2021 Mazda CX-9: Consumers and Critics Agree This Trim Is the Best

Choosing a trim level for your new vehicle can be a bit stressful. Can you live without that extra big screen? How important is AWD to you? Questions like this are important to answer, as most people can’t afford to buy a new car every year, but for the Mazda CX-9, the answer is actually pretty straightforward.

Which Mazda CX-9 trim does Edmunds recommend?

A red Mazda CX-9 SUV on display at a Mazda Sollers Manufacturing car factory during a visit by the president of Russia and the prime minister of Japan
The Mazda CX-9 | Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

When it came to the Mazda CX-9, Edmunds didn’t hesitate with giving a recommendation. Even though there are four trim levels, the Touring is what the review site fell in love with.

According to Edmunds, “If you’re looking for the best combination of value and equipment, the CX-9 Touring is easy to recommend. Choose between front-wheel and all-wheel drive, a second-row bench seat or captain’s chairs, and the maximum number of paint and interior color combinations. Leather seats are standard, along with triple-zone automatic climate control and the Mazda CX-9’s new infotainment system. An option package adds premium sound, second-row window shades, and wireless device charging.”

The Touring trim is one step above the base Sport trim and starts at $39,457. This is about $5,000 more than the Sporting trim. That’s not overly expensive, but it is out of the budget for many families. 

It’s easy to see why Edmunds likes the Touring trim. What do other critics think, however?

Car and Driver agrees with Edmunds

Car and Driver agrees with Edmunds completely that the Mazda CX-9 Touring trim is the best value for the money. The review site went on to point out that the Touring trim adds two additional USB ports in the third row, a Bose audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio, front and rear parking sensors, and fog lamps.

Car and Driver was very impressed with the turbocharged four-cylinder V6 engine in the Mazda CX-9 and stated that the driving was smooth, comfortable, and it drove like a much smaller vehicle. The reviewer was excited by the updates to the exterior that make it look cooler than ever.

What Car and Driver found disappointing was that the AWD dropped the already low gas mileage from 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway to 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.  

What do the specs look like on the 2021 Mazda CX-9?

The Sport trim of the Mazda CX-9 may not be the most recommended model, but it does offer a lot of features for $35,675. AWD may not be standard, but you can get it as an option. 

Heated side mirrors are perfect for wintry mornings when frost decides to settle on your vehicle. Heated front seats are also a blessing for regions hit by freezing temperatures, although it might be a little too much for warmer climates.

Rain-sensing windshield wipers also make life a little simpler as you don’t have to figure out which setting the wipers should be on because the CX-9 does it for you. The Sport trim comes standard with a 10.25-inch infotainment system display, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

There are a few features that come standard no matter which trim you get. Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go operation, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist are some much sought-after safety features. 

The Carbon Edition, which is new for the Mazda CX-9, ups the game with red leather seats, 20-inch wheels, a heated steering wheel as well as heated rear seats, and a wireless device charging pad. Additional safety features include driver attention warning and rear automatic braking. The Carbon Edition starts at $44,570.

The Grand Touring trim, which is the highest trim available for the CX-9, offers a hands-free liftgate, integrated navigation system, head-up display, traffic sign recognition system, and surround-view camera system. It starts at $48,375.

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