Mazda’s largest vehicle has just been refreshed for the U.S. market, and we’ve got the details. The 2013 CX-9 receives some cosmetic changes on the outside, including newer headlights and fog lights that represent the automaker’s latest Kodo design language. We recently drove the 2014 Mazda6 in Europe, and came away encouraged at the aesthetic direction the automaker is taking. The new headlights are similar to those on the new Mazda6, which is a good thing. The CX-9 also sports a newer, more serene grille than that of previous models; Mazda has been slowly moving away from the grinning puppy-dog grilles that were the source of much ridicule stateside.
The 2013 Mazda CX-9 will come in three models, beginning with the Sport priced starting at $30,580, a bump of less than $300 from the 2012 model. That includes 18-inch wheels; USB and improved Bluetooth; and the same 5.8-inch touchscreen we played with on the 2014 Mazda6 as standard equipment. The system is user-friendly and modern, but we’d prefer a slightly larger screen. All-wheel drive models start at $32,170.
The Touring trim adds leather and adjustable power seats, automatic on/off headlights, blind-spot monitor, backup sensors and a backup camera. The 2013 CX-9 Touring model starts at $33,025, with all-wheel-drive models adding $1,590. Buyers can also opt to add a $3,000 technology package, which includes navigation, 10-speaker sound system, a power-liftgate, and more. The top-of-the-line Grand Touring CX-9 can spike the $40,000 mark, but includes the full suite of options. Riding on 20-inch wheels, the top-trim CX-9 also employs HID headlight, LED daytime running lights, chrome door handles, rain-sensing wipers and more.
Mazda’s largest crossover doesn’t embrace the automakers new Skyactiv efficiency strategy; the 3.7-liter V-6 provides ample power with 273 horses, but mediocre fuel economy with 16-17 mpg in the city and 22-24 mpg on the highway, depending on if all or just the front wheels are driven. We’re curious to see how Mazda will handle the CX-9 moving forward, but for buyers looking for three-row utility and pleasing driving dynamics, the 2013 CX-9 is a formidable consideration.