2020 Mazda CX-9 Gets New Weapons to Face the Onslaught

The 2020 Mazda CX-9 had no choice but to respond.

The current generation was introduced for the 2016 model year and a few upgrades were made three years later, but look at all the new or redesigned three-row midsize SUVs hitting the market for 2020: Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander.

So, Mazda decided to add the option of new heated captain’s chairs ($300) to the CX-9 GS-L and GT models, increasing passenger comfort in the second row. The GT and Signature models now come standard with a hands-free power liftgate that makes loading cargo easier.

Next, the engineers of the 2020 Mazda CX-9 slightly bumped the torque rating of the turbocharged 2.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine from 310 to 320 pound-feet when using 93-octane premium gasoline. Output remains at 250 horsepower (or 227 when using regular gas).

Photo: William Clavey

Another important upgrade is that Mazda’s i-Activ all-wheel drive system is now included as standard on every trim, even the base GS, which inevitably raises the entry price.

G-Vectoring Control Plus, which further improves steering response, and Mazda's full suite of i-Activsense safety features are standard for 2020, as well.

Furthermore, you need to know that the 2020 Mazda CX-9 is the brand’s first vehicle offered with the all-new off-road traction assist feature. When the diagonal wheels lose traction, the system will stop reducing the engine torque and increase the brake force on the wheels without traction. This transfers power to the wheels still on the ground to help allow the vehicle to regain traction and continue the drive.

Photo: William Clavey

What else? Well, the CX-9 GS-L gets a new nine-inch full-colour touchscreen, an advanced keyless entry and start system, plus second-row power slide and tilt capabilities. The GT gains a USB charging port in the third row and a 360-degree monitor.

The aforementioned new heated captain’s chairs in the second row are standard in the top-line CX-9 Signature. Customers who select this model can now get the exterior in Mazda’s iconic Soul Red Crystal paint, and either Deep Chestnut or Pure White Nappa leather inside.

Pricing for the 2020 Mazda CX-9 is as follows:

  • CX-9 GS at $39,900
  • CX-9 GS-L at $43,300
  • CX-9 GT at $48,500
  • CX-9 Signature at $51,500
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