The Mazda CX-9 is almost unchanged for 2014. But you should check it out if you’re looking for a vehicle that can transport up to seven people and delivers acceptable performance both on highways and around town. It still loses, though, to some of its rivals that offer better fuel economy and roomier cabins.
NEW FOR 2014 CX-9
- rear cross-traffic alert system on Touring and Grand Touring models
- updated wheels
UNDER THE HOOD
The 2014 Mazda CX-9 has a 3.7-liter V6 engine under the hood. It is capable of producing up to 273 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission available, but the SUV can be with a front-wheel or an all-wheel drive system.
The 2014 CX-9 has the following fuel economy estimates from the EPA:
|CX-9 FWD||17 mpg||24 mpg||19 mpg|
|CX-9 AWD||16 mpg||22 mpg||18 mpg|
ON THE ROAD
Unlike most large crossovers in the market, the CX-9 demonstrates strong acceleration both around town and on highways. It also surprisingly handles corners like a small sedan. The automatic transmission is satisfying with its quick and timely shifts. Steering is precise and communicative.
The ride is comfortable with the 18-inch wheels. But the 20-inch wheels that go with the Grand Touring models significantly reduce ride comfort. Road and wind noises are minimal in the cabin. Rear visibility is acceptable even if it is normally hampered by the 3rd-row seat. More than a couple of cabin tech, like rearview camera and blind spot monitoring system, help you see, though.
INSIDE THE 2014 CX-9
All-black interior can be dull. But some think it looks elegant and sporty in the Mazda CX-9. Accents like red contrast stitching and maroon panels boost the look. But some reviewers think the design is bland and some materials cheap.
The seven-seater CX-9 offers acceptable space. The first and second rows have sufficient room even for taller passengers. Reviewers also like that the second-row seat can be slid and folded for easier access to the third row. But just like with other seven-seater SUVs, the third-row seat in the CX-9 may be cramped for adult passengers. Cargo space is reasonable at a maximum of 100.7 cubic feet.
The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is offered in three models: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Here are some of the standard and optional features on each model.
Standard on the CX-9 sport are 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, rear wiper, in-glass antenna, tri-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, keyless entry, 2nd-row center armrest with cup holders, manually adjustable front seats, 60/40 fold-down 2nd-row seat with tilt and slide feature, 50/50 fold-down 3rd-row seat, cloth seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Piano Black interior trim, and 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system (with USB/auxiliary audio inputs, 5.4-inch color touchscreen, HD radio, Pandora, satellite radio, and Bluetooth).
The CX-9 Touring adds auto-off headlights, heated power side mirrors, rearview camera, heated power front seats (8-way driver, 4-way passenger), leather seats, blind spot monitoring system, and rear cross traffic alert.
The top-of-the-line Grand Touring model has 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, chrome door handles, power liftgate, advanced keyless entry and start system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, driver memory function, Bordeaux interior trim, and alarm system.
Some of the options in the roster include:
REAR-SEAT ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM: Bose audio system, game port, DVD player with 9-inch screen, satellite radio, 11 speakers, navigation system
GRAND TOURING TECHNOLOGY PACKAGE: 10-speaker Bose audio system, power sunroof, navigation system
Photo credit: mazdausa.com