Ever since debuting its new Kodo styling language on theMinagi concept last year, Mazda has set about proliferating the look to the rest of its lineup. The Minagi presaged today’s CX-5 crossover, which was quickly followed up by the new Mazda 6 sedan, and now there’s this: A light refresh for the 2013 CX-9 crossover that brings it up to Kodo spec. The 2013 CX-9 is making its debut at the Sydney auto show, but the changes will reach our version of the people-mover.
The CX-9’s changes are minimal yet effective, and amount to an all-new front end as well as a few interior changes. Starting with the cosmetic stuff, Mazda pretty much slapped a Mazda 6–style pentagonal grille and sleek headlights onto the current CX-9’s face. We thought the CX-9 was one of the better-looking seven-passenger SUVs on the market, but the Kodo touches manage to make the aging rig look fresh. After all, the CX-9 has been on sale here in the U.S. since 2007, and received just one mild styling update in the interim.
Aside from the styling update, Mazda didn’t do much to the rest of the CX-9. And that’s just fine by us; our long-term CX-9 was an office favorite. Inside there is a new infotainment system with a control setup similar to that in the new 6. Mazda also fitted its i-ELOOP brake energy recuperation system, which stores captured braking energy in a supercapacitor that can feed the car’s electrical system. (Although it should be noted that this technology still is under consideration for use in the U.S. market.) The CX-9 continues to utilize a Ford-derived, 3.7-liter V-6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic for motivation.
Although Mazda confirmed that the U.S.-spec CX-9 would receive the same upgrades, it would not confirm any sort of timeline for its arrival. Stay tuned for an arrival time, pricing, and U.S.-specific specs.