model. 2019 Mazda CX-9
price. $35,125 (incl $1,045 dest) Sport FWD
as tested. $47,385 (incl dest) Signature AWD
top trim: as tested
seating/style. 7-pass/three row/four-door crossover
powertrain. 2.5-liter 4-cylinder turbo
transmission. 6-speed Skyactiv automatic
driveline. FWD, AWD avail
fuel economy. 20/26/23
also shop: Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot
The Mazda CX-9 SUV is well-tuned and well-engineered, making it feel and drive smaller than it looks. The 310-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder SkyActiv engine provides plenty of zoom-zoom with enough pep to “feel alive” accelerating onto the highway (full disclosure: I question the effectiveness of that tag line). The six-speed automatic is a welcome change over a whiny CVT common in many vehicles today.
Visibilty is good in the vehicle, and there’s a long list of standard safety features. Front-wheel-drive is stock with all-wheel available for a modest upgrade.
The CX-9’s interior features a quiet, premium cabin with the Signature top trim offering nappa leather, detailed top-stitching, and judicious use of chrome. There are thoughtful touches too, such as a reclining and adjustable second row providing more comfort and easier access to the third row. While adults may find it a bit cramped, the last row is suitable for shorter jaunts.
The infotainment system is easy to use, but if you’re a fan of touchscreens, you’re out of luck. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available on upper trims, a first for the CX-9.
Overall, the CX-9 is a fine product, definitely worthy of consideration for a family-friendly seven-passenger SUV.