The 2009 Mazda CX-9 resembles a full-size wagon jacked up about a foot, riding on oversize wheels. Its carlike nose and steeply raked windshield give it a curvier look than other family-oriented crossovers.
Edmunds says, "Mazda has gotten this crossover thing right...without it looking like a minivan." Consumer Reports likens the CX-9 to "a longer version of the CX-7 but...much nicer," while Cars.com contends, "the CX-9 manages to avoid the chunkiness of many SUVs, in part because of its angular nose and car-like honeycomb grille." Motor Trend dissects the look and comments that "from the steeply angled windshield and sharp fender flares to the slanted headlamps and the distinct trapezoidal chrome exhaust tips, the CX-9 puts a spin on the traditional two-box sport 'ute and punts it into orbit." Automobile comments for such a large vehicle, it's "almost svelte, with a sleek windshield, a sinuous waistline, and buff haunches." Car and Driver notes its "handsome styling," and feels the Mazda CX-9, swathed in chrome and Copper Red paint, looks classy and expensive.
"The interior is beautifully designed, but there are some ergonomic oddities," reports Car and Driver. Edmunds feels that the Mazda CX-9 "offers one of, if not the best, interiors in its class in terms of styling, ergonomics, quality and space." Road and Track finds the Mazda CX-9 has an "equally appealing, if slightly less dynamic, interior design." Motor Trend reviewers are a bit more specific about what they enjoy in the 2009 Mazda CX-9, citing "metal-rimmed gauges and simple but elegant center stack, delights aesthetically and ergonomically." They note the effect on the 2009 CX-9 is brought together with "calming, indirect blue lighting and a pleasing mix of horizontal and vertical elements." ConsumerGuide states, "the navigation system...places some buttons and knobs out of easy reach for some of our testers."