2018 Mazda CX-9 Review

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2018
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2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor
October 2, 2017

The 2018 Mazda CX-9 meets or exceeds expectations for what a mainstream three-row crossover can be. Have you seen it?

The Mazda CX-9 is a stylish crossover SUV that puts others on notice. It's one of the best looking three-row crossovers on the market, and boasts several interior features and creature comforts found in much pricier SUVs. 

We rate it at a 6.5 for now—that score should improve with more crash-test data. It’s not as spacious as others in the class, and Mazda’s turbo-4 has its limits. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

This year Mazda has made standard blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts and low-speed automatic emergency braking on all models. The price has risen as a result—$610 on base models, which are called Sport. Stepping up in price and features, the Mazda CX-9 is offered in Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature variants. Front-drive is standard on all models, and all-wheel drive is available at every step of the way for an additional $1,800.

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All variants of the CX-9 are powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 250 horsepower on premium fuel. In most cases, the turbo-4 is good enough for us to forget that the CX-9 doesn’t have a V-6.

A 6-speed automatic is the only option in all cases, but we can’t help but feel that more forward gears would help the CX-9 do better than 20- or 21-mpg combined in daily driving.

Like most in its class, the CX-9 doesn’t offer alternative powertrains or electrification, but the elephant in the room is the Highlander Hybrid that does all of the above.

Well, not looks. The CX-9 has that in the bag already.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$32,130
MSRP based on Sport FWD
 
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6.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8.0
Performance 6.0
Comfort & Quality 6.0
Safety 7.0
Features 7.0
Fuel Economy 6.0
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2018 Mazda CX-9 Pricing Insights

  • 2018 CX-9 has arrived; 2017s still widely available
  • New $2,000 rebate on 2017s; $500 on 2018s
  • Lease a 2018 from $329 for 36 months
  • APR as low as 0% for 60 months
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