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MIKE
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
March 23, 2019
9,544 miles
|
Owned 11 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
LOVE MY MAZDA CX-9! RIDES AND FEELS LIKE A SOFA! GREAT GAS MILEAGE AND THE SALES REP JAY WAS AWESOME AT ONTARIO MAZDA GET ME A GREAT DEAL!
Tanya
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
March 16, 2019
11,000 miles
|
Owned 5 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
The CX9 has great safety and driving features. The interior is well designed with comfort and leg room for every rider.
Anonymous
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
March 14, 2019
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
I want people to know that I like to travel, leisure etc. I also want people to know that driving in this car is comfortable.
Monika
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
March 07, 2019
4,000 miles
|
Owned 7 months
4
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
Value for money ! includes most features from luxury brands. Love the look and space. Very reliable snd smooth handling on rough terrains. Was able to navigate the recent Seattle snow with ease.
Stu
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
March 03, 2019
3,000 miles
|
Owned 6 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
I recommend the CX-9 for anyone that is looking for a 3-row SUV that's fun to drive and has top-notch interior features and materials, and doesn't want to be saddled with excessively expensive insurance and repair costs from the German brands.
Jules
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
March 01, 2019
3,200 miles
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Owned 4 months
4
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
we looked for over a year for a travel vehicle that would be versatile enough to carry cargo, car seats, and multiple adults on various road trips. After test driving at least 8 SUV/crossovers, we settled on our Mazda CX9- and we love it! The third row seating awesome- even adults can ride there comfortably... and it folds down when we need more cargo space. Highly recommend it for safety features, smooth ride, reliability, versatility, and relatively good gas mileage.
Mark
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 22, 2019
9,250 miles
|
Owned 8 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
You can't find a vehicle that will give you more for your money as well as outstanding driving dynamics. I have the CX-9 Grand Touring. It's interior and features match or beat most other luxury brands. The exterior styling is elegant. I test drove many luxury SUV's. While some had a few more features, others a bit stronger in driving dynamics, NONE could match the combination of price, quality, features, handling, fuel efficiency, and styling of the CX-9. While others complain about the tight 3rd row, and lack of cargo space, I have not had an issue with that. Every day that I drive my car I am totally loving it! Really like the heads up display and the way it integrates with navigation.
Deborah
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 22, 2019
5,000 miles
|
Owned 9 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
I've had a great experience so far with the Mazda CX9. The interior is comfortable and the exterior looks great. It handles much more like a car than other SUV's I test drove, which was the main reason for choosing it for me.
Sophia K.
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 21, 2019
9,000 miles
|
Owned 6 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
The sensors are very receptive and I can count on them when I'm merging, or parking. The interior has a very clean touch and it's very spacious. Overall this SUV has all the modern features, for an affordable price.
Nancy
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 19, 2019
5,000 miles
|
Owned 6 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
I wasn't planning on getting another Mazda, I was seriously looking at other brands that were so expensive. After I went to just "look" at the CX-9 I fell in LOVE with how it drives and all the awesome features the car came with. I thought it was going to cost way more than the other cars I had looked at, it ended up being $100 cheaper/mo with every extra I wanted. I got my dream car and I am so happy with my CX-9!!
Deonte
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 17, 2019
20,000 miles
|
Owned 10 months
4
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
I enjoy my vehicle it nice drive smooth. I love the 3rd row, for a SUV drives like car handles like a car. It's classy and sleek, I dislike plastic vehicles, I don't like the screen display also rear camera could be better, the lock safety feature I don't like like car start w/o the auto start you can not lock your doors after starting the car.
Eliran
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 15, 2019
3,000 miles
|
Owned 11 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
The Mazda is a great car for a large family, I can comfortably sit 7 people for a long and short ride, the car is beautiful and has a good response and handle the road very very well
Singh
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 15, 2019
3,000 miles
|
Owned 5 months
4
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
I own a 2018 Mazda Cx-9 and it's a beautiful vehicle. One of the main reason why I purchased this vehicle was because it fits more than 5 people, which was really important to me. We looked at other SUV's but just wasn't happy with the price and the look. Before Cx-9, i had Cx-5, which also is a beauty, especially the interior and features it has. MINDBLOWING! Only thing I dislike about my Cx-9 is that it doesn't have Bose surround system and that's only because I own a base model. Everything else about Cx-9 is amazing. If you are looking for a nice looking affordable SUV, should look into Cx-9.
Brandi
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 13, 2019
8,500 miles
|
Owned 8 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
I love the seating capacity of the vehicle. It is very comfortable and I have had absolutely no issues with it.
Cory
J.D. Power
VERIFIED REVIEW
February 11, 2019
4,000 miles
|
Owned 5 months
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
My 2018 Mazda CX-9 Sport AWD is an amazing piece of machinery. It has all of the newest technology available but also is refined inside and out. It is a calming drive even in dense traffic. The navigation system, I-Active Sense package and blind spot monitoring make this vehicle worth every penny. Motor and transmission are smooth. The ride is a little stiff, but there is no body lean and the tires stay firmly planted.
Anonymous
August 06, 2018
5
TOTAL
Reliability
Interior
Exterior
Driving Dynamics
2018 Mazda 1203 CX-9 30878 396167
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Introduction

