New Model News

Mazda adds standard features, available equipment as it repackages CX-9 for 2020

The 2020 Mazda CX-9 has gotten significant upgrades including available captain's chairs and a long list of standard features.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North America Operations

Mazda has give the CX-9 a midcycle refresh that elevates the model to a premium offering in its highest grades and boosts the oomph coming from its turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. The automaker has also loaded the base model with more standard equipment.

The three-row SUV's plush interior now features available captain's chairs in the second row, which decreases the seating capacity from eight to seven.

Mazda is giving the SUV a hands-free power liftgate in Grand Touring and Signature trim levels.

Though the 2019 Mazda CX-9 has a competent powertrain, the automaker is upping its torque for the 2020 model year. The SUV's turbocharged 2.5-liter engine now delivers 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when the CX-9 is filled up with 93 octane fuel and 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque when running on 87 octane. This is up 10 pound-feet over the 2019 model.

 G-Vectoring Control Mazda diagram how it works Mazda's G-Vectoring Control helps keep the SUV planted through the corners.Photo courtesy of Mazda North America Operations

The CX-9 is Mazda's first vehicle to offer off-road traction assist, which replaces the traditional traction control button and allows for automatic torque vectoring management. G-Vectoring Control Plus is also standard for 2020.

The base model CX-9, the CX-9 Sport, will now come standard with heated front cloth seats, power driver's seat with lumbar support, Gray Metallic 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated outside mirrors, automatic on/off headlights and automatic high beams.

A 7-inch infotainment scree, LED head- and taillights, one-touch rear and front power windows, tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, rearview camera, keyless entry, and push-button start are also standard.

The CX-9 Touring trim adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather-trimmed seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, second-row center armrest with storage, two USB charging ports. A 9-inch infotainment touch screen is available in this grade. Mazda's next-gen key fob design and keyless entry system are standard on this trim, as are second-row power slide and tilt capabilities.

Adding the CX-9 Touring Premium Package gives the model two USB charging ports in the third row, a power moonroof, 12-speaker Bost premium audio system, SiriusXM, LED fog lamps, front and rear parking sensors, and second-row retractable sunshades.

The CX-9 Grand Touring the features and equipment from lower trims and the available Touring Premium Package and adds 20-inch aluminum ally wheels, 360-degree monitor, Active Driving Display with traffic sign recognition, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic folding mirrors, power moonroof, LED door-pocket, LED front door handle and switch, Adaptive Front-lighting System, chrome exterior accents, satin chrome roof rails, windshield wipers de-icer, and overhead front center console illumination.

Second-row captain's chairs are available in models with the CX-9 Touring Premium Package and the Grand Touring trim level. Grand Touring models also get heated second-row seats.

The top-tier Mazda CX-9 Signature model comes standard with second-row captain's chairs. A second-row center console, similar to the one up front, also comes in the model and provides additional storage, USB ports, and cup holders. It comes upholstered in either Deep Chestnut or Parchment Nappa leather. The CX-9 Signature's steering wheel features a unique darker silver finish. It is available with a unique Soul Red Crystal premium exterior paint job. This model also includes a hand-stitched, leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED grille accent lighting, and supplemental interior lighting near the shifter.

Each CX-9 also comes standard with a suite of safety features include adaptive cruise control with stop and go, Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection, active brake assist with collision warning, lane departure alert, lake keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The 2019 Mazda CX-9 starts at $33,790 and tops out near $46,000, not including destination and delivery charges.

Jessica Hawkins, stunt driver, sits behind the wheel of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on the set of 'No Time to Die'.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

When James Bond knocks, you answer. Whether it's Aston Martin or Land Rover, British auto brands have been well represented in the forthcoming James Bond movie "No Time to Die".

The new Land Rover Defender 110 appears alongside Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Naomie Harris, Ralph Finnes, and Ben Whitshaw. It is featured in a change sequence that showcases the vehicle's prowess in extreme off road conditions. Behind the scenes photos of the action show stunt coordinator Lee Morrison, who has worked on Jason Bourne, Indiana Jones, and James Bond movies, and stunt driver Jessica Hawkins, who competes in the W Series, at work.

The Land Rover Defender 110 driving through thick mud during filming of "No Time to Die."

"Designing and coordinating the action sequences for the Bond franchise requires a non-compromising mindset." said Morrison. "We needed an unstoppable vehicle to help us battle against the elements, steep descents and river crossings so we chose the new Defender. I'm beyond impressed that the Defender is not only back but much, much better!"

The Defender appears alongside the Range Rover Sport SVR, Land Rover Series III, and Range Rover Classic as the Bond character, played by Craig, traverses the globe to rescue a kidnapped scientist.

Land Rover's design team worked closely with Special Effects and Action Vehicles Supervisor Chris Corbould to spec the Defender vehicles in the film. They are based on the Defender X model in Santorini Black, with darkened skid pans, 20-inch dark finish wheels, and professional off-road tires. The modes were the first Defender vehicles to be built at Jaguar Land Rover's new production facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

No Time To Die | Land Rover USA www.youtube.com

Land Rover has had a long-standing partnership with EON Productions on the Bond films, going back to 1983 when a Range Rover Convertible appeared in "Octopussy".

The Land Rover Defender 110 featured in "No Time To Die" will be on display for the first time in Los Angeles during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Consumers can see the vehicle at the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show between November 20 and December 1, 2019.

"No Time to Die" will be released starting April 2, 2020 in the U.K. and in the U.S on April 10.

The Defender 110 will be priced from $49,900 in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.

Kia has introduced a concept car that gives a hint at what future SUV design will look like.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia Motors is giving a hint of its future electric vehicle design with the debut of the Kia Futuron Concept, an all-wheel drive high-riding hatchback that they're calling a "sports car on an SUV platform."

The automaker choose the name of the vehicle because it's a portmanteau of the words future and on. They say that it will help give consumers an idea of what to expect from Kia in the future. Looking closely, it's likely that many hallmarks of this concept car will play out in future Niro designs and in a forthcoming subcompact SUV that is related to the Hyundai Venue.

Kia Futuron Concept side The high-riding coupe has sleek lines and a sophisticated overall aesthetic.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

With the design, Kia is emphasizing elegant proportions rather than funky characteristics like what you'll find in their Soul. Sweeping lines that flow from front to rear are common in modern concept vehicles and this is no exception. Kia's designers were drawn to the 360-degree styling because of its flowing shapes that easily move from the exterior to the interior, expanding and contracting.

The face of the car has a new interpretation of Kia's tiger nose grille, with a wide opening across the front of the car. That grille incorporates LED headlamps with a distinct light signature.

Kia has given the Futuron Concept an all-electric powertrain with all-wheel drive. It has a high-capacity battery (no exact numbers are available) and in-wheel electric motors.

Kia Futuron Concept top roof It features a panoramic glass roof.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The interior of the model features leaned back seats that allows for an "interactive driving experience suitable for urban city environments." The two front seats are made out of flexible materials that offer seating flexibility in the vein fo what first-class passengers would find on an airliner.

Its roof has diamond-shaped panoramic glass. Inside the greenhouse is a network of LiDAR sensors capable of Level 4 autonomous driving features.

Kia Futuron Concept seats Kia has given the SUV unique seating that is meant to provide first-class comfortability.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia touts the car's seamless cockpit area that features the instrument cluster wrapped in harmony with the rest of the car's audio and visual displays and through the steering wheel.