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2017 Mazda CX-9 Review

By Matt Zimmerman


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2017 Mazda CX-9

Like the other Japanese automobile manufacturers, Mazda has even stepped into the production of off-road vehicles. Although Mazda was committed to building large vehicles, but they weren’t meant to play their part in the off-road and sports activities.

The Mazda CX series specifically deals with the production of SUVs. In 2006 the CX-9 was introduced by this section of the company. The CX-9 is mid-sized crossover SUV and is presently running in its second generation.

Actually, CX-9 came out as the successor of the Mazda MPV. And of course, the first few designs of the Mazda CX-9 were much like a mid-sized crossover minivan. Well, with the passage of time Mazda has been improving its mechanics, exterior designing, and interior.

The first generation CX-9 was built using the Ford CD3 Platform. This platform is even used for the production of the Ford Edge and Fusion. Further, Mazda was using the same drivetrain that was used in these Ford cars. But this Platform is no more used by Mazda.

The second generation has been designed totally on a different platform. The CD3 made CX-9 performed more like an underpowered sedan. But the present drivetrain is remarkable. Recently in the present year, CX-9 has earned the Prestigious Wheels Car of The Year award. In the competition for this award, CX-9 surpassed some of the German competitors. This is indeed a remarkable success for Mazda. Though the first generation even won some appraisal but that was just once in the blue moon.

Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Signature are the trim levels of Mazda CX-9. Further, the lowest marked price of this SUV is $31,250.

Now let’s dig into some detail of this car!

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2.5 L6 – speed automatic227 hp310 lb – ft
0 – 62 MPHTop SpeedBody StyleMPG
7.2s133 mphSUV21 city/ 27 highway


Hood of 2017 Mazda CX-9

The last generation CX-9 lacked heavily in the performance. This does not mean that it did not perform well. Actually, it did not perform like an SUV should do. It lacked the power displacement along with the torque burst.

The Mazda’s personal Skyactiv Technology has been used in the second generation of the CX-9. This platform has totally refined the performance and the handling of the car. The drivetrain has a 2.5 L turbocharged inline-4 engine with 227 horses rated at 310 lb – ft of torque.

The present day CX-9 even weighs lesser than its predecessor. It lost up to 287 lbs of weight. In our track run, she reached the 0 – 62 mph mark in 7.2 seconds, which is 0.9 seconds faster than the previous generation.

The CD3 platform offered a 3.7 L V6 engine, which was capable of reaching 120 mph. With the 2.5 L Skyactiv, the CX-9 can reach 133 mph. The previous generation delivered 18 mpg as a combined fuel mileage. On the other hand, the present day generation delivers 24 mpg as a combined mileage.

According to Mazda, the second generation CX-9 will have 20% improvement in its fuel economy. And we were actually surprised to discover that this model consumes 33% lesser fuel than the previous one.

Well, the platform is not the reason for the better fuel economy. Actually, the last generation had a V6 engine, while the present one has the turbocharged 4 cylinder engine. This even affects the fuel mileage of a car.

We don’t expect a squeaky steering from an SUV. Our experience with the CX-9 reveals that it has a sharp and responsive handling, with good ground clearance. Precisely, the steering is certainly perfect for the city riding. But we felt it a bit strict on an off-road journey.


2017 Mazda CX-9 Exterior

The SUV class of the cars certainly ponders less on the exterior designing of the car. Although, there are some handsomely crafted SUVs. But there are even some that are just countryside cruisers.

The CX-9 has a decent shape. It owns the same Mazda signature grille with chrome plating in the superior trims.  Certainly, it looks like a happy face shark from the front.

Well, the base model gets the 10-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. The same goes for the Touring trim. While the Grand Touring and Signature trim share the 20-inch alloy wheels.

The headlights employ the LED headlights with DRL and fog lights. Chrome has been utilized for the body molding. The roof rails are created of aluminum with the chrome and satin plating. At the rear, there is even a spoiler to ensure that CX-9 has the application of aerodynamics on it.

Besides a happy little smiling shark, the CX-9 is even a handsomely crafted SUV, which looks quite elegant.

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Interior of 2017 Mazda CX-9

The interior design of Mazda CX-9 has been appreciated by a number of automobile magazines. One of the famous cars’ magazine narrates that CX-9 has got a rich and premium feel inside. Well, leather trimmed seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knobs are some standard interior ingredients. The Signature trim gets the Nappa leather while the base Sports model has the cloth seat trims.

Up to 7 passengers including the driver can sit in this car. Moreover, the front and second rows are quite spacious. While we can have some reservations with the third. But still, the third row is quite comfortable. Overall CX-9 has 135 cubic feet of space for the passengers.

The trunk has 14.4 cubic feet of space with the third row up. On folding the third row, we get 38.2 cubic feet of space. And we get 71.2 cubic feet of space on folding the second row.


Features of 2017 Mazda CX-9

The base model gets the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, while the upper trims get the 8-inch screen. Bluetooth, radio, media system and the Mazda Connect are the available features in the car.

Voice command, Bose audio system with 12 speakers and Navigation are available in the upper-level models.


2017 Mazda CX-9 Safety

The Mazda CX-9 is quite a safe car to drive. It features the advanced passive safety, having sufficient amount of airbags, air curtains, anti-lock braking system and roll over protection.

Moreover, the active safety features the passenger weight sensors, dynamic safety and traction control, rearview camera, hill launch assist and many other.


Volkswagen Atlas

The Mazda CX-9 gets a lot of competition from all around the globe. But its closest competitor is the Volkswagen Atlas. Well, Atlas is even a decently designed performing SUV and is priced economically.

Whether you are planning for a picnic or the hiking tour, the Mazda CX-9 can accompany you to every such venue. The rich interior and superior performance can make your journey remarkable.




About Matt Zimmerman

Matt is no stranger to the automotive world, writing about cars since 2008 as a contributor for several huge automotive websites such as Car and Driver, AutoEvolution, Motor1, CarAdvice or MotorTrend. A true fan of everything with wheels, his garage includes a dozen of different cars, including an old BMW M3 and a Tesla Model S. Learn more about GCB's Editorial Process.

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