Mazda used the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney to unveil a facelifted CX-9, the generously sized seven-seat crossover that's a favourite with well-off suburban families.
It's liked partly for its styling that barely looks like a crossover and for one of the best arrangements to access its third row of seats.
Already sleekly styled, the CX-9 has been reshaped to reflect Mazda's Kodo design language that's a feature of all its new models. Kodo, which means Soul of Motion, is purported to signify the latent power and potential energy of an animal poised for action.
So the CX-9 becomes perfect for an adventurous family trip to a zoo or wildlife park.
It will be prowling New Zealand's roads in early December.
The drivetrain and suspension carry over from the outgoing model and feature the MZI 3.7-litre V6 driving a six-speed automatic transmission.
Complementing Kodo are ring-and-bar LED daytime running lights with bi-xenon headlamps, and extra-glossy 20-inch alloy rims.
Inside, driver comfort has been improved and the communications/navigation/audio system enhanced.
This includes TomTom satellite navigation; Bluetooth and iPod connectivity; and a new and more easily used colour touch-screen multi-information display. This includes speech recognition for phone and music selections.
Rear parking sensors now complement the reversing camera and the tailgate can be worked automatically.
Mazda has added a bunch of new-tech safety systems. These are:
*Forward obstruction warning, that gives audible and visual warnings before a potential collision.
*Lane departure warning, based around a windscreen-mounted camera that monitors road markings and warns if the driver strays.
*High beam control, which uses another windscreen-mounted camera to spot oncoming lights and automatically adjusts between high and low beam.
*Blind spot monitoring to alert the driver to any hazards in advance of a lane change.By Phil Hanson