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This is What the Next Mazda CX-9 Looks Like

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Mazda unveiled an updated CX-9 ahead of the three-row SUV’s official debut at next month’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. The automaker will launch the car Down Under later this year, but full details are still forthcoming. It will all but certainly show up in the U.S., which is a major CX-9 market, as a 2013 or 2014 model.

The SUV adopts the same Kodo design language as the smaller CX-5, with a taller grille whose framing branches into the headlights. The interplay looks good, but the CX-9’s sizable front overhang diminishes some of the sportiness. Mazda promises improved “craftsmanship and interior design,” which was already exemplary in the current car. But the automaker has yet to show interior photos.

Still, the automaker says to expect updated multimedia and safety systems, including a new forward-collision warning system. The 2013 CX-9 carries over the 2012 drivetrain — a 3.7-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic — though horsepower and fuel-economy figures might be slightly different for the U.S. They could use a boost: The current CX-9 gets just 19 mpg in combined EPA city/highway ratings versus 20 to 23 mpg from rivals like the Ford Explorer and Honda Pilot.

We’ll report more details as they become available.

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2012 CX-9:

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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