The Mazda CX-9 is a handsome three-row crossover that blends sport and family functions. The handling is sharp and the ride firm, while carrying seven people in comfort.

It’s front-wheel drive, with available all-wheel drive sending up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels when they need it.

For 2018, Mazda CX-9 comes with G-vectoring, which cuts ignition spark to put a small amount of weight on the front tires, to make the handling more stable in corners. Otherwise, there are no major changes for the 2018 model year. The current-generation CX-9 was introduced as a 2016 model.

The CX-9 uses one engine, a 2.5-liter turbo making 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, when Premium gas is used; however, it drops to 227 hp on Regular. The engine was named one of Wards “10 Best Engines” in 2017.

It’s mated to a quick six-speed automatic that’s smoother than rivals having eight, nine, or ten speeds. But its sporty nature is missing something: paddle shifters.

With front-wheel drive, CX-9 rates 22 miles per gallon City, 28 Highway, 24 Combined, according to the EPA; with 1 less combined mpg with all-wheel drive. That 6-speed automatic might be smoother than some with 9 or 10 speeds, but the reason for their being is to improve fuel mileage. So the CX-9 mileage suffers a bit.

With a long wheelbase of 115.3 inches and overall length of 199.4 inches, it’s bigger on the outside than the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, but those inches mostly vanish on the inside, where Pilot and Highlander offer more space. The CX-9 wins back on cabin beauty and luxury feel, but loses again on tech, with mediocre connectivity and an infotainment system that has been behind rivals for at least two years.

For 2018, CX-9 comes with automatic emergency braking at low speeds, called Smart City Brake Support, along with blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alert.

The IIHS gives the CX-9 a Top Safety Pick Plus rating, but only the Grand Touring or Signature model with LED headlamps. The Sport and Touring models get a mere Marginal rating due to less-effective headlamps.

Model Lineup

The CX-9 Sport ($32,130) comes with cloth upholstery, three-zone climate control, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Smart City Brake Support, blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alert now come standard.

All-wheel drive is available for Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring ($1800). (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

CX-9 Touring ($34,960) includes leather upholstery, power heated front seats, push-button start, three-zone automatic climate control, two USB ports, Bluetooth audio streaming (no CD), rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch screen, and LED headlamps.

Grand Touring ($40,470) adds lane-keep assist, lane departure alert, moonroof, adaptive cruise control, power liftgate, and upgraded infotainment with 8.0-inch screen. An option package adds automatic LED foglamps, navigation, Bose speakers, automatic windshield wipers, sunroof, SiriusXM satellite radio, 20-inch wheels, and head-up display.

Signature ($44,315) comes standard with all-wheel drive and adds Nappa leather, Japanese rosewood inlays, and real aluminum trim.

Walkaround

The CX-9 is elegant, with a long hood, tapered fenders, and dramatic (for an SUV) roofline. Its tall nose features a large but delicate grille that’s tilted at the top like a Volvo XC90, and LED headlamps; on the Signature, the grille has LED background lighting. The rear pillars arc upward. The wide stance gives an athletic look that could pass for Italian.

