Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The Mazda CX-9 arrived in Australia December 2007 and received a facelift, price cut and new variant in October 2009. For such a large family-hauling SUV Mazda have done a great job with the CX-9’s design - we love the elegantly sloping windscreen and roofline. The huge 20-inch alloys (standard on the Luxury & Grand Touring grades) help to visually minimize the vehicle’s bulk.
Not so good At over two-tonnes you can’t exactly call the Mazda CX-9 'green' motoring.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good The classy dash design (in fact the whole interior is classy) and the quality feel’s spot on. The interior is extremely roomy (class-leading in fact). Third row seats that adults can actually use without feeling like a contorted circus performer - and they fold flat into the floor for extra rear cargo space.
Not so good Still, there are some less-than-luxurious hard-looking plastics around the dash. As is the case with a few of Large SUV’s on the market the tailgate can require a little muscle to close. The in-dash screen also feels small in comparison to the rest of the vehicle.
Performance

Performance

Good The 3.7-litre V6 is a refined engine pumping out 204kW of power and 367Nm of torque, combined with the 6-speed automatic transmission ensures one smooth drive. Unless you’re after a sports car you won’t find the performance lacking; it’s more than sufficient for a big family hauler.
Not so good No Turbo Diesel option - and from what we hear, it's unlikely we'll see one soon.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good On-road dynamics are a step ahead of the more rugged off-road 4x4’s such as the Prado, Pajero or Pathfinder. An excellent independent front suspension and a multi-link rear set up provide the CX-9 with impressive handling for a high-riding vehicle of this size. Although the steering could be deemed a touch 'light' in terms of providing maximum feedback to the driver. The number of turns per lock is kept to a minimum.
Not so good The 20-inch alloys fitted on the Luxury and Grand Touring grades ensure better cornering at the expense of smoothness - the result being a little bumpy at times. The Classic grade rides on more sensible 18-inch alloys so you'll enjoy a softer ride (but you won't look as good).
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Compared to a number of much more expensive ‘luxury’ SUV’s the CX-9 is great value for money. You should never be found wanting for interior space with one of these in the carport PLUS there's plenty of important safety features that come standard. The petrol engine only requires standard unleaded - and that's handy.
Not so good Fuel economy is not the CX-9’s strong point; however considering the size & weight of the vehicle and the performance of the strong V6 engine - the numbers are respectable.