A great looking SUV that drives well, and is capable of carrying seven passengers.
Outdated infotainment center that seems way too small for the vehicle.
What's new for 2014
New for 2014 is the availability of Rear Cross Traffic Alert, 20-inch wheel design and new color options.
The first words that pop into my head when looking at the 2014 Mazda CX-9 are sporty, agile and refined. The driver gets the functionality of having an SUV big enough for the family, but not a big bulky roadhog. We were actually surprised to find a third row in the back due to the exterior shape looking like a sleek crossover. The CX-9's sloping lines and curves are impressive and do not go unnoticed.
Grand Touring trim came with 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, rain sensing wipers, power open/close liftgate, bi-xenon high intensity discharge headlights with auto on/off, led daytime running lights, dual power side mirrors with mirror memory and "tilt-in-reverse" option. Six color options are available.
The interior provides a spacious cabin with room for seven passengers. If the third row is not needed, fold it down. This was not the easiest maneuver when the 2nd row seats backrest is reclined. With both rows folded flat, the CX-9 is able to provide 100.7 cubic feet of storage space. The interior is sleek, the leather seats are comfortable, but the tiny 5.8 inch multi-information display (MID) could use some improvement as it looks outdated. Helpful features like Bluetooth and voice recognition are present and the driver is able to store up to 1,000 contacts in the directory.
Interior features include keyless entry and start system, AM/FM/CD Player with optional Sirius Satellite Radio which is played from a premium 10-speaker Bose Surround Sound System which is also upgradable. Navigation is also an option using TomTom technology and you can also read your incoming text messages on the MID, so one doesn't take their eyes off the road. Also available are three zone automatic climate control, USB audio input, rear view camera and seats warmers.
Comfort and Romminess
Not only does the CX-9 look sporty, it drives sporty. While at times it can be a bit stiff, the car handles excellent. It is responsive, quick (due the V6 engine) and agile. Cornering was sharp and braking was up to par. Gas mileage could be improved, especially since crossovers are stepping up their fuel game, but if anything the CX-9 can take you and your seven passengers where you want to go in style. Regardless of the trim level (Sport, Touring or Grand Touring) car buyers will get a premium vehicle.