2012 Mazda CX-9 Review
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