The Mazda CX-9 made its debut in 2007, and ever since it appeared on the market, it has been fun to drive. This three-row crossover received a facelift in 2010 for the first time and in 2013 for the second time, allowing the first-generation model to be competitive and fresh. When the 2016 CX-9 version was produced, we realized that Japanese car maker is aiming high with their gorgeous three-row SUV. The 2017 Mazda CX-9 remained pretty much the same, and it has been put to the test so let’s see what makes this car so special.
The 2017 Mazda CX-9 combines the luxurious look with affordability, modern and timeless design, aggressiveness and grace. Mazda’s KODO design language was used for the production of this vehicle’s grille, and this KODO design language can also be found on some other ongoing models such as CX-5 and CX-3. In order to define and pronounce the creases on the front end, engineers used chrome details, while the projector beam headlights are located on the sides of the grille.
The side window surrounds, the roof rack rails and the lower rocker panels are also made out of chrome. Moreover, you can find chrome on the rear bumper, tailgate between the 3D lenses of the taillights and good-looking twin exhaust pipes. The black plastic cladding is offered along the bottom of the car, which adds ruggedness. The CX-9 brings 20-inch, 10-spoke wheels that have the satin chrome finish on them and are wrapped in tires from Falken.
Mazda CX-9 Interior
The interior comes with some changes and instead of the simple plastic dashboard, the engineers installed an angular instrument panel which changes the looks drastically. Although this might be unconventional, the new instrument panel is functional and replacing the old dashboard was totally worth it. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather, while on the gauge cluster, there are three pods with two analog gauges and a digital screen, which provides various information about the vehicle and ride. The infotainment system is positioned above the dashboard, and you can either control it with a finger or buttons and knobs on the center console.
The interior of the new Mazda CX-9 is different, and you might need some time to get used to it. The cabin boasts space and even the passengers in the second-row seats have enough legroom and headroom. The temperature and fan speed can be adjusted with the rear HVAC control, and the rear system can be regulated by the passengers in front, which is great if the kids in the backseat go berserk. The third-row seats are the best for children, and the adults might want to avoid sitting here.
There is 71.2 cubic-feet of cargo space behind the front seats when the rear seats are folded flat, but if the third row is upright, the CX-9 boasts 14.4 cubic-feet of space, which is enough to put shopping bags. Overall the interior is spacious, comfortable while the functionality is on a high level.
Engine and Driving Experience
Under the hood, Mazda CX-9 sports the SkyActiv-G 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 engine that produces 250 horses at 5,000 rpm and 310 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm. In order for this machine to pump out 250 hp, you need to use premium fuel, while with the regular fuel this unit delivers 227 horsepower. The powerplant is made out of aluminum, and it comes with direct injection, dual overhead cams, and the Miller combustion cycle. Power goes through a six-speed automatic transmission to either front or all wheels. The fuel efficiency of the new AWD model is 21/27/23 mpg while the standard FWD is rated at 22/28/25 mpg, according to EPA estimates.
This three-row crossover is entertaining to drive, and despite its size, the steering feels very good. The brakes are responsive, and overall the CX-9 feels stable. When attacking the corners, there is minimal body lean and the driver is always in control. The maximum power and torque are already achieved at slightly below 5,000 rpm, so you don’t have to worry about the engine losing steam. In addition, the transmission is one of the best and smoothest not only in Mazda’s cars but the entire segment.
The driver has good visibility, and the 2017 Mazda CX-9 offers a comfortable ride, but there are some disadvantages. The sound of the powerplant is a bit unrefined when you drive at higher speeds, but the road and wind noise are minimized, and it is quiet in the cabin. The driver’s seat lacks adjustability, but none of these problems are major, and they can be disregarded.
2017 Mazda CX-9 Price
The 2017 Mazda CX-9 Sport carries the starting price of $31,520, but if you want the AWD version, you will have to add $1,800. The Touring and Grand Touring follow as they cost $35,970 and $40,170 respectively. The range-topping trim is called Signature, and it would set you back $44,015. This SUV offers fantastic looks, great power, beautiful interior and respectable handling. You cannot go wrong with this combo.