The Mazda CX-9 combines a spacious interior that can be lavishly appointed along with the sporty handling characteristics that Mazdas are known for. Though the Mazda CX-9 shares its basic architecture and engine with the Ford Edge, the Mazda feels much better executed, with superior driving dynamics and a more athletic feel despite its larger size.
The Mazda CX-9 is available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims, all of which are powered by a 3.7-liter V6 with 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional on all Mazda CX-9 trims. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission.
Like many large crossovers, the Mazda CX-9 provides a comfortable ride for long road trips. Surprisingly, the Mazda CX-9 also performs admirably around corners. From behind the steering wheel, it drives like a smaller, more agile vehicle, especially in its precise, communicative steering. While the Mazda's driving dynamics are suited to winding roads, they also translate well to the confines of city travel.
Standard safety equipment for every Mazda CX-9 includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control with a rollover sensor, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints. An optional rearview camera is available on Mazda CX-9 Touring and Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring models, while a blind-spot warning system is standard on the Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring.
The Mazda CX-9 features an elegant interior that is more carlike than other SUVs in this category — especially in regard to its seating position and dash design. Leather and cloth seating surfaces plus wood and chrome trim add distinction to the sporty interior, while two-tone leather treatments and red-and-blue lighting for the instruments deliver visual flair.