2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring

January 22, 2010
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.
1001 06 Z+2010 Mazda CX 9 Grand Touring+front Three Quarter View
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.
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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
1001 07 Z+2010 Mazda CX 9 Grand Touring+side View
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

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2010 Mazda CX-9

Sport FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
starting at (MSRP)
$28,805
Engine
3.7L V6
Fuel Economy
16 City 22 Hwy
2010 Mazda CX-9