Mazda CX-9 offers SUV roominess and convenience for six on the inside, with a sleek look that has high emotional appeal. This effect is created by a silhouette with a flat windscreen angle, thin tapered windows, big fenders and a rising belt line. At the front, the new Mazda CX-9 emphasises performance and create class with a large front bumper, sleek headlamps with silver-look edges that wrap into the fenders, and a sculptured bonnet. The back layout features a five-point back window and a big back bumper for stability and strength. To this it adds sporty touches like a roof spoiler, dual trapezoidal exhaust pipes and 10-spoke, 20-inch aluminium alloy wheels (depending on market). Insightful details like the silver-look mouldings for the lamps, the chrome used for the grille bar and front intake areas and available turning signals in the side mirrors, all add a sense of prestige to owning a new Mazda CX9.
Despite looking more like a sports vehicle than an SUV on the outside, on the inside Mazda CX9 uses its full size - with a length of 5089, mm, a width of 1936, mm and height of 1728, mm - to deliver SUV roominess, high class craftsmanship and materials. Occupants are greeted by decorative, wood-like embellishments on every side of the centre control panel and at both ends of the dash. The cockpit has a driver cluster with black-out meters, indirect illumination and silver rings. Its leather seatings (depending on sphere and grade) have a sporty exterior, are firm and durable, with luxury stitching and are matched to trim materials with superior class feel and silver accents throughout. Two dashboard colour packages are available, in either black or sand.
The new Mazda CX9 provides a long list of traditional features. This contains an all-new 3. 7-litre V6 motor coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and Active Torque-split all-wheel drive. Also available (depending on market) are a burglar alarm, privacy windows, performance windows front and rear, performance adjustable and heated front seatings and driver's bench memory function (for up to five settings). Other available features include three-zone heating and climate control, a luxury BOSE, 10 speaker 277 W stereo system with Centerpoint surround system and Audiopilot noise compensation, rain sensor and auto light systems, and an Advanced keyless entry and start system for unlocking all four doors automatically from outside the vehicle. The card key also operates the performance back liftgate. Combined with the high level of craftsmanship and create class of Mazda's main SUV, and you have an overall suite that stands out in the non-premium SUV segment.
All these features can be enjoyed to the fullest, because Mazda Cx9's cab is developed to be quiet and relaxing, even at cruising speed on the motorway. Its new V6 motor and automatic transmission are smooth and quiet (see Powertrain below). And it supplements this with noise-suppressing foam applied at 22 locations in the body shell - the most of any Mazda car ever - and different structural technologies which effectively dampen road and wind noise from reaching the cab.
Mitsubishi’s long succesful Pajero SUV, has gone through a minor cosmetic changes for the upcoming 2007 (MY07) model. The fourth generation Pajero SUV is on display at the 2006 Paris Motor Show and is expected to go on sale in Australia and Japan in October 2006. The first generation Mitsubishi Pajero was launched in 1982 and 2.5 million Pajeros have so far been sold worldwide. Mitsubishi has released a very small amount of information regarding the 4th generation Pajero, but says that the latest Pajero offers reliability forged in the crucible of grueling competition and use under the harshest conditions to be found on our planet, referring to its many Dakar Rally victories. The new Pajero is set to retain the all-round SUV specifications of its predecessor, including ground clearance and other all-terrain performance parameters. New features for the Mitsubishi SUV include new engines, which will include a 3.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel with common rail direct fuel injection and a 3.8-litre V6 gasoline unit with variable valve timing. Another new feature that Mitsubishi has revealed is the 4WD system. It will be comprised of a new system dubbed Super Select 4WD-II, complete with a transfer case with both ASTC2 and a rear differential lock. The new features on the vehicle is a welcome change from the Pajero’s somewhat ancient feel. Mitsubishi says that the new 4WD system was developed to deliver significant improvements in both off-road and tarmac performance, and with the new updates and chassis tweaks the Pajero’s Dakar Rally exploits are expected to continue. The Mitsubishi Pajero is being built at the Pajero Manufacturing facility in Gifu Prefecture in Japan. I look forward to more pictures of the new Pajero at the Paris Motor Show alongside the similarly-styled next generation of Pajero Evolution which will be entered at the 2007 Dakar Rally.