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Mazda CX-9: safe in Australia in 2023 but future not guaranteed beyond 2024


Strong-selling CX-9 to be retained this year, but removal from sale in the United States means its future is not assured after CX-90’s arrival

The Mazda CX-9 will be discontinued in its biggest market, the United States, because of the arrival of the brand’s new CX-90 luxury SUV (revealed this morning) – but the CX-9 will remain on sale in Australia for at least the next 12 months.

However, the long-term future of the CX-9 large SUV is not guaranteed past early 2024 in Australia, particularly with the American-market volume that justifies investment in the model set to evaporate in the coming months.

Mazda CX-9 GT SP 2021 Polymetal Grey rear end
The future of the CX-9 is not guaranteed after the arrival of the CX-90

In 2022, Mazda sold 6460 CX-9s in Australia, only very marginally less than the 6630 it sold the year before that. The $47K-$74K three-row SUV remains a popular choice in its segment locally, outselling the Hyundai Palisade (4000 sales) but trailing the Toyota Kluger (12,562).

By contrast, the incoming CX-90 is a premium-grade, six-cylinder seven-seat SUV that, while similar in size to the CX-9, will aim to keep Mazda buyers within the family at upgrade time, while also targetting luxury brand buyers who might otherwise have considered a Volvo XC90, Audi Q7 or Lexus RX.

Mazda CX-9 GT SP 2021 interior CarPlay
The interior of the CX-9

Mazda will release the CX-90 in Australia in the second half of 2023 – a few months behind June’s CX-60 launch date, Mazda sources say. There will be an overlap of at least six months when the CX-90 and CX-9 share showroom floor space.

The price of the CX-90 is expected to commence somewhere around the high-end of the current CX-9 range – perhaps at the $70,000 level. The smaller but related CX-60, which launches slightly earlier than the CX-90, has been priced from $59,800 in Australia.

Mazda CX-9 GT SP 2021 Polymetal Grey front end

In Australia, mainstream-price large SUVs are much more popular than their luxury counterparts: the top-selling vehicle in the premium space, the BMW X5, shifted just 3111 units in 2022.

This may provide Mazda Australia with an incentive to retain a more affordably-priced three-row SUV into the future.

This could be in the format of a base-model CX-90 with a sharp entry price. However, Mazda Australia continues to evaluate whether it will bring the narrower (and perhaps slightly cheaper) three-row CX-80 to our shores. The CX-80 has not yet been revealed.