Spied: 2017 Mazda CX-9

Mazda\'s big crossover is set for some big changes.

Our spy photographers have sent us the first images of Mazda's next-generation CX-9 crossover. These pictures were snapped while the 2017 CX-9 was undergoing shakedown testing in San Bernardino, California.

First introduced in 2007, the current CX-9 traces its roots back to Ford's partial ownership of Mazda. The CX-9 was given an exterior refresh in 2013, but the crossover has otherwise changed very little during its eight years on the market.

That will soon change, however, as a total overhaul is planned for the 2017 model year. The new CX-9 will borrow most of its styling from the compact CX-5 CUV. In fact, this CX-9 prototype looks pretty much like a puffed up CX-5.

Inside we should see more safety and convenience technologies. Look for top spec models to offer driving aids like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

Underhood Mazda will ditch the CX-9's V6 in favor of a more fuel efficient 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder. Front-wheel drive will be standard, but all-wheel drive will be available as an optional extra.

Look for the 2017 Mazda CX-9 to debut at this year's Los Angeles auto show before going on sale in early 2016.

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