The latest Mazda CX9 shows the smiley face is appearing everywhere.
Just a week after the launch of the new MX5, the latest Mazda to get the company’s new corporate “five-point” grille is the CX9.
Apart from the CX9 and MX5, the new face is spreading across the Mazda range.
It appears on the next-generation 3, due in local showrooms within days and the CX7 due later this year.
The 2010 CX9 is expected to hit local showrooms later this year, about the same time as the refreshed CX7.
Mazda is not spilling the beans on exactly what the changes are underneath, saying only that the car will get “added options and reinforced safety features”.
However, the seven-seater’s existing 3.7-litre V6 and six-speed automatic is expected to carry over.
Unlike the CX7 though, no diesel version is tipped to be added to the range.
CX9 buyers can however expect improvements in the V6’s fuel economy and a mildly updated cabin.
Visually, the new corporate grille is prominent, as are the revised foglights and lower air intake.
New larger exterior rear view mirrors and updated tail-lights complete the look.
Locally Mazda is one of the few brands that has had a good sales start this year even though its overall share has slipped almost 9 per cent.
At the launch of the new MX5 last week, Mazda Australia managing director, Doug Dickson, says he remains confident this year in the face of the 20 per cent market downturn.
He expects Mazda to continue to build its market share through the year despite overall sales volumes being down.
The arrival of the next-generation 3 hatch and sedan is expected to be a big driver.
Mazda, like other Japanese importers, has been under pricing pressure because of unfavorable exchange rates with the Japanese yen.