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Testing the Mazda CX-9. Facelift without facelift

Mazda invited journalists to the Murmansk region to familiarize themselves with its updated flagship – as if emphasizing that the car, which is being produced for Russia in Vladivostok, is ready for use anywhere in the country. Even literally at the opposite end from the place of its production. And in fact – ready!
Often, an upgrade in the middle of a model’s life cycle is called facelift, which literally means a facelift. And, as a rule, such an update really consists in changing the appearance design – although it is not limited to it. But Mazda acts differently – all the improvements are hidden inside. It seems that the company is confident in the perfection of the design created in 2015.

I can not help but share this confidence – a colleague quite rightly wrote during the launch of the second generation CX-9 in our market in 2017 that this is one of the most beautiful, and maybe the most beautiful seven-seater crossover. At least in our market.

But as they say, there is no limit to perfection. Therefore, the designers engaged in improving the design.

Without borders and without frames
In the cabin, much can be seen with the naked eye. These are primarily wooden inserts in the armrests of the front doors and the dashboard. They are made from matt Japanese textured ash, perfectly fit into the overall design style. Although the brand is Japanese, and the design of the car was designed in America – that’s where the CX-9 is mainly for sale, the interior is almost devoid of any visible national or regional features. And I would not be surprised if it was a European car. And the premium segment.

But we must remember that wooden inserts are the accessories of the new top-end Executive, as well as genuine leather like Nappa of special brown color Auburn. It was in Executive that other visible signs of novelty appeared – a seven-inch display in the instrument cluster and a frameless rear-view mirror. The display has replaced the mechanical speedometer, it also shows the indications of the instantaneous and average fuel consumption and power reserve in kilometers. The use of virtual instruments made it possible to make a welcome and farewell animation. A trifle, but it is from such trifles that one gets the impression of a car. The advantages of a frameless rearview mirror are not obvious to me. But since it has become fashionable, why not?

Wider selection
From the other end of the range of modifications, there are also changes – the new Active basic equipment due to the replacement of leather with fabric has fallen in price by 53,000 rubles, to 2.795 million rubles. She, as before, is devoid of electric adjustment even the driver’s seat, not to mention the passenger, and in general has neither heated seats nor ventilation, and the steering wheel is also not heated here, like all other versions. Mirrors, though with electric drive, but do not know how to automatically fold, and the internal mirror is not obscured. In general, the version for not very demanding drivers – or just not used to all this newfangled luxury. Which to the same may refuse. But if you wish, you can compensate for the shortcoming – for 131,000 (the total price is 2.916 million rubles), you can get a package with heated seats, folding mirrors, etc. But even then Active will not compete with the next version of Supreme (3.091 million rubles) – it also has a Bose audio system with 12 speakers, in the front seats – ventilation, the car can be started with a button. In modern conditions, the Active owner will lack parking sensors, although the rear view camera is available in all versions.

On the other hand, Supreme does not have several security systems – TSR, RCTA, SCBS, BSM and LKA, which are included in the Exclusive configuration (3.257 million rubles) and Executive (3.357 million rubles). Behind these abbreviations are already familiar to many drivers of the system of reading road signs, warnings about the approaching car from behind, safe braking in the city, monitoring “dead” zones and warnings about leaving the occupied lane. In general, we have a lot of drivers who are used to doing without all this, but there is no help.

During the test drive on the roads of the Murmansk region, a reminder of the current speed limits and overtaking displayed on the projection display at the bottom of the windshield was quite useful – the roads are mostly good enough to be tempted to exceed the speed, and about signs in such conditions somehow you forget. Yes, and control of the position in the strip turned out to be in place – when driving over the markings, the steering wheel starts to vibrate, and on the road icon on the display the yellow “marking” on the corresponding side flashes. If necessary, she even helps to return to her lane.

It was possible to check and warning of driver fatigue – this system analyzes the behavior of the car, as well as the speed and angles of rotation of the steering wheel. With too frequent visits to the markup and other oddities in behavior, the system signals an icon with a cup of coffee. True, she sometimes does not understand that the driver crosses the marking deliberately, looking for an opportunity for overtaking.

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