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- Remarkable exterior style
- Flexible interior
- Better advanced safety features
- Good infotainment screen...
- ...but it’s not a touchscreen
- Cramped interior for its size
- Not as many options as others
- No advanced powertrains
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.
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.