GO
#5

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $29,985 - $36,625
Invoice: $28,372 - $34,648
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
Find the best local price: submit
How the Best Price Program works »

Mazda CX-9 Interior

The 2014 Mazda CX-9’s cabin receives mixed reviews, as some reviewers like the stylish design and good assembly quality, and others say that material quality lags behind other SUVs in the class, with few soft-touch panels. Some auto journalists think the CX-9’s interior looks sporty, with shiny plastic accent panels and contrasting seat stitching, though others write that some materials in high-traffic areas may scratch fairly easily.

  • "The 2014 Mazda CX-9's dashboard features a graceful waterfall design that flows into the door panels with uncommon flair. Materials quality is unremarkable -- there's nary a soft-touch panel to be found on the dash, for example -- but it's all screwed together pretty well." -- Edmunds
  • "To some, a black-on-black interior is dull. It never gets old in my closet, and in the CX-9 it underscores the crossover's sportiness. Suede trim, shiny maroon plastic panels and red contrast stitching on the seats augment the black theme." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "There's a surprising amount of hard plastic on the dash -- the smaller CX-5 feels noticeably richer -- but this still seems to be the standard in a segment that has, as noted, become a bit sleepy." -- Automobile Magazine (2013) 
  • "Carried over, mostly intact, is a well-dressed interior, especially on the leather-lined Grand Touring, with well-padded armrests and dashes of piano black and mahogany, as well as aluminum trim along the doors and console. The hard edges of the console trim, however, press against knees when bracing into corners, and use of metallic trim in the interior's high-activity areas makes it prone to scratches." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Seating

The CX-9 seats up to seven people. Leather upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front seats are optional. Reviewers say the front seats offer plenty of space, lots of adjustment and provide a good view of the road. Reviewers say that the second row offers sufficient space and they like that it moves forward and backward and allows for easy access to the third row, which is best suited to kids. One reviewer mentions that the CX-9 has some blind spots toward the rear, but says the optional blind spot monitoring system helps with this.

  • "In the first two seating rows, there's ample room even for taller passengers, but headroom is tighter for those seated in the third row. Happily, the second-row seat reclines and slides fore and aft to accommodate various passenger scenarios. Access to the third row is a cinch relative to some other crossover SUVs, but the large rear door openings that make this possible can be cumbersome in tight parking spaces." -- Edmunds
  • "Most buyers of a family SUV will crave comfort, though, and the CX-9 delivers here, too. In everyday driving, the Mazda is quiet, comfortable and easy to maneuver. Like other 3-row SUVs, visibility to the rear quarters is hampered. Here the standard blind-spot monitoring system on Touring and Grand Touring models helps greatly." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Wide-opening rear doors are great for access to the second and third rows but are slightly unwieldy in tight parking spaces. As in most seven-passenger crossovers, the third row is for preteens old enough not to need a booster seat and young enough to consider the trek back there an adventure. For adults, the way back is short on leg- and headroom, although sliding the second row forward can increase knee space in a pinch." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "The driving position is good, as the seat is highly adjustable and the steering wheel both tilts and telescopes." --Automobile Magazine (2013)

Interior Features

The 2014 CX-9 comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio and a USB port. Major options include a backup camera, navigation, a 10-speaker Bose stereo system, an 11-speaker Bose stereo system with a rear-seat entertainment system, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring.

Reviewers say the CX-9’s 5.8-inch touch-screen interface is small and hard to read compared to some rivals’ screens. They also say it can be slow to respond to inputs, and sometimes buttons must be pushed multiple times to make selections. One reviewer dislikes that you have to go through multiple screens in order to enter an address into the navigation system.

See full 2014 Mazda CX-9 specs »

  • "We appreciate that every CX-9 is now touchscreen-equipped, but it's pretty small for a vehicle like this, and its interface isn't as crisp or comprehensive as we'd like to see in a spanking-new unit. The competition clearly upstages the CX-9 on this count." -- Edmunds
  • "Even in premium form with leather-trimmed seats and navigation, the CX-9 retains a straightforward dash setup. Controls are a snap to locate and use, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road rather than hunt for the seat warmer." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "For starters, the 5.8-inch screen is very small, making for even smaller buttons on the panel. The response time is also slow - some buttons required two or three pushes to register. The biggest problem is the number of steps for certain tasks. You have to make your way through three screens to input an address, for example, and figuring out how to cancel route guidance took a couple of minutes and lots of muttering." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "The touchscreen display itself is a bit on the small side, which can compromise legibility and operation of the ‘virtual’ buttons. Regrettably, CX-9 continues to suffer from the instrument-panel brightness issue we've complained about on past models." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Cargo

The CX-9 offers 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row of seats, 48.3 cubic feet with the third row folded and 100.7 cubic feet with the middle and third rows folded. The CX-9’s overall cargo capacity is fairly good for the class, though the Chevrolet Traverse has more cargo space overall. Reviewers are impressed with the CX-9’s maximum cargo capacity, but disagree on whether or not the center console offers enough space for smaller items in the cabin. Reviewers also note that under-floor storage compartments in the cargo hold can keep valuable items out of sight.

  • "With its second and third rows folded flat, the CX-9 offers up a formidable 101 cubic feet of cargo capacity: an excellent number for this class." -- Edmunds
  • "The second- and third-row seats fold seamlessly with easy-to-use handles and straps. When down, the seats create a nearly flat floor. There's a hidden storage compartment under the cargo floor large enough to stash a laptop case and camera or a couple of purses. Overall, stowage space is greater than in the Pilot and Explorer but less than in GM's offerings." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "Both the center console and the glove compartment are small for this class. It gets better as you go back, however. In the second row, there are two door pockets for bottles, two cupholders and two seatback pockets. In the third row, there are two cupholders on each side. Behind the third row, there are two shallow under-floor storage areas - one that's pretty tiny and a larger one that extends nearly the width of the vehicle." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "There's not a lot of cargo space behind the 3rd-row seat. A somewhat shallow well provides a bit of under-floor storage for smaller items. ... Interior storage is quite good, with a generously sized center console and door pockets." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Review Last Updated: 12/19/13

Next Steps: Mazda CX-9