3.7L V6 - 6-Speed Auto
273 @ 6250
270 @ 4250
12.8 / 9.7
487 - 2851
The Mazda CX-9 has been with us for quite a few years now and is one of the last models still built on Ford shared platforms. It is Mazda’s flagship SUV with room for seven adults and a smart AWD system. Question is, is it still modern enough to keep its stance against the newer competition?
As mentioned, it is based on the Ford CD3 platform which is also used by models such as the Ford FLEX and Edge. So it goes without saying, that it is big and spacious. Prices start at $33,995 for a FWD GS and go up to $45,995 for a GT just like our test vehicle.
The list of features is pretty long, including leather seating, climate control, an assortment of driving aids, automatic AWD, 6-speed automatic gearbox with sequential mode, an awesome Bose sound system, navigation, rear view camera and more.
Inside the spacious cabin, strikingly odd is the fact that the good looking door panels have soft-touch materials and suede while the dash is all rock hard plastic. The fascia is even harder and rougher plastic and the shiny strips don’t really help the overall quality feel. Fit and finish is good so at least no rattles or squeaks are to be expected.
The front passengers have plenty of room and the driving position is relaxed. The seats provide enough support but overall they are just average. The rear sliding seats can be positioned accordingly to benefit legroom or the third row’s space. In a median placement, three adults can sit very comfortably as the legroom, headroom and width are more than enough. The awesome thing about it is that the third row can also seat two adults up to 6ft tall and at the same time, the trunk remains impressive. With all the seats up, the trunk is 487L while folding them all down, 2,851L are yours to try to fill.
The 3.7L V6 makes a great grunt and outputs 273 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque. It pulls well from low to high and throttle response is very quick. Despite the heavy body, performance is pretty good, as 0-100km/h comes in 8.7”. The only drawback is fuel economy, as it can get quite heavy. During our week in it, our combined average was as high as 14.5lt/100km.
On the road, it is one of the best behaved large SUVs out there. Steering feedback and feel is good and driving it is easy despite its size. Over bumps and rough surfaces it doesn’t break a sweat, as it cushions with adequate ability and remains in shape. Being big and heavy doesn’t also mean that leaning or struggling in the bends is what to expect. It is safe above all, progressive understeer appears when pushed, giving the driver plenty of room for mistakes. It is playful and crisp when driven sporty, but over-do it and the weight will quickly remind you to ease off. The brakes are capable enough to bring a quick run to an end, as from 100km/h it came to a complete stop in 44m.
The CX-9 continues to be one of the nicest large SUVs to drive and offers good space for seven plus cargo. If you can live with the thirsty engine and a few aged elements make sure you put this truck on your test-drive list.
Space for seven
Aged interior elements