I received the vehicle from Mazda from Drive Shop. All opinions are 100% mine.
This was one of the most amazing week in my lifetime. First, I got to see my son graduate high school, which is something words can’t explain. To make things better, my niece, who’s like our daughter graduated the following day. It was cool to have my mom and grandmother be a part of everything as I got the chance to check out the 2017 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring. With the SUV, I could take my mom and grandmother with us to both graduations. First off, the color of the Mazda CX-9 was astonishing and the interior was mind-blowing. Ever since we got the chance to try out the vehicle, my wife has been wanting one. Next year, we’re going to purchase a SUV and the 2017 Mazda CX-9 might be our choice. Below are some of the wonderful things I must say about the vehicle.
Although the Mazda CX-9 has been, in one way or another, in production for well over a decade now, it’s still one of the best three-row crossovers out there. The recent rise in popularity of the seven-seater crossover segment meant that the plucky CX-9 received some competition in the form of GMC’s Acadia and the Ford Explorer, but it’s not like Mazda’s been lazy either. The small but significant updates the CX-9 received year in and year out make the latest 2017 a practically different vehicle to the one Mazda debuted back in 2007. To find out if it’s still the three-row crossover benchmark, we decided to put it through its paces.
The car we’re comparing is the middle of the pack Touring model, a step up from Sport but one below Grand Touring. In addition to the basic features found in the Sport trim, the Touring model boasts additional heated mirrors, a power liftgate, keyless ignition, keyless entry, low-speed emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats and even leather upholstery. It is, for all intents and purposes, as luxurious of a car as you’re ever going to need.
Looks are obviously subjective, but you can’t deny the CX-9’s striking presence. The aggressive front end is particularly gorgeous, wearing Mazda’s corporate fascia with the swept-back slim headlights and that massive V-shaped grille. The rear is, in our opinion, not as good as the front, but the chromed grille connecting the two taillights is a nice touch. What amazed us the most were the proportions the CX-9 possesses. Looking at it from a distance, you’d never tell it was a relatively large seven-seater. It doesn’t look massive or bulky. And that’s a good thing.
Inside you’re really spoiled in terms of luxury. The 8-inch infotainment system is fast and intuitive, taking mere minutes to learn its interface. The eight-way power-adjustable driver seat is amazing, but the front passenger must make do with a four-way adjustable seat only. There are two USB ports in the middle row (the armrest), and there’s ample amount of space all around. Headroom and legroom are all plentiful, even in the rear-most row.
Engine and Performance
The 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is completely bespoke for 2017. It has very little in common with the previous 2.5-liter lump. With an all-aluminum design, direct fuel injection, DOHC, a Miller combustion cycle and even an original turbocharging system, it’s capable of producing 250 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Although those figures are impressive on their own, maximum torque arrives at just 2,000 rpm. Mazda’s research suggested that for every day driving plenty of torque low-down works wonders. It increases fuel efficiency in the long run and makes the driver happy because there’s power throughout the entire rev range. The six-speed automatic offers manual shifting capabilities, but we left it in auto most of the time. Unless you live in a particularly snowy area, you won’t see any benefits from the ACTIV AWD system. Our front-wheel drive CX-9 felt just as planted as every other crossover. Stable and secure, it never feels like it’s going to let go.
Mazda didn’t just remain at the top, but they’ve managed to extend the gap between their nearest rival. The new CX-9 is the most spacious, powerful and affordable three-row crossover currently on the market. Excellent value for money.