Even though the 2021 Mazda CX-9 and 2021 Dodge Durango are midsize SUVs with lots of advantages to each, the Mazda CX-9 is a far better choice. Consumer Reports rates each of these SUVs according to categories including a road test, safety features, and reliability, and the CX-9 comes out on top of the Durango.
The 2021 Mazda CX-9 and 2021 Dodge Durango have wildly different overall ratings
Consumer Reports gives the Mazda CX-9 a very good 80/100, while the Durango only gets a 59. However, the Durango’s road test score is slightly higher; an 83 to the CX-9’s 79. What’s behind those scores?
Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Dodge Durango a 4/5 for its acceleration. It takes 8.3 seconds to go from 0 to 60. The Mazda CX-9 is slightly faster, reaching 0 to 60 in 7.9 seconds.
Routine handling in the Durango gets a 3/5, while emergency handling gets a 2/5. The Dodge Durango’s max avoidance speed is 48 mph. The Mazda CX-9 is slightly better. It gets a very good 4/5, while emergency handling gets a 3/5. The Mazda CX-9’s max avoidance speed is 50 mph.
The Dodge Durango gets a great 4/5 for its braking. It can brake from 60 mph on dry pavement in 134 feet and 150 feet on wet pavement. This is better than the CX-9, which gets a 3/5 for its braking. It can brake from 60 mph on dry pavement in 139 feet and 143 feet on wet pavement.
The Mazda CX-9 comes with way more safety features
The 2021 Mazda CX-9 comes standard with a decent amount of safety features. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking for the city and highway, lane departure warning and lane keeping assistance, blindspot warning, rear cross traffic warning, and pedestrian detection are all standard in the 2021 Mazda CX-9. So are a rear view camera, anti lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and daytime running lights.
The 2021 Dodge Durango comes with disappointingly few safety features. Only rear-view camera, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control are standard in the 2021 Dodge Durango. Everything else is optional, with the exception of pedestrian detection, which isn’t even available.
The CX-9 also has better crash test ratings
Both the IIHS and NHTSA have crash-tested the 2021 Mazda CX-9. The IIHS gives it all good ratings. The NHTSA gives it five stars for overall frontal crash and all of the side crash tests, including the side-pole test. The overall frontal crash, overall frontal crash-driver and overall frontal-passenger tests are four stars. The rating for both the 2WD and 4WD rollover is four stars.
Crash-test ratings in the 2021 Dodge Durango aren’t perfect. While the moderate overlap, side crash and roof crush are good, the front small overlap on the driver side is only marginal. There are currently no front small overlap, passenger side ratings, or rear crash ratings.
The NHTSA gives the 2021 Dodge Durango four stars for overall crash, overall frontal-crash, and overall frontal-crash on the driver and passenger sides four stars. Everything else gets five stars, except for the rollover ratings. The 2WD rollover rating is four stars, while the 4WD rating is just three stars.
If you’re torn between the 2021 Mazda CX-9 and the 2021 Dodge Durango, the choice is pretty clear. Although the Durango has a pretty solid road test score, its lack of safety features and mediocre safety ratings keep it from being as good as the CX-9.