A large crossover with some kinship to the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT, the 2011 Mazda CX-9 has spread-out space by the handful. It's a little tighter than those more boxy crossovers, but the CX-9 can seat up to seven passengers comfortably--provided you put them in the right place.
The front two rows are best for adults. The front seats have good cushion firmness, though the dash shape and seat travel might make leg room a bit tighter than in the Ford crossovers--or in something like a GMC Acadia or Chevrolet Traverse.
In the second row, it's all about comfort. Two adults will fit easily, with headroom to spare even on models outfitted with the optional moonroof. The second-row bench slides back and forth about five inches, for flexible leg room. This row's seats also are split 60/40, and they can either recline for long-haul passenger comfort, or fold flat for cargo duty.
Even though it's one of the roomiest seating packages in its class, the CX-9's third row still is a tight fit for most adult passengers, and getting in and out of that third row won't be easy. Kids won't have any problem.There isn’t a tremendous amount of space behind the third row--about 17 cubic feet--but when it's folded down, and when the second-row seats are lowered the CX-9 has more than 100 cubic feet of cargo space, big enough to bring home a 47-inch LCD television, as we've found.
The CX-9 offers a very comfortable interior. The interior fits and feels upscale, with nicely chosen and matches materials for the most part, and tight, impressive build quality.