Mazda Crossover Has It All, Nearly
2012 Mazda CX-9 Review:
Mazda’s stylish CX-9 may be the best looking crossover on the market, plus it’s roomy, quiet and drives well, not something all crossovers can boast.
The Grand Touring AWD version starts at $34,785 and the test vehicle hit $40,850, including the $795 delivery fee and some pricey options.
For that amount, you get about everything except a power tilt/telescope steering wheel and a sunroof. Both should be standard on a top-end model.
That’s really about all I can complain about, though. The CX-9 is a fine performing large sport utility/crossover with all-wheel-drive.
The 3.7-liter V-6 engine creates 273 horsepower, and it’s linked up with a 6-speed sport automatic transmission that shifts cleanly and smoothly. It also allows manual shifts.The vehicle’s long, 113.2-inch wheelbase and suspension give it a comfortable, well-controlled ride that any family will appreciate.
Handling is good.
Braking comes from four ventilated discs, with ABS and traction and stability control. A blind-spot monitoring system is standard.
Gas mileage was weak. I got just 15.8 mpg in about 60% city driving. In a previous test I’d managed 18.6 mpg, so this was disappointing. The EPA rates this at 16 mpg city and 22 highway. This is no lightweight crossover though, tipping the scales at 4,546 pounds and an AWD system nearly always costs you at least 1 mpg.
Inside, the CX-9 is extremely quiet, stylish and comfortable. It also features a third row seat so 7 folks will fit fairly comfortably.
The interior featured black leather seats with a black textured dash.Controls for the dual climate control system are simple.The tested CX-9 added a navigation system with real time traffic updates for $1,665 and a rear entertainment system with surround sound, Bose audio system and 11 speakers, plus a 115-volt power outlet for $3,055.
Seating is comfortable up front with moderate contouring, power adjustments and three-position memory driver’s seat. The front seats also have two-level heat adjustments. Rear seats have plenty of head and legroom in row two and a bit more confined legroom in row three.The rear seat splits 50/50 while the second row is a 60/40 split. Both second and third-row seats will fold flat and there’s storage under the cargo floor behind the third row.
Not everyone who needs seating for seven will be able to afford the high-end Grand Touring AWD model. So Mazda offers several variations. The base Sport front-wheel drive model starts at $29,725 and its AWD model lists at $31,115. The CX-9 is an attractive, good-performing crossover for larger families that need room for seven.
Mark Savage welcomes your questions and comments regarding new vehicles at Savageonwheels@yahoo.com.