2020 Mazda CX-9 gains new second-row captain chair

Mazda is talking up the 2020 CX-9 SUV that will go on sale in the fall of 2019. Along with the features of the car, Mazda has also announced the starting price for the CX-9. The SUV will start at $33,790 and has one big update for the 2020 model year.Mazda is offering available second-row captains chairs that it says will give a first-class cabin feel. The vehicle is a three-row SUV, and the captain's chairs will make getting into the rear row much easier. Another new available feature is the hands-free power liftgate offered on the CX-9 Grand Touring and Signature trims.

For 2020, CX-9 buyers get more performance with a new turbo Skyactiv-G 2.5T engine on all models. The engine makes 320 lb-ft of torque on 93 octane and 310 lb-ft of torque on 87 octane. The engine makes up to 250 horsepower on 93 octane fuel and 227 horsepower on 87 octane.

The engine is paired with a 5-speed Skyactic-Drive automatic transmission. Mazda's predictive i-Activ all-wheel drive is standard on the CX-9 Signature and optional on all models. For 2020 that system has a new off-road traction assist feature. The CX-9 is the first Mazda vehicle to get that traction system.

This replaces the traction control button and can help with traction on uneven terrain. If wheels lose traction, the system steps in reducing the engine torque and increase brakeforce on wheels without traction. G-Vectoring Control Plus is also standard for 2020. Standard features also include heated front cloth seats, power driver seat, heated mirrors, and lots more. The i-Activesense safety system is standard. Stepping up to the touring version gets CarPlay and Android Auto. Adding all-wheel drive increases the base price by nearly $2,000. The most expensive version is the Signature at $46,115.