Tri-City Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Newark, Sunol and Union City, California

 

August 12, 2009 > Auto Review: Mazda CX-9

Auto Review: Mazda CX-9

The CX-9 is Mazda's three-row SUV. As you may know, Ford owns part of Mazda and both the Ford Edge and the Mazda CX-9 share the platform of the previous Mazda6.

Our test CX-9 was the top of the line Grand Touring model. All three CX-9 models (Sport and Touring are the other two) share the same body shell and front wheel drive train except that an all-wheel-drive version is available as an option. The only differences between the models are trim and added optional features.

The CX-9 is powered by an all aluminum 3.7-liter, V-6 engine. It puts out 273 HP and 270 foot pounds of torque so it has plenty of power to blast around the countryside. The 6-speed automatic transmission delivers 16/22 mpg (on regular unleaded gas) in the front wheel-drive versions. The all-wheel-drive system produced 1 mpg less in both EPA test cycles.

The CX-9's interior has its plusses and minuses. The navigation system is very good and is easy to use even for a "non-computer" person. It is easy to set up and load in destinations. Following its directions was a snap.

The front seats were very comfortable and provided good support. On the negative side, the third-row seats were very tight for adults and had little head room. But this should not be a surprise for a vehicle the size of the CX-9 because it is smaller than many vehicles with three rows of seats.

The CX-9 handled well for an SUV. It had very little body roll and was stable in high winds. It did ride rougher that I expected, and the road noise was loud and annoying.

Our Grand Touring CX-9 had Mazda's Blind Spot Monitoring System that alerts the driver of vehicles that he/she may not be able to see in the mirrors. Small radar units on both side of the CX-9 send out beams to test to see if there are other vehicles in your blind spots to the sides and rear of your vehicle; when the radar system detects something, a red light flashes in your side mirrors to warn you not to change lanes. This is a great safety feature and can definitely help prevent accidents. This system is not available on the Sport and Touring models.

CX-9 Sport starts at an MSRP of $30,570. The Touring model starts at $32,465. Our Grand Touring CX-9 started at $34,555 and with a moonroof, satellite radio, better sound system, navigation system, and backup camera, the total cost was $39,260. If you want all-wheel-drive, the additional cost is about $1,400. You can also add a Mazda rear seat DVD entertainment system.

Mazda gives the CX-9 an impressive array of safety systems and equipment. The front seats get a full set of airbags. Curtain airbags cover all three rows of seats. Dynamic Stability Control, Roll Stability Control, and Tire Pressure Monitoring systems are standard on all models.

There are a number of three row SUVs on the market today and CX-9 is a worthy competitor in the market and is recommended by Consumer Reports.


By Dick Ryan
Freelance Automotive Journalist
Member of the Western Automotive Journalists

Home        Protective Services Classifieds   Community Resources   Archived Issues  
About Us   Advertising   Comments   Subscribe   TCV Store   Contact

Tri Cities Voice What's Happening - click to return to home page

Copyright © 2014 Tri-City Voice