Mazda goes upscale with upgraded CX-9

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In an effort to appeal to premium-SUV buyers, Mazda has upgraded its CX-9.

In an already-crowded SUV field, Mazda has brought out an all-new CX-9 - probably a few years late. The previous CX-9 had been around for nearly 10 years.

Now from a clean sheet of paper comes a clean-sheet design for the new three-row Mazda. With this new model, Mazda's going in an upscale direction.

The company's goal is to not only get buyers to spend more, but for them to stay loyal and return to the brand, said David Undercoffler, who covers the company for the trade publication "Automotive News."

To woo those buyers, the CX-9 is available in a new top trim level called Signature, which offers nice leather, handsome wood and other premium touches. The ride is quiet and the handling is crisp yet supple at the same time.

The SUV also offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The new CX-9 starts at a base price of $31,520.
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