Interior

The CX-9 cabin is car-like, with a low shelf-like dashboard similar to the design in other Mazda vehicles. The materials feel upscale and expensive. The brown Nappa leather in our test Signature was gorgeous. The switchgear placement sometimes seems haphazard, and there’s a lot of glossy black plastic that will show smudges. The driver’s line of sight includes a 4.6-inch screen with trip information and functions.

The touchscreen sits awkwardly on the dash like a TV on a Motel 6 dresser (a design that makes it easier for the manufacturer to upgrade on later models). The radio is easy to tune, but the infotainment system feels dated. The system is menu intensive and takes too many clicks to program. The navigation system lags competitors. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are not available.

The CX-9 has less room inside than its rivals, however the split-fold second row is on a sliding track, which allows one inch more legroom than the Pilot or Highlander. The rear seats recline but lack support from contour.

The front seats are spacious but firm, and also lack support. Good adjustment, and a tilt/telescope steering wheel, but a wide center console steals side legroom.

The third row is not for adults. Behind it, there’s only 14.4 cubic feet of cargo space. With the third row folded flat, there’s 38.2 cubic feet. The CX-9 works best like this, as a five-seat crossover.

With both rows folded, we fit in two kayaks and two electric bicycles. The only problem was that the liftgate wouldn’t close all the way, and there’s no way to shut off the beeper that warns you it’s open. So we drove all the way to the river with the radio on full blast to drown out the warning telling us what we obviously already knew.

Driving Impressions

For all it’s sporty slant, we’re not as entertained on the road as we should be. That’s unlike the CX-5, which we declared to be the most fun compact crossover we’ve ever driven. What was especially no fun was the Lane Keep Assist constantly telling us we were about to run off the curving two-lane road when we promise you, we were not.

The turbocharged 2.5-liter engine responds smoothly and quickly to make the most of its 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, but the engine needs high-test gas to get that power. It runs fine on regular, but only makes 227 horsepower. Mazda says the difference only occurs above 4500 rpm, so it’s not something you’ll notice around town or even cruising on the freeway, just when you’re very hard on the throttle. There, it growls and strains a bit when it’s carrying five people. Some competitors with V6 engines are more powerful.

When it’s carrying just one, it feels super smooth and fast, accelerating onto the freeway.

The turbocharger was designed by Mazda, to respond without the lag that inherently comes with turbos, and the engineers succeeded in their goal. When you floor it from idle it lags for a second, but you don’t drive like that.

The CX-9 uses a simple suspension, struts in front and multilink in rear, to deliver a well-controlled ride with the standard 18-inch wheels. The brakes inspire confidence.

The steering is on the heavy side, with a medium amount of feel, making it a pleasure to drive on twisty roads. But the optional 20-inch alloy wheels deliver a firm ride that turns twitchy on rough roads. That’s because the sidewalls of the tires aren’t as wide as the standard 18-inchers, so there’s less absorption of the bumps. They run the dampers out of range.

With only six gears in the automatic transmission, against rivals that have as many as 10, the CX-9 looks behind them, but not necessarily. The 6-speed automatic easily keeps the engine in its powerband, and shifts smoother than some with more speeds, whose programming is more complicated, with more choices to get wrong.

Mazda’s G-vectoring is not the same as other cars’ torque vectoring. Torque vectoring uses the brakes on one side of a car to give a greater sense of grip or mitigate the effects of understeer. One consequence of that is the driver loses a sense of steering feel. G-Vectoring, on the other hand, cuts ignition spark to put a minimal amount of extra weight on the front tires, effectively creating a wider contact patch, stiffening the tire sidewall and creating more stable steering feel, both in straight lines and corners.

There is a transmission sport mode that raises the shift points, but there are no driving modes to change the throttle and steering response.

Summary

With no paddle shifters, no sporty modes, and a turbo four that’s sometimes stretched, the CX-9 can’t be called terribly sporty. It has elegant looks, but it’s not as roomy inside as it should be, and the third row is for kids. The infotainment system is easy to use but dated. We like the ride and steering the most.

Sam Moses contributed to this review, with staff reports.

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2018 Mazda CX-9
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