The CX-9 is Mazda's big mid-size three-row crossover SUV. Despite its size, Mazda has managed to keep some of the fun to drive handling, steering and ride that the brand is known for. The CX-9 is by no means a sports sedan, but it is the best handling of the large SUVs.
Interior quality and materials are class leading, especially against competitors like the GMC Acadia or Hyundai Santa Fe XL. The third row has reasonable space for average size adults but is more difficult to enter or exit than the Toyota Highlander or Ford Explorer. It's a very nice place to be regardless of the row you choose, especially in top trim Signature. The infotainment system uses Mazda's rotary dial controller, which is one of the best around and is very easy to control.
The CX-9 is one of the few in the segment to offer only a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The 2.0L four makes 227 hp on 87 octane regular gas, or 250 on premium. Either way, thanks to a very low for the group curb weight the CX-9 offers adequate acceleration. Mazda's exceptionally well calibrated six-speed automatic helps out here as well, offering quick upshifts and snappy downshifts when asked to. That said, in gear acceleration can trail some of the bigger V6 powered rivals like the Honda Pilot. The smaller engine and light weight give the CX-9 a class-leading 10.6 L/100 km city, 8.4 highway in front-wheel drive or 11.5/8.9 for all-wheel drive models.
The CX-9 is available in four trim levels, with all but the base GS getting standard all-wheel drive (it's an option on GS). The GS model has 18-inch alloys, a rear camera, hill start assist, LED headlights, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with a six-speaker stereo. That stereo gets two USB ports in the center console. It has three-zone climate control, push button start, keyless entry, and heated front seats with power adjustment for the driver and manual adjustment for the passenger. GS-L adds a power glass moonroof, leather seating, and a heated steering wheel. It also adds rain-sensing wipers, two extra USB ports for the middle row, proximity keyless entry, and the passenger seats gains power adjustment.
The GT trim adds 20-inch wheels, navigation, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. There are also rear parking sensors, LED signature lighting front and rear with adaptive headlights, and a colour head-up information display. An optional tech package adds automatic high beams, radar cruise control, automatic braking, and lane departure warnings with lane keeping. Top trim Signature comes with the tech package and adds LED interior lighting, a light up LED grille, Nappa leather seating, and rosewood interior trim.