Description: The CX-9 is a 4-door, 7-passenger sport-utility, available in 6 trims, ranging from the Sport FWD to the Grand Touring AWD.
The Sport FWD is equipped with a standard 3.7-liter, V6, 273-horsepower engine that achieves 16-mpg in the city and 22-mpg on the highway. The Grand Touring AWD is equipped with a standard 3.7-liter, V6, 273-horsepower engine that achieves 15-mpg in the city and 21-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard on both trims.
Standard equipment list longer than Snoop Dog's rap sheet
Exterior is too similar to the less expensive CX-7
Interior materials and designs are boring
The nav screen is hard to read in sunlight
Improved MPG, but not stellar
I always thought the pair of Mazda crossover SUVs, the CX-7 and CX-9, to be some of the most handsome ones on the market when they were introduced back in 2006 as 2007 models. Even in today’s crowded crossover SUV market, the Mazdas are still lookers although the styling is getting a little long in the tooth. While the larger CX-9 shares styling cues with the CX-7, it shares almost nothing else with its smaller sibling. The CX-9 is based on the same platform and shares the same 3.7 liter V6 engine as the Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX, an example of the long-term partnership between Ford and Mazda, which continues even after Ford reduced its stake in the Japanese car maker back in 2008.
On paper the CX-9 looks like an exciting ride. A 3.7 liter V6 engine with 273 HP and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, 6-speed sport automatic transmission, and an active torque split all-wheel drive system set some high expectations. Once behind the wheel though, those expectations fell flat. The CX-9 feels sluggish. It feels heavy. Don’t get me wrong, the 3.7 liter is producing significant torque and horsepower, but the CX-9 definitely doesn’t feel like it provides a lot of zoom-zoom, as Mazda likes to say. The power eventually comes on after some hesitation once you really sink your right foot into the floor, but the response is not something you should be happy with. On the freeway, this is even more pronounced, as I accelerated on the onramp to merge with moving traffic. The CX-9 handled rather well for a vehicle this size, however, and steering feel was decently heavy at highway speeds. At highway speeds, the CX-9 feels very stable. You still get the feeling that this is a big vehicle, however.
Year / Model Reviewed: 2011 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring FWD
Strengths: Performance, ride and handling. Tons of interior space but drives like a sporty car. Gas mileage 18 around town and from a couple of longer trips it looks like an overall 22. Impressive equipment list: remote tail lift, keyless ignition, excellent stereo and navigation, blind spot monitoring, powered and heated seats with memory - this is really excellent value.
Weaknesses: The bundling of the Bose stereo with the moon roof is annoying - as a tall guy I like headroom more than watching stars.
Summary: Among many great vehicles I have owned (e.g. BMW 7, SAAB 9000 turbo, Land Cruiser, Escalade) this is the best combination of drivability and practicality. My wife's Enclave looks and feels very classy but the CX-9 is much more a driver's vehicle.
Similar Products Used: Cadillac Escalade, Honda Pilot, Buick Enclave, Ford Expedition, Toyota Land Cruiser, Isuzu Trooper
Rating Reviewed by: Eric Vila(Unregistered User)
Review Date April 13, 2009
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 5 of 5
Used product for Less than 1 month
Visitors rate this review 4.87 of 5,
Review 2 of 3
from North Park Mazda
Year / Model Reviewed: 2009 CX-9
Strengths: Style, comfort, stereo, bluetooth, fun to drive, roomines, safety features, leather interior, zoom zoom.
Weaknesses: Maybe gas mileage could be 1-2 mpg better?
Summary: We had originally rented a CX-9 two years ago. My wife and I loved it. Back then my wife wanted to buy one. At the time we owned a Mazda Tribute. We currently own a Mazda 6 also. It was time to trade in the Tribute. My wife bought a new pearl white CX-9.
We had narrowed down our search to the Pilot and CX-9. The CX-9 looks the best and is more fun to drive. The CX-9 also feels faster. Be careful with the speed limit, the ride is deceptively smooth. The ride can feel firm if you go over uneven pavement. There is virtually no wind noise at highway speeds.
My wife always comments on how much she loves this SUV. Zoom zoom forever.
Similar Products Used: Acura Integra, Ford Probe, Saab 900 Turbo, Mazda 626, Mazda 6, Mazda Tribute
Strengths: Engine is a solid performer. Corners well, more car-like than my 2007 4Runner. The 6-speed transmission is smooth. Gadgetry is well-placed. Gauges are colorful at night and easy to see. Audio system is decent...not quite as good as the upgraded JBL in my 4Runner.
Weaknesses: Nav system screen is difficult to read during daytime when sun shines in the windows. Audio system has too much sound in center speaker, and there is no control for adjusting. Memory seating is nice, but the key fobs keep losing the ability to trigger the memory seating.
Summary: We bought this new a year ago. Driven it to California and back. Really enjoy the drive, interior room, fuel mileage, nav system, performance, and 3rd row seat. We also looked at the new Acura MDX (we had a 2002 MDX), Audi Q7, and new Toyota Highlander. The CX-9 GT has same stuff as Q7 and MDX, but cost thousands less. Highlander lacked the rear entertainment system.
Rear entertainment system is nice...kids really like it. Powered rear door/hatch is really handy. A/C is powerful. 3rd row seats are split, and easy to bring up and put down.
This is our first Mazda and we're really impressed with this vehicle. Driving to Cali and back to Dallas, we hit speeds up to 85mph and the CX9 handled well.