2017 CX-9 Adds That Something ‘Premium’ That Mazda Needed

The 2017 CX-9 sticks to Mazda’s more-or-less successful formula that has helped it carve out a space among mainstream brands. But what the new CX-9 does for Mazda is far more important.

Mazda makes driver’s cars, we get it, but that doesn’t excuse themselves from making interiors that are low on class or don’t sweat the details. The CX-9 looks like it’ll correct that, with its (real?) wood accents and red-brown leather upholstery. Finally, a color other than white or black comes to a Mazda interior.

That’s not to say Mazda’s interiors have been bad of late. The quality certainly has been there, but in-car tech was lagging behind when the current Mazda 6 and CX-5 launched. That was corrected last year, but the CX-9 shows there was always room for improvement. And while the Mazda reps weren’t letting me touch the insides of their new car, the perceived quality is definitely higher than anything I can recall from the company. It finally has a color display in the gauges, for example.

Even the color is more refined, with this new Machine Gray the official Mazda color from now on, replacing the Soul Red that I always thought was garish (OK, it was mostly a pain to photograph). But the CX-9 looks like it has everything to raise the perceptions of the Mazda brand a little higher, to separate it a little more from the companies that sell cars with Fisher-Price-grade interiors.

Of course, all this refinement could be mitigated by a turbocharged SKYACTIV engine that begs you to rev it to the point of making a carload of people sick. Maybe it’ll be the first mainstream three-row family vehicle that’ll make you want to leave the family at home.

Photos: Zac Estrada/Carscoops

Photo Gallery

Ford Fiesta Drives Through Red Light, Stops Into Pickup Truck

After missing a Jeep, the Fiesta collided with a pickup truck, though luckily no one was injured.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Takes A Ride To The Dark Wald Side

Wald International has given the latest Phantom a Black Bison body kit and 24-inch wheels.

Slammed VW T-Roc On Bentley Wheels Doesn’t Make Much Sense – Right?

Instead of fitting aftermarket rims, the T-Roc’s owner turned to another VW Group brand – though not one you’d expect.

2019 Mercedes CLA Coupe Flaunts Its Curves In 73-Image Gallery

The second-gen CLA is still a sporty-looking four-door coupe, only with more dynamic proportions .

Renault Zoe EV Might Be 7 Years Old But Still Gets The Thumbs Up

The outgoing Zoe electric car is still a wise choice, offering customers an affordable and friendly daily commuter .

China’s Chevrolet Onix Redline Detailed, Packs 123HP 1.0L Three-Cylinder

The Onix compact sedan is GM’s first model to be built on its new GEM platform .

This Is How Koenigsegg Created The 300MPH Jesko Hypercar

The paint process alone takes 600-800 hours, so customers will justify spending $3 million on the Jesko.

DMC Gives The RWD Lamborghini Huracan A Body Kit, Calls It The Giro

This tuned Huracan LP580-2 keeps changes to a minimal level, with a few visual add-ons.

Female Uber Drivers In Saudi Arabia Can Request To Have Only Female Passengers

The Kingdom lifted its ban on female driving last June, and Uber is complying with its customers’ wishes.

2019 New York Auto Show: A-to-Z Guide To All The New Car Debuts (Roundup)

Want to know about every new car launching at the 2019 New York Auto Show? Read on.