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#7

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $29,985 - $36,625
Invoice: $28,382 - $34,658
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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Mazda CX-9 Review

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 ranks 7 out of 23 Affordable Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mazda CX-9, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is ranked:

Test drivers say that while the 2014 Mazda CX-9's cabin lacks the refinement of some of its rivals, it is one of the most fun-to-drive midsize SUVs on the market.

The CX-9 is powered by a V6 engine that auto writers say has ample power for both city driving and highway passing. Power is routed through a six-speed automatic transmission that is praised for its quick shifts. Fuel economy is up to an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is OK for the class. Reviewers praise the CX-9 for its athletic handling, which they think makes it one of the most engaging SUVs to drive in the segment. Reviewers also say the CX-9’s ride quality is refined, though some caution that models with the optional 20-inch wheels can ride a bit harshly. The CX-9’s brakes are praised for offering plenty of stopping power, and test drivers like the CX-9’s responsive steering system.

Reviewers comment that the Mazda CX-9’s interior is constructed with materials that are hard to the touch, and some dislike the small touch screen that controls audio and navigation functions. They say that the screen’s small size can make it difficult to see, and that it is sometimes slow to respond to commands. Reviewers say the front- and second-row seats offer plenty of leg- and headroom, but say the third row is rather cramped. Cargo space is fairly good for the class, though rivals like the Chevrolet Traverse offer more maximum cargo space. The CX-9 comes with standard features that include tri-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker stereo and Bluetooth. Major options include a backup camera, navigation, a 10- or 11-speaker Bose stereo system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and rear parking sensors.

  • "Beyond its sleek styling and firm suspension, the CX-9's popularity is bolstered by its reasonable price, extensive list of comfort and safety features and strong reputation for reliability and resale." -- AutoTrader
  • "But suppose you don't give a hoot about handling and you're just reading this review because you want the best all-around crossover in this class. Much to Mazda's credit, the CX-9 remains a compelling option." -- Edmunds
  • “Despite its SUV status, it remains a Mazda, meaning it's actually fun to drive. Thanks to a powerful V6 engine and dynamic handling, the Mazda CX-9 stands out from competitors such as the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Nissan Pathfinder because it feels more like a nimble sports sedan than a pragmatic people-mover." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The CX-9's carlike driving behavior and chassis poise have remained consistent from introduction to this second freshening, and the CX-9 is still the easiest three-row SUV to wield on a day-to-day basis. You might say it's a crossover that offers room without sacrificing much zoom." -- Car and Driver (2013)

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Other SUVs to Consider

The Chevrolet Traverse has a lot of cargo space for the class, and reviewers like its spacious cabin and comfortable, refined ride. Additionally, reviewers say that the Traverse is easy to maneuver in tight spaces.

Reviewers praise the Dodge Durango for its smooth eight-speed automatic transmission and refined handling. The Durango is one of the only midsize SUVs that’s available with a V8 engine, and test drivers say that it’s powerful and refined.

Compare the CX-9, Traverse and Durango »

Details: 2014 Mazda CX-9

The 2014 Mazda CX-9 seats seven and comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional. Power comes from a 3.7-liter V6 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The CX-9 comes in three trims: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The CX-9 was last refreshed for the 2013 model year but is otherwise unchanged from the 2007 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable reviews and research from the 2007 to 2014 model years.

See full 2014 Mazda CX-9 specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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