became more popular, Mazda applied its sporty-car expertise to the template and the results have been impressive. The CX-5 and CX-7 blend the fun-to-drive aspects of Mazda’s sedans with the all-weather confidence and utility of SUVs to great effect.
Scaling things down doesn’t hurt the formula at all. Compact crossovers are currently where it’s at, marketing-wise, so Mazda has taken things down a notch with the introduction of the CX-3 for 2016. As the name suggests, it fits into the lineup below the CX-5, and offers nimbler reflexes and a more affordable package that doesn’t feel cheap. Less weight and more compact dimensions are the quickest ways to improved handling, and the CX-3 delivers. It’s probably the closest to “fun to drive” that a crossover’s going to get this side of the Nissan Juke NISMO.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mazda CX3.
Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.
I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”
This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.
So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.
Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo
Mazda’s “sixth-generation” lineup has resulted in some fun new products, like the 2016 Mazda CX-5, third-gen Mazda3 and the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-3, and rounding out the revamped lineup will be the 2016 Mazda CX-9. A sharp-eyed car spotter recently caught the new three-row, mid-size crossover testing along the very roads I just recently got to drive the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata on.
The video only provides a brief look at Mazda’s family friendly crossover before the videographer was spotted and the Mazda driver pulled a U-turn. Despite the camouflage and camera shake, it’s easy to see that the CX-9 will get plenty of Kodo design cues, which was completely expected. The overall shape appears to be about the same as the current CX-9, but the front end looks much better than the bullet-nosed design found on the updated (2010-2015) model.
By the time the new CX-9 hits showrooms, it will be close to 10 years old. With the new 2016 Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander leading the way, the current crop of three-row CUVs is better-looking than ever, but if Mazda’s recent introductions are any indication, the 2016 CX-9 will be a great reason for customers to consider looking at Mazda.
Mazda has yet to say when the 2016 CX-9 will debut, but the L.A. Auto Show is just a couple months away.
Mazda has just released the first details on its mildly refreshed BT-50 mid-size pickup truck. The BT-50 is Mazda’s global pickup that competes with the Toyota Hilux and Chevrolet Colorado. Based on the global Ford Ranger, the BT-50 carries all the Ranger’s mechanicals but provides truck buyers with what Mazda calls, an “active lifestyle vehicle.”
In other words, the BT-50 has a sportier style than the Ranger.
This marks the first major refresh for the Mazda truck since its introduction back in 2011. Designers were modest in the restyling, only concentrating on the front grille, headlights and taillights. The interior also features a new feel that Mazda says is higher quality than before. A rear-view camera also makes its appearance for the first time on the truck.
More specifically, the grille now has Mazda’s current corporate design, with the large horizontal bar backing the Mazda logo. Smoked headlights now have a more premium look. Similarly, the taillights share the smoked look, imparting a more premium feel to the exterior. Finally, a new set of aluminum wheels replace the outgoing design.
All the greasy bits carry over unchanged. That means the truck’s base engine is the 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel making 158 horsepower. Optional is the 3.2-liter inline five-cylinder turbodiesel making 197 horsepower. The truck can be had with a manual or automatic transmission, as well as two- or four-wheel drive.
The Mazda BT-50 will go on sale in the third quarter of 2015 starting in Thailand and Australia, with sales expanding beyond that in time.
Continue reading for the full story.
Launched in 2012 for the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5 is one of the newest crossovers on the market. Sharing its platform with the smaller Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedans, the CX-5 was Mazda’s first vehicle featuring the new KODO design language and the company’s SkyActiv technology. Available in North America since 2013, the U.S.-spec CX-5 is offered with two engines. Coming into 2016, the Mazda CX-5 is set to receive its first mid-cycle facelift.
In 2014, the CX-5 lagged behind its main rivals in terms of sales, as it only managed to deliver 99,122 units. While selling nearly 100,000 units is never a bad thing, the CX-5 plays in a popular segment where the class leader, the Honda CR-V, saw 355,019 units roll off of dealer lots and to new homes.
Will the CX-5’s refresh be enough to put a dent in the CR-V’s sales numbers in 2015?
Click past the jump to read our full review and find out.
Updated 02/11/2015: Mazda announced prices for the 2016 CX-5, which will be put on sale later in the spring.
The revised CX-9 follows on company’s hot streak of stylish new models like the Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedan. New LED lights and a slinky Kodo grille revamp the face of Mazda’s largest and most expensive model.
The seven-seater CX-9 carries over its previous 3.7-liter V-6 in front or AWD configurations. Paired to the crossover’s singing engine is a premium Aisin six-speed automatic with sport and manual modes. A 60 mph sprint time in the mid 7 second range shows off the CX-9’s impressive chassis design – even without the SkyActiv banner that helps build buzz around the smaller CX-5.
Refined but sporty damping helps this full-size Mazda crossover to be quite competitive in the $35,000 large crossover segment, and the new gearstick design is a classy touch.
Mazda is firmly in touch with premium buyer needs by the looks of the interior, and the CX-9’s revised cabin maintains the stylish vertical accent bars up the sides of the center stack. Touchscreen technology and rear-seat movies are offered in the plush Mazda CX-9, but what are its key advantages over the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2013 Mazda CX-9, including the features and pricing by trim level and a large photo gallery of the new styling.
The revised 2013 Mazda CX-9, from what the images are showing us, will boast a much more refined face than the previous generation and Mazda’s new “KODO – Soul of Motion” design. The grille is no longer split into an upper and lower segment, and is only underlined in chrome instead of surrounded by it, giving the face a more adult, yet sporty look. We also see the elimination of the oddly shaped fog lamps on the 2012 model and they are replaced by a much more elegant-looking pair of (...)