2018 Mazda CX-9 Scores New Features, Starts at $32,130

Mazda's seven-seater gets a number of safety upgrades, because bigger always needs to be better. 

Mazda

Yes we know, the crossover is no friend to the enthusiast segment of the car world, but this doesn't explain why the compact SUV market continues to grow in 2017. All gearheads won't have to ditch their quirky two-seaters yet, but those who are forced to can still have some fun.  

The CX-9, for example, is Mazda's attempt to squash the boring SUV stigma, and for 2018 it's receiving cutting-edge features while retaining an "affordable" price tag. While the past two variants have been focused on improving the CX-9's "Zoom-Zoom" promise, the 2018 iteration is tasked with guarding its IIHS "Top Safety Pick+" rating. 

Mazda announced Tuesday that the 2018 CX-9 will arrive in dealerships later this month, with new features to put it on par with the rest of Mazda's tech-rich crossover lineup.  The CX-9 is the latest vehicle to receive Mazda G-Vectoring technology, designed to make the driving experience more enjoyable and less stressful by reducing minuscule steering wheel movements. It also comes standard with Smart City Brake Support, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Monitoring. 

At $32,130, the base CX-9 Sport comes with a Mazda Connect infotainment system featuring smartphone integration and Bluetooth pairing, as well as other base-level Mazda tech—but the new $1,290 Sports package adds Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, heated seats, and other premium features.

The new, top-trim CX-9 Signature adds to its luxurious feel with premium rosewood interior accents, Nappa leather seats, and LED badge lighting. This $44,315 trim comes standard with i-Active all-wheel drive, which is optional on the Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims.