Reviews

2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring

The CX-9 is a nice vehicle, but it’s hardly a Mazda. The entire package feels like it could be another one of the General Motors Acadia/Enclave/Traverse crossover trio from the size, to the driving dynamics, to the styling. That’s not really a slam; the GM crossovers are fine vehicles-it’s just that I expect more character from a Mazda.

From the front seat, the ride is very composed, but as you move back in the CX-9, the twenty-inch wheels really begin to deliver punishment. Combined with the poor outward visibility, the rough ride in the third row can quickly become nauseating. I crammed my 6’3″ frame into the third row for a brief twenty-minute ride, and it was barely tolerable. The high floor positions your feet just a few inches from your butt, while the cramped legroom forces you to splay your legs apart. Sure the third row is really a kid-only, occasional-use ordeal, but it only reiterates how nonfunctional these crossovers are when compared with minivans, which provide more room for people, a taller cargo hold behind the rear seats, greater outward visibility, and easier access to the third row.

Compared with competitors in this class, though, the Mazda is spot-on. Our top-trim Grand Touring has a beautiful black-and-cream interior with great leather seats. The layout of navigation, audio, and climate controls is excellent, with intuitive, easy-to-find controls. My only real complaints from behind the wheel are seat heaters that never get seriously hot and excessive wind noise at highway speeds.

Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor

The CX-9’s All-Star award from 2008 still shines, as this remains one of the best-handling big crossovers on the market. The Ford Flex is currently both my and the magazine’s official preference, as far as All-Star awards go, but the good-driving Mazda is a great alternative with a more traditional crossover’s jellybean shape. (Personally, I somewhat prefer the Flex’s boxy look, but I know many people who simply can’t stand the Ford’s styling.) It isn’t as fast as an EcoBoosted Flex, but the CX-9 feels pretty quick for such a large vehicle.

I didn’t get to spend very much time in our 2007 Four Seasons CX-9 since it was in such high demand when it was part of our fleet. Many months later, it’s easy to see why, since the CX-9 is so spacious and comfortable yet manages to be enjoyable to drive. Sure, Eric, it’s no Miata or Mazdaspeed 3 and is highly comparable to GM’s solid group of three-row crossovers, but for something that weighs more than 4500 pounds, I think that the CX-9 retains a good bit “zoom-zoom.”

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring

Base price (with destination): $34,795
Price as tested: $39,265

Standard Equipment:
3.7L V-6 engine
6-speed automatic transmission
20-inch wheels
Xenon headlamps
LED taillights
Leather seating surfaces
Heated front seats
AM/FM/CD audio with 6 speakers
Bluetooth
Auto-dimming mirror
Tire pressure monitoring system
Roll stability control
Blind spot monitoring system

Options on this vehicle:
Moonroof/Bose — $2255
– Power moonroof
– Sirius satellite radio
– Bose audio with 10 speakers

Navigation system — $1665
– DVD-based with 7-iinch LCD touch screen

Power open/close rear hatch — $400
Rear bumper step plate — $150

Key options not on vehicle:
Trailer hitch and wiring harness — $425
Retractable cargo cover — $205

Fuel economy:
(city/hwy/combined)
15 / 21 / 17 mpg

Engine:
Size: 3.7L DOHC 24-valve V-6
Horsepower: 273 hp @ 6250 rpm
Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm

Drive:
All-wheel

Transmission:
6-speed automatic

Weight: 4550 lb

Wheels/tires:
20-inch aluminum alloy wheels
245/50R20 all-season tires

Competitors: Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Chevy Traverse

Comments

Buying Guide

2010 Mazda CX-9

Fair Market Price $13,999 Touring FWD
Motor Trend Rating
StarStarStarStarStarHalf-Star

EPA MPG:

16 City / 22 Hwy

Cargo (Std/Max):

NA / 101 cu. ft.

Seating:

7/7