In conjunction with Mazda's 100th anniversary, local distributor Bermaz Motor has updated three of its CBU offerings with new features for 2020. The trio includes the new-in-Malaysia Mazda2 facelift, which is now open for booking alongside the refreshed MX-5 RF and CX-9.
2020 MAZDA2 SKYACTIV-G 1.5 (FACELIFT)
Mazda has given its smallest and most affordable model a new grille that gels with its latest-generation products like the Mazda3 and CX-30. Obvious styling changes aside - 16-inch wheels and new LED headlights included - the 2 gets the new Mazda Connect infotainment capable of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity inside. G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) is also part of the package now. It works in tandem with a retuned suspension for better driving dynamics and passenger comfort, or so Mazda claims.
As before, the Mazda2 gets a sole 1.5-litre SkyActiv-G engine good for 114bhp and 149Nm, paired to a six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic. This powertrain, and all the other goodies you get in the new Mazda2, can be had in sedan or hatch formats in a single "High" variant - lower specifications are no longer part of the Mazda2's catalogue.
With Bermaz's CKD efforts concentrated on its SUVs, the Mazda2 continues to be a Thai CBU priced at an eye-opening RM103,670 on-the-road without insurance regardless of body style. Can you bring yourself to spend RM10k more than a standard Proton X70 on this cute little thing?
2020 MAZDA MX-5 RF SKYACTIV-G 2.0
Like the Mazda2, the MX-5 RF gains the same Mazda Connect unit for wider multimedia possibilities on the move. Despite being a strict two-seater, Mazda has made its iconic roadster a touch more child-friendly by adding ISOFIX mounts on the passenger seat with an airbag cut-off function. The brand's i-ActiveSense suite of semi-autonomous driver aids is now part of the package too.
Fully-imported from Japan, the MX-5 RF soldiers on with its 181bhp/205Nm two-litre SkyActiv-G engine - only soft-top models get the 1.5-litre mill which was never formally introduced in Malaysia. Two transmissions are available for pickings, so you can have a six-speed manual if you want a little more engagement than the six-speed auto can offer.
Prices start at RM266,154 for the stick-shifter, with the automatic commanding a RM2,000 premium.
MAZDA CX-9 SKYACTIV-G 2.5T
No product update exercise feels quite complete without redecorating the highest shelf, which, in Mazda's case, is home to the CX-9 seven-seat SUV. Exterior updates are subtle to the point of new fonts and a slightly different, metallic gray finish to the CX-9's imposing 20-inch wheels. Inside, the leather seats get new but similarly discreet silver stitching. There are functional updates too such as i-Stop, seatbelt reminders for rear passengers and a pair of extra USB charging ports in the third row. Mazda Connect is present here as well, obviously.
As before, Mazda's turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol engine which develops 228bhp and 420Nm of twist continues to propel the CX-9 in 2WD and AWD formats. The latter now gets Mazda's new "Off-road Traction Assist" feature, which helps modulate engine torque and brake pressure whenever a lack of traction is detected in diagonal wheels on uneven terrains. GVC Plus and i-ActiveSense are part of the package here too.
The 2020 Mazda CX-9 retails for RM319,610 for the 2WD, while the AWD variant tops out as the most expensive Mazda available locally at RM336,610.
Note: All prices listed above include a manufacturer warranty and free service for five years.