Mazda CX-9 Review: Power and Performance

The midsize, three-row 2019 Mazda CX-9 has it all. On the surface, it has some of the most elegant stylings that make other midsize SUVs look like generic designs. That’s true for the interior design too, thanks to the Signature trim rivaling luxury models in terms of material quality.

It has more than looks, though. It’s also an exceptional driver on the road, allowing drivers to feel confident with its handling. Its prowess around the corners doesn’t come at comfort’s expense, either; the CX-9 is smooth all around. It’s even exceptionally quiet on the highway. All in all, the CX-9 is large enough to meet the needs of the average SUV driver.


This year’s Mazda CX-9 is part of the second generation, first released in 2016. It comes with a new surround-view parking camera system, retuned suspension, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


A three-row crossover SUV, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 can seat seven passengers and comes in four trims: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature. Each trim comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine capable of producing 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s possible to upgrade from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive. There is six-speed automatic transmission.

The base trim is the Sport, which comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, 60/40-split folding second-row seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, LED headlights, Bluetooth, 50/50-split folding third-row seats, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, Mazda’s Connect infotainment system, and a low-speed auto emergency braking system. This last feature is good for congested traffic.

Upgrading to the Touring trim goes a step further by providing a wealth of new features. These include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, keyless ignition and entry, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, automatic headlights, an 8-inch infotainment system display, two USB ports in the second row, heated front seats, a power liftgate, leather upholstery, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. There are also more safety features, which include lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and better emergency braking.

Getting the Grand Touring trim is an even more significant upgrade. Here, there is a moonroof, 20-inch wheels, roof rails, driver-seat memory functions, a heads-up display with traffic-sign recognition, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system, LED fog lights, more interior lighting, and much more.

Finally, the top-tier trim for the Mazda CX-9 is the Signature trim, where passengers will get exterior LED accent lighting and premium leather upholstery. It is only available in all-wheel drive.

Driving Experience

This is a genuinely athletic car even that tackles winding roads smoothly, and it’s quite easy to control. Most drivers will love the powerful engine. As far as acceleration is concerned, there’s good response time. It only takes 7.3 seconds to reach 60 miles per hours from zero. No problem merging to a highway here!

The brakes are also quite reliable. It takes about 115 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 miles per hour. Coupled with the response time, the CX-9 can bring some comfort to its drivers in many emergency situations.

All in all, the CX-9 is quick to accelerate, easy to regulate, and smooth to drive. A smart-shifting transmission works with drivers as quickly as they adjust speeds.

Interior Space

Unfortunately, there is not an overwhelming amount of available cargo space. However, those with a growing family should find enough room for everyone on trips. For example, there are lots of interior storage cubbies for small personal items. Just as well, the door pockets can fit plenty of things as well, including large water bottles. As for the folding capacity, the CX-9 has 4.4 cubic feet behind the third row. Folding down all the seats increases the space to 71.2 cubic feet.


The Mazda CX-9’s MSRP ranges from roughly $32,280 to over $45,365, depending on trim and options.

Disclaimer: Not all features come standard. Mazda has not reviewed the information on this page.


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