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TheCarConnection.com's editors read the latest reviews on the new 2009 Mazda CX-9 to write this comprehensive review. Experts from TheCarConnection.com also drove the Mazda CX-9 to offer you a definitive opinion on this sporty, seven-passenger crossover. This review also compares the 2009 Mazda CX-9 with other vehicles in its class to give you the best advice even when other reviews present conflicting opinions.
- Engaging driving characteristics
- Svelte yet buff styling
- Spacious second and third rows
- Available all-wheel drive
- Top-notch interior
- Some ergonomic oddities
- May ride too firmly for some
- Less first-row legroom than its competitors
- Navigation system
The seven-passenger CX-9 crossover was introduced in 2007 and is closely related to the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX. Crossover vehicles like the 2009 Mazda CX-9 are generally car-based vehicles that look and perform somewhat like SUVs. The CX-9 combines the space of a wagon with the ride height and utility of an SUV in a style that eschews the expected boxiness of both and delivers the sporty looks of Mazda's zoom-zoom heritage. The look is a bit more aggressive and overt than that of most other roomy crossover utes.
Simultaneously, the 2009 CX-9's styling avoids going in the false, “off-road-tough” direction of many SUVs. Unlike many high-horsepower V-6 engines out there, the 3.7-liter unit in the CX-9 does not require premium fuel, yet produces 273 horsepower. A smooth, six-speed automatic is standard and maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds. The CX-9 has crisp, responsive handling for a vehicle of its size and weight, though it’s not as nimble as Mazda’s smaller CX-7. With an EPA city fuel economy estimate of 17 mpg city, fuel economy isn’t a strong point for the powertrain, though.
Though the 2009 Mazda CX-9 is not the biggest of the big crossovers, the front seats are comfortable, and three rows of seating make the 2009 Mazda CX-9 quite useful for soccer-mom duty. The second row is split 60/40, reclines, or folds flat for cargo duty. Overall, good ride comfort, pleasing interior materials, and impressive build quality give the CX-9 a feel that’s quite upscale.