The front-wheel-drive 2016 CX-9 returns 22 mpg in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 25 mpg, Mazda said.
The all-wheel-drive 2016 CX-9's rating is 21 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 23 mpg.
In comparison, the 2015 CX-9 with front-wheel-drive returns 17 mpg in city driving and 24 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 19 mpg, according to the EPA.
The all-wheel-drive 2015 CX-9's rating is 16 mpg in city driving and 22 mpg on the highway, for a combined rating of 18 mpg.
The redesigned CX-9 is equipped with a new Mazda engine, a 250-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that uses the automaker's Skyactiv technology. The engine is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2015 CX-9 is equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission.
"The second-generation CX-9's efficiency improves a dramatic 32-percent compared to its predecessor," Mazda said in a statement.
The fuel economy rating puts the new CX-9 at the top of its class.
In comparison, the 2016 Acura MDX, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder achieve a 23-mpg combined rating when equipped with front-wheel drive, the EPA said. The 2016 Ford Explorer with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine gets a combined 22-mpg rating.
The CX-9's debut coincides with a period of low gas prices in the U.S.
The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the U.S. stood at $1.80 on Thursday, compared to $2.44 a year ago, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers who value good fuel economy and are in the market for a midsize SUV will want to note the 2016 CX-9's stellar numbers.