HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation’s CX-9 crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) has been named North American Truck of the Year. The Mazda CX-9 received the award at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, on January 13, 2008 (January 14, Japan time). This is the first time that a Mazda vehicle has won this prize.
Established in 1994, the North American Truck of the Year is one of North America’s most prestigious motoring awards. Vehicles in consideration for the award are judged by various categories including design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for money. The Truck of the Year award was determined by 45 prominent automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who assessed 2008 model year trucks—a category which includes both conventional trucks and SUVs.
“This truly is an honor,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations. “Since we brought CX-9 to market, it’s been a hit with media, customers and dealers alike. This vehicle represents everything a Mazda SUV should be: dynamically styled, powerful, with top-notch craftsmanship and a lot of fun to drive. Today’s award is proof that says we just might be on to something special.”
The Mazda CX-9 deftly blends Mazda’s signature sporty driving spirit with seven passenger sport-utility vehicle (SUV) practicality. A clean break from traditional SUVs, the Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV has won high marks for its dynamic styling, powerful and dynamic driving performance and a spacious interior more commonly found in premium vehicles. Sales commenced in North America in January 2007, with recent sales launches in Australia and Saudi Arabia at the end of 2007.
With an impressive array of safety features, the Mazda CX-9 received the highest possible ratings in frontal and side impact crashes from the US government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) vehicle safety tests. In addition to receiving the five-star frontal and side impact crash test ratings, the CX-9 was also given a four-star rollover resistance rating. In the United States, the influential Motor Trend magazine named Mazda CX-9 its 2008 Sport/Utility of the Year.
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