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#9

in Affordable Large SUVs

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

Automotive journalists agree that agile handling and precise steering make the 2015 Mazda CX-9 is one of the more athletic SUVs in the class. Reviewers also say the standard V6 engine has plentiful power for all driving situations, although some report that the CX-9 doesn’t have the smoothest ride in the class.

  • "The 2015 Mazda CX-9 crossover is the enthusiast driver's answer to the boring minivan or gas-guzzling SUV." -- AutoTrader
  • "Three rows and all, the responsive CX-9 feels smaller than it really is when you're driving it on winding roads. There's plenty of power, too, which is something not every Mazda can claim. If athleticism is what you want from a family-sized crossover, the CX-9's hard to beat." -- Edmunds (2014)
  • "The CX-9 may not be as soft-riding as many of its competitors, but nor is it as tippy in corners or as disconnected-feeling at high speeds. In other words, it's a typical Mazda, and that's a good thing." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes 273 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the 2015 CX-9 earns up to 17/24 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class.

Reviewers are pleased with the amount of power available from the CX-9’s V6 engine. They say the CX-9 accelerates quickly, which makes highway passing a breeze. They add that the six-speed automatic transmission has responsive shifts.

  • "The 2015 Mazda CX-9 carries on with a 3.7-liter V6 with 273 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. It's plenty of muscle to get the CX-9 moving briskly, and in all models it's connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The big V6 hums along with little fuss or commotion, delivering its power in a smooth, linear fashion without hesitation or strain." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2015 Mazda CX-9's V6 offers strong acceleration for both around-town driving and highway passing. The automatic transmission is also pleasing, with quick and timely shifts." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Mazda CX-9 has standard front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available. Test drivers report that the CX-9 is one of the sportier SUVs in the class. They say it corners with ease, and is surprisingly nimble in traffic. Critics add that the CX-9 has responsive steering and strong brakes, but some point out that it rides firmly in city driving.

  • "Despite its generous dimensions, the CX-9 handles more like a sporty sedan than a capacious crossover thanks to a cleverly tuned suspension, sharp steering and responsive brakes. It's a family vehicle that's legitimately fun on the backroads." -- Left Lane News
  • "The Mazda's heavy steering builds effort nicely in corners, and while the CX-9 still holds its own in a corner, the suspension can be stiff around town. That said, this isn't a market segment defined by fun-to-drive vehicles, so the fact that the Mazda CX-9 offers some bite in corners is still a noteworthy difference for SUV buyers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite the CX-9's size and weight, it is still amazingly spry when rounding corners or darting through traffic. Credit goes to the car's rigid frame, MacPherson strut front suspension and independent multilink rear suspension for the sports-car-like ride and handling." -- AutoTrader
  • "The precise, communicative steering lets you carve a consistent path, whether you're powering down the interstate or making time on a rural two-lane road, and the steep rake of the windshield adds to the sporty vibe." -- Edmunds
Review Last Updated: 12/19/14

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