2013 Mazda CX-9 Review

Consumer Reviews
1 Review
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2013 Mazda CX-9 gets a sharper, even sportier look, as well as new active-safety features, and should remain one of the most exciting and engaging vehicles with three rows of seating.

If you need three rows of seating for family needs, the Mazda CX-9 is one of many crossover-vehicle options. But if you'd really rather be in a more stylish, nimble vehicle, we can think of few three-row wagons that are both as exciting to look at and as exciting to drive as the Mazda CX-9.

We've already found the CX-9 to be among the better-looking vehicles in its class, and based on early pictures we've seen of the 2013 model, due late this fall, the facelift it's getting will bring an even sportier look. In the 2013 CX-9, Mazda has adopted its Kodo 'soul of motion' design language, manifesting in a new design theme for both the front and rear end. The front end in particular, based on early pictures, provides a much more aggressive look and helps punctuate the rest of the CX-9 design—even though the CX-9 carries over with essentially the same side profile and exterior sheetmetal. Inside, look for some substantial changes beyond just trims and materials, to match the new look and better fit with the somewhat more upright yet cockpit-influenced design in the CX-5.

Performance-wise, expect very little to change about the new CX-9; Mazda's 'MZR' V-6—a 3.7-liter that for 2012 made 273 horsepower—is expected to carry over, along with the same six-speed automatic transmission. We've found performance in prior model years to be responsive yet refined, with enough torque to carry a full load in confidence. But the key to why the CX-9 stands out in its class from a fun-to-drive standpoint has been its rather firm (yet just compliant enough) suspension tuning, as well as its quick-ratio steering. Our only complaint on the current versions has been the harsh ride of those with the available 20-inch wheels.

Expect interior packaging to be mostly the same—meaning that five adults will fit quite well in the first two rows, while the rearmost row is mostly for kids. Getting into the third row is challenging, too, but with the rear seatbacks folded you have space for a large load of groceries. We've described interior appointments in the past as definitely not luxury-caliber, but nicely detailed, and we anticipate that the 2013 Mazda CX-9 will get some material and trim upgrades.

In addition to the CX-9's respectable safety set, Mazda promises a number of new active-safety features available in the 2013 CX-9—including Forward Obstruction Warning System, Lane Departure Warning System, and High Beam Control System. The current version achieves only a 'marginal' IIHS roof rating, and we're not yet clear whether this version brings some structural changes that may improve on that one blemish.

Mazda hasn't yet provided any feature details for the U.S., but the automaker has noted audio and navigation upgrades, along with a voice-command system.

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October 14, 2015
2013 Mazda CX-9 AWD 4-Door Grand Touring

Above expectation.

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We are extremely happy with this Mazda. Great comfort on long trips. Mileage has been as claimed. The only complaint would be brake fade with aggressive driving. Power is adequate but am interested in new... + More »
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March 12, 2017
2016 Mazda CX-9 AWD 4-Door Grand Touring

New CX9 a great SUV.

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Our 2016 C9 GT, Soul Red, Sand Leather, is one year old. We have put on 10,000 miles from new, running it in upstate New York with a mix of rural and city driving and commuting during the week. We also took... + More »
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June 11, 2016
2016 Mazda CX-9 AWD 4-Door Signature

Very agile and responsive SUV

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I know that many of you are looking for review from a buyer. So, here is the first one. I was tracking the delivery time of the dealerships and it finally arrived close buy. I wanted the Machine Gray Signature... + More »
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February 12, 2016
For 2016 Mazda CX-9

Very comfortable on long trips.

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Very happy with this vehicle. Many drives 8 - 10 hours. Replaced callipers and pads with hi-performance parts at 50 miles. Huge difference. Only complaint would be road noise and gas mileage. Up to 28mpg on... + More »
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February 29, 2016
2015 Mazda CX-9 FWD 4-Door Sport

Mazda Is Great

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I just got the CX-9 Sport & it's a great SUV. Roomy, comfy & a pleasure to drive. This is my 2nd Mazda, the first was a 2011 Mazda3 Speed. It was very reliable & so I just had to get another Mazda. The 1st was... + More »
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April 28, 2015
2011 Mazda CX-9 AWD 4-Door Grand Touring

Forever car.

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Other then a problem when first purchased, no problems, fun to drive, reliable in all weather conditions. It's also the right size for a group of people or with the seats down, loads of stuff. Definitely would... + More »
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May 23, 2015
2009 Mazda CX-9 AWD 4-Door Sport

Nice looking vehicle to the eye with design flaws that bite your pockets down the line.

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If I knew the problems that these vehicles had, I would have stayed away. Do your research, Mazda knows that there is a design flaw with the transfer cases on this vehicle, when it goes bad it can create a... + More »
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September 19, 2015
2008 Mazda CX-9 FWD 4-Door Grand Touring

Nice driver, Good gas milage, $32,000.00 vehicle and the Mazda people left of the power tail gate unless you bought the navagtion Pkg.,really Mazda, and a few other thing that got left off, Really dumb Mazda!

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It's all right! For the same money you could buy a Lexus, next time!
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