2021 Mazda CX-9 vs. Its Competition

2021 Mazda CX-9 image
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

Three-row crossover SUVs are hard to beat for their utility, and nearly every automaker now has a good one.

The CX-9 has aspirations beyond its typical competition, which is why it may be worth looking at the Volvo XC90 if your budget stretches.

Toyota’s new Highlander offers an amazingly frugal hybrid, and its interior is tremendously flexible.

The recently redesigned Ford Explorer has good handling and robust power.

The Chevy Traverse has SUV-like styling and a composed demeanor.

Don’t miss the Subaru Ascent for its standard all-wheel drive and good outward vision.

2021 Mazda CX-9 image2021 Mazda CX-9
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2021 Chevrolet Traverse image2021 Chevrolet Traverse
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2021 Ford Explorer image2021 Ford Explorer
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2021 Subaru Ascent image2021 Subaru Ascent
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2021 Toyota Highlander image2021 Toyota Highlander
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2021 Volvo XC90 image2021 Volvo XC90
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Quick Specs
The 2021 Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV rewards drivers with good road manners, but takes a penalty in third-row space.
The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is a big family mover with an update on the way next year.
The 2021 Ford Explorer is recognizable, but new. It should be on every family SUV shopper’s list.
The 2021 Subaru Ascent scales the mountain of family needs for a three-row crossover.
The 2021 Toyota Highlander learned new tricks to keep us entertained on the road, when we’re not asleep in the back anyway.
Low-key luxury lies in the 2021 Volvo XC90’s serene cockpit, in its strong acceleration, and in its gray-wool confines.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
20 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4Gas V6Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded H-4Regular Unleaded V-6Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Small SUV 2WDSport Utility VehiclesStandard SUV 2WDStandard SUV 4WDSmall SUV 2WDStandard SUV 2WD
Style Name     
Sport FWDFWD 4-Door LBase RWD8-PassengerL FWD (GS)T5 FWD Momentum 7P
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Automatic w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/ODCVT w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2021 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2021 Chevrolet Traverse2021 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2021 Ford Explorer2021 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2021 Subaru Ascent2021 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander2021 Mazda CX-9 vs. 2021 Volvo XC90