2010 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring

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

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