September 23, 2020 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes

2020 Mazda CX-9 AWD Signature

C! Fastfleet Factory Long-Term Test Unit

Last September 14, 2020, we received from Mazda Philippines President Steven Tan and Ira Jornada from Marketing and Communications, this brilliant Machine Grey 2020 Mazda CX-9 AWD Signature top-spec model with less than 40-kilometers on the odometer for a 6-month long-term test schedule. Mazda Philippines have expanded their ground-breaking 3-year Free Periodic Maintenance Schedule to 5-years now or up to 100,000 kilometers of duty.

The updated 2020 Mazda CX-9 AWD Signature model at P2,950,000.00 is now available in our market in 7 exterior colors and in two variants. The less equipped and more affordable purely front-wheel driven Sport Touring (78 kg lighter) model costs roughly P570,000.00 less. The Machine Grey is literally its signature color but if I had a choice, I would pick the Titanium Flash (champagne color) exterior paint which would make the contrasting interior Auburn Nappa Leather with Rosewood Accents really pop.

The CX-9 is the harbinger of Mazda’s latest and finest. It has the finest cabin in its class highlighted with the liberal use of real aluminum, piano black trim, the fabulously tactile genuine Rosewood trim, and the crisp color HUD. By design alone, the CX-9 does distance itself from all its peers and authentically challenges the Europeans with its exemplary fit-and-finish.

The elegant 8-inch central infotainment monitor with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, ventilated front seats, 360⁰ view parking cameras with full front and rear sonar, multiple airbags, powered liftgate, frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, Cabin Ambient Lighting, Lane-Departure Warning with LaneKeep Assist, adaptive LED headlights, full LED signature lighting, Blind-Spot Monitoring, cruise control, the excellent instrumentation that now includes a 7″ LCD Meter Display, are all exemplary. The cabin is also so much quieter and more refined with over 53 pounds more sound-absorbing insulation with an acoustically laminated front windshield and front windows. The 294-watt 12-speaker Bose® Centerpoint® 2 Surround Sound audio is a fantastic system and it appropriately sounds the very best from the entire Mazda family. The 20-inch (8.5 inches wide) alloys are wrapped with better 255/50R20 104V Bridgestone Ecopia H/L 422 Plus tires compared to the last test unit which rode on Falken Ziex CT50 tires. The CX-9 rides with a dramatically better ride than before with better noise absorbtion and without giving up its cornering tenacity.

The 2.5-liter inline-4 features a unique Dynamic Pressure Turbo system for maximum fuel efficiency while retaining the engine’s excellent elasticity. If you don’t use at least 93-octane premium gasoline, however, the power drops from 250 bhp to 227 bhp but retains the same torque curves all without any perceptible turbo-lag. The intelligent AWD system is not just active but it is also predictive for total effortless all-weather road driving confidence. The Mazda CX-9 isn’t the 7-seater luxury crossover rocket that I had hoped, but without question, it is superior to the old full-size predecessor in every way but outright capacity. I have said it before but I will say it again, if you want the very best looking and most refined premium crossover in the domestic market for less than P3 Million pesos, then this is it. We look forward to living with the CX-9 for the next 6-months, who knows, if all goes well by the end of its test schedule, it may stay permanently in our garage.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 2488 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection Intercooled Dynamic Pressure Turbo, VVT
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 250 bhp @ 5000 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 310 lb-ft @ 2000-4500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed AT

Performance

Top Speed 216 km/h (135 mph) Governed
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 7.4 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 21 mpg City & 27 mpg Highway

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 2,950,000.00
What's Great Gorgeous inside and out, Mazda’s best technology showcase, exemplary packaging, ultra-comfortable for the first two rows, fun to drive.
What's Not So You must have at least 93-octane fuel to get the full 250 bhp or its 23 bhp down, cramped third-row for adults, reduced trunk size, does not have the newly revised engine with 10 lb-ft more torque, quilted leather seats, larger 10.25-inch command screen, G-Vectoring Plus, and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go.
C! Editors Rating 10/10
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