ONE-Owner, Power Sunroof, Navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Active Driving Display (Head’s Up Display), Power Rear Liftgate, 8″ colour touchscreen display with MAZDA CONNECT, 12-speaker premium Bose® audio system with AM/FM/HD radio, USB ports (2) and Auxiliary Audio Input Jack, 3-zone climate control that includes a 2nd-row control panel, Rearview Camera, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM), Adjustable Heated Front Seats, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (includes power driver’s lumbar support), Driver’s seat memory position (2 memory settings), Retractable Rear Door Sunshades, Reclining 2nd row seats, 20″ High-Lustre Smoke Finish Alloy Wheels, i-ACTIV All-Wheel-Drive, Balance of Factory Warranty and 55,400 km
The 2017 Mazda CX-9 goes beyond the ordinary 7-passenger family hauler, offering a seductive exterior, luxurious interior and dynamic handling rarely found in an SUV of this size. If your heart yearns for something sporty but reality necessitates an SUV, the 2017 Mazda CX-9 will satisfy both. In addition to having the kind of athletic manners that would cost tens of thousands more in a luxury SUV, the CX-9 boasts premium looks and features that belie its mainstream badge. More upscale than a Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander, the CX-9 looks high-end, and its interior will make you feel like you’re riding in an Audi or a Lexus SUV.
In addition to the styling, Mazda prides itself on making vehicles that are fun to drive and this extends to its largest vehicle. Despite its length and heft, the CX-9 is poised, precise and easy to maneuver out on the open road and in confined spaces. The seating position is high, giving the driver a command of the road. As a 2-row crossover, the CX-9 is plenty comfortable and as stylish inside and it is outside. There’s also ample amenities and safety assists on the Grand Touring like blind spot warning to put this vehicle in that premium area between mass market and luxury.
Mazdas have a knack for being Davids among Goliaths, out-handling and out-maneuvering more powerful rivals. That applies even to Mazda’s biggest vehicle. Compared to competitors, the CX-9 feels lighter on its feet and more nimble. The CX-9 is highly enjoyable to drive. It’s one of the few SUVs that not only puts up with hard cornering and enthusiastic driving, but also relishes it. As we’ve noted, the turbocharged 4-cylinder doesn’t win the horsepower race, but its stout 310 units of torque provide ample grunt. Thankfully, the new CX-9’s dynamic ways don’t come at the cost of a stiff suspension. This one ably absorbs rough patches. Credit should also be given to the CX-9’s automatic transmission, a 6-speed that’s well-matched to this engine. Like other Mazdas, this one has a Sport mode that optimizes the engine and transmission for zippier performance, but we found it unnecessary.
One of the selling points of a vehicle like the 2017 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring is the fact that it has third-row seating. Now, it’s not the most accommodating bench among vehicles of this ilk, but it will work in a pinch. However, the practicality and day-to-day livability of the CX-9 comes from the fact that it functions quite well as a 2-row SUV with a nice load space behind when the rear seats are folded flat.
And in a way, this is a crossover that is clearly in tune with most shoppers these days. According to a Kelley Blue Book, while consumers want 3-row crossovers and SUVs, it doesn’t necessarily translate into the fact that they will use them. Having all-wheel drive registered as the most popular reason for buying an SUV, however, the second highest consideration for purchase was the availability of a third row among the respondents.
If you’re looking for a 2-row SUV, you shouldn’t pass up the CX-9 because it not only functions as well as any out there in an elegant package but has that just-in-case third row capability.
It’s a Looker!
If three-row crossover SUVs were bought solely on their looks, the Mazda CX-9 would be the hands-down winner. This is a great looking crossover, with sharp lines, a little bit of a shark-nose jut to the top of the hood, head and taillights sunk into the bodywork, and razor-sharp grille offset give it a simultaneously modern and classic look. We especially like the clean LED accents in the headlights, and the slab-sided flanks that stand out for all the right reasons. There’s just enough chrome to keep things interesting without being garish.
EVEN THE PAINT IS INNOVATIVE:
Machine Grey Metallic is a new signature paint from Mazda, offering the lustre and depth reserved for concept vehicles. Aluminum paint flakes align in a uniform pattern that parallels the surface of the
CX-9’s body panels for dramatic hues with intense luminosity and a reflective, liquid-like quality.
Inside, the CX-9 obviously targets higher-end luxury SUVs rather than the workaday Honda Pilots and Toyota Highlanders of the world. Soft touch surfaces are everywhere, with stitched and padded panels down by the driver’s knees. The control knob for the infotainment system is a hefty feeling solid metal piece, as is the volume knob. Everything has a weight and positivity to how it feels, and if you were to strip out the Mazda badge and replace it with one from a luxury brand—looking at you, Lexus—we’re guessing few would doubt the subterfuge.
Active Driving Display* projects key driving, safety and navigation information on the windshield, directly in your line of sight. While the HMI Commander switch on the centre console allows you to easily control the functions on your MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system – all viewable on your full-colour display. Everywhere you look reflects premium, driver-centric design.
Some editor’s log book observations:
“I continue to think the CX-9 is among the best looking and best driving 3-row SUVs on the market. Mazda effectively evolved it during the last redesign, improving it in every way without losing its trademark driving dynamics.“
“Still gorgeous, inside and out.”
“Smaller than the competition, but it never came up short.”
“If anyone I know asks about a three-row SUV this is the one I recommend. All around from styling to power/powertrain, handling and ride, it’s a seven-passenger “big” SUV that drives like a much smaller more maneuverable car. If I had to go back to driving a large SUV it would be this one.”