Avg. Price Paid:$20,745 - $25,535
Original MSRP: $29,725 - $35,125
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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2012 Mazda CX-9 Review

Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

If you’ve decided to trade in your sporty car for more cargo and passenger space, but don’t want to lose too much fun-to-drive performance, test drivers think you’ll be especially happy with the 2012 Mazda CX-9.

Reviewers note that the Mazda CX-9 is one of the sportiest crossovers on the market, but that’s not all it’s good at. It also has a good list of standard  features, and its first and second rows are roomy. Auto reviewers say that its sleek, standout styling will turn more heads than most traditional-looking SUVs, and that adults will fit in its third row, which can be rare in this class.

If you’d rather have a surpassingly smooth ride that coddles you and your passengers, some of the CX-9’s rivals may be worth looking at. But most test drivers say that if you need a seven-seat family vehicle that’s comfortable, well-equipped and fun to drive, it doesn’t get any better than the 2012 Mazda CX-9. In fact, the Mazda CX-9 does such a good job of combining performance, interior space and value that it earned our 2012 Best Affordable Three-Row SUV for the Money award.

Other SUVs to Consider

The Ford Flex has a third row that’s a better fit for older kids and taller adults than the one in the CX-9. Test drivers add that the Flex is moderately sporty as well. It’s in the same price range as the Mazda CX-9, but offers lots of family-friendly features that the CX-9 doesn’t, like an optional refrigerated console and a power-folding third row.

To save some cash, consider the Kia Sorento. Test drivers say its base trim is well-equipped, and it comes standard with features that the CX-9 offers as options even on its highest trim level, like Bluetooth audio streaming. Though its optional third-row seats aren’t quite as comfortable as the Mazda’s are, if you don’t intend to squeeze adults into the way-back, the Kia’s cost savings might be worth it. The Sorento also starts a lot less than the CX-9 does.

Details: Mazda CX-9

The 2012 Mazda CX-9 comes in three trims: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. There aren’t any notable changes for this model year.

See the full list of 2012 Mazda CX-9 specifications.

  • "Like other large crossovers, the CX-9 is well-equipped, roomy, and comfortable, with seating for seven and good cargo adaptability. But it holds a distinct edge over most in terms of agility and response, important advantages in terms of driver gratification and accident avoidance.” -- Car and Driver
  • "If you want a three-row crossover that melds family-friendly functionality with a thoroughly enjoyable driving experience, you won't do better than the Mazda CX-9.” -- Edmunds
  • "CX-9 is a stylish, refined entry that adeptly balances solid driving dynamics with generous passenger and cargo room. The ride is a bit stiff, and the navigation system isn't the easiest to use. Still, this crossover merits consideration because it does many things well.” -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: Mazda CX-9

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