Unveiling new CX-9
MAZDA’S all-new CX-9, which will have a more efficient turbocharged engine, choice of drivetrains and top safety features as standard, is due in showrooms in two weeks.
Mazda Australia has announced pricing and some of the specs for the last piece in its SkyActiv SUV puzzle, the long-awaited replacement for the large CX-9.
The Japanese-built SUV will be available next month in front- and all-wheel-drive across four grades (Sport, Touring, GT and Azami).
There will also be the company’s new 2.5-litre turbocharged SkyActiv fourcylinder petrol engine that makes 170kW at 5000rpm and 420Nm at 2000rpm.
A six-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available, while Mazda’s i-eLoop regeneration setup will feed recovered kinetic energy from the brakes back into the CX-9’s ancillary electrical systems.
The CX-9’s range-wide offering of AEB in both forward and reverse directions is quite a landmark for the segment.
Fuel economy figures have dropped drastically over the thirsty outgoing 3.7-litre V6equipped model. That’s thanks, in part, to the new engine but also to weight reductions across the board of up to 160kg, according to Mazda.
Front-drive CX-9s will return 8.4L/100km on the combined cycle (an almost 24 per cent improvement), while all-wheel-drive versions will offer 8.8 litres per 100km (almost 21 per cent better).
The CX-9 will also happily run on regular 91 RON fuel.
Pricing for the seven-seater starts at $42,990 before on-road costs for the entry-level Sport front-driver. The price tag for the top-ranking Azami – which is a new nameplate for Mazda – is $63,390.
The second-generation CX-9 will come in slightly cheaper than the almost 10year-old first-generation SUV, while the number of variants doubles to eight, thanks to the addition of the front-wheel drivetrain across all four grades.
Basic spec levels also – unsurprisingly – improve, with advanced blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and AEB (forward and reverse) offered as standard across the CX-9 range. TOYOTA Australia has posted a profit of $236 million – the second year in a row it has finished well into the black and a stark turnaround from the $437 million loss two years ago.
This is further evidence there is more money in importing cars than manufacturing them locally.
Toyota set aside most of its shutdown costs in the two previous financial years.
It will close the Camry factory in Altona on the outskirts of Melbourne in December next year, weeks after Holden and a year or so after Ford.
However, it’s not all good news for Toyota, which has been Australia’s No. 1 brand for 13 years in a row.
Toyota’s dominance is being eroded by the growth of second-placed Mazda, Hyundai in third and most of the other top 10 brands.
In 2008 – Toyota’s best sales year with 238,983 deliveries – the Japanese brand accounted for an astonishing 23.6 per cent of all vehicles sold nationally.
Last year that figure slipped to 17.8 per cent on a tally of 206,236 sales.
To the end of May, Toyota has 17.1 per cent of Australia’s new-car business, or about one in six sales.
Toyota says it plans to refresh more models – and add to the range – to fill the void when local Camry production ends. However, although Toyota will continue to sell an imported Camry from 2018, analysts have forecast a sales slowdown.
True demand for Camry is much lower than the current rate, which has been driven by discounts of up to $8000 per car to keep the Altona production line moving.
Once the factory closes, will the company be able to make up for lost Camry sales as well as sustained attacks from rivals on its top-selling imports, the Corolla small car and HiLux ute? Or has Australia reached “peak Toyota”?