Sportier driving feel than other vehicles its size; emphasis on on-road performance; very roomy interior; safety features
The Mazda CX-9 comes with a very robust engine--a Ford-supplied 3.7-liter V6, making 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The engine has plenty of torque to bring spirited acceleration, even with a full load, and it runs on regular fuel without power loss. Fuel economy ratings range up to 16 mpg city, 22 highway according to the EPA.
The engine is mated to a responsive 6-speed automatic transmission that includes a manual mode, and the Mazda CX-9 is offered with either standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The so-called Active Torque Split all-wheel drive system monitors a range of variables including steering angle and lateral acceleration to supply the best division of torque between the front and rear wheels; under ordinary driving conditions it sends 100 percent of torque to the front wheels but can send up to 50 percent to the back. The system is primarily designed for good performance and traction on-road, rather than off-road.
Handling is one of the distinguishing factors that Mazda emphasizes, compared to other crossover SUVs, and there's plenty of attention to suspension tuning in the Mazda CX-9. The four-wheel independent setup uses low-friction struts in front and a multi-link rear configuration. Anti-roll bars are used front and rear to help minimize lean and engine-speed-sensitive power steering gives more feedback than is customary for vehicles of its type.
Even though performance is a priority, the Mazda CX-9 is a large vehicle with three rows of seating and a very well designed interior. Full-size adults will fit comfortably in the first two rows of seating, and the split-folding second row slides fore and aft about five inches. The 50/50-split third row folds flat to maximize cargo space at the back, and the second row folds easily to gain access. Even when the third row is up, Mazda says that there are 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space.
All the expected safety features are included on the Mazda CX-9 as well. They include electronic stability control with Roll Stability Control and anti-lock brakes with big vented discs all around, plus front side airbags, and side-curtain bags that cover all three rows.
Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims are offered for the Mazda CX-9. Even the base Sport comes with air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, a trip computer and a Bluetooth hands-free interface. The Touring model brings leather upholstery and power front seats, while the Grand Touring brings many more features, including rain-sensing wipers, an alarm system, a memory driver's seat, Blind Spot Monitoring, and a keyless start system. Grand Touring models also get dressed up a bit more with bright door handles, wood instrument panel trim, and blue interior lighting, plus bright-finish 20-inch alloy wheels.
Major options include an upgraded Bose audio system, a power sunroof, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a backup monitor and a power liftgate.
Mazda's CX-9 is a full size larger than Mazda's performance utility vehicle, the Mazda CX-7, and closely related to the Ford Edge; but compared to the Edge and most other crossover SUVs it has a sportier character than the Edge and some might find the Mazda CX-9's overall package a bit more attractive. Even though the Mazda CX-9 is among the sleekest, more aggressively styled SUVs its size, it's also very roomy inside, with three real rows of seating and cargo space behind that.
The Mazda CX-9 carries into 2009 with only a few feature changes and increased standard equipment. A trip computer is now standard on all models, a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface has been added to the Sport model's feature list and the Grand Touring model now has a standard auto-dimming rear-view mirror with Homelink.
Option packages get increased content as well. A new Power Sport Package now includes heated seats and heated outside mirrors, Sirius satellite radio has been added to both the Moonroof and Bose Audio Package and the Rear Seat Entertainment Package.
Vehicle Price: 30,570.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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