Darpan took out a loaner for a week to see what it’s all about, and check out some of the small updates made to the cabin for the 2021 model year.
While Mazda’s flagship CX-9 is still in its second generation, the automaker recently rolled out two fresh special edition models. One of them is the Kuro Edition, which means Black in Japanese, and as you can probably guess is completely decked out in a smoky theme. Darpan took out a loaner for a week to see what it’s all about, and check out some of the small updates made to the cabin for the 2021 model year.
Only two paint options are available for the Kuro: Black Mica or the Polymetal Grey Metallic that we tested. The creamy grey complements the company’s KODO: Soul of Motion design language perfectly, with different sections of the curvy movement-inspired body panels highlighted depending on where you’re standing and the source of light.
Dark accenting is found all over the exterior such as the stunning gloss black finish on the 3-D mesh front grille, surround and door mirrors. Black metallic coats the 20-inch multi-spoke black metallic alloy wheels and bits of the interior as well like the dashboard, door cards and handle bezels. The situation does brighten up some inside: the seats are upholstered in Garnet Red, and the steering wheel and centre console panel feature a pop of contrast red stitching.
Kuro is based on the middle-of-the-pack GT grade that is quite well equipped. Comfort and convenience-wise there’s electric adjustable and heated and ventilated front seating (10-way driver’s, four-way passenger), heated captain’s second row seating with centre pass-through for easy access to the back bench, moonroof and a hands-free power liftgate. The head-up display is excellent, seamlessly projecting a variety of data onto the windshield.
Entertainment takes the form of a nine-inch touchscreen display, built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, native SiriusXM satellite radio, Traffic Plus and Travel Link support and a thumping 12-speaker Bose stereo, Also, new for this year is a wireless phone charging pad found in the cubby ahead of the shifter. The Mazda Connect infotainment is easy enough to use, and I don’t mind the Commander rotary knob, but tuning radio stations is a clunky process.
Under the hood nothing has been touched, and that’s just fine. Though a boosted 2.5-litre four cylinder may seem an odd choice for the rather large three-row crossover, Mazda’s proprietary Dynamic Pressure Turbo technology does a good job of producing V6-levels of performance. The nifty setup yields 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on regular fuel, bumped up to 250 and 320, respectively, when 93 octane is added.
The CX-9 feels zippy enough even with a full complement of occupants, and the low-torque even enables the vehicle to perform some light towing up to a maximum of 3,500 pounds. The i-ACTIV all-wheel drive helps keep all four wheels glued to the pavement even in rainy Vancouver weather, and the Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and efficient, allowing a fuel economy rating of 11.6 L/100 km in the city and 9.1 on the highway. Aside from the CX-9, the Kuro Edition is also offered on the CX-5 and Mazda6, available now.
Motor: 2.5-litre turbocharged four cylinder
Horsepower: 227 @ 5,000 rpm (87 octane)
Torque (lb-ft): 310 @ 2,000 rpm (87 octane)
Gearbox: Six-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 11.1 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)
Photos: MAZDA PRESS ROOM