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Shopping for a midsize SUV crossover to fit your family’s needs is often overwhelming, but if your choices include the 2022 Mazda CX-9 and the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse, you are making good choices. Let’s look at the differences and similarities between the CX-9 and Traverse midsize SUV crossover models to help narrow the field and find the one that fits your family best. 

What the 2022 Mazda CX-9 has to offer SUV shoppers

A dark gray 2022 Mazda CX-9 midsize crossover SUV parked on a gravel plaza outside a luxury home in a forest

The 2022 Mazda CX-9, with its $35,630 starting price, is about $2,000 more than the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse when comparing base trim packages. However, Mazda includes all-wheel drive (AWD) as a standard feature on every trim level of the CX-9, and adding AWD to the Traverse adds $2,000 to its price.

The latest CX-9 model features a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the CX-9 received an EPA estimated fuel mileage of 20 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. With only four cylinders compared to the Traverse’s V6, the CX-9’s engine produces a little less horsepower but more torque and better fuel economy when comparing AWD models. 

The 2022 Mazda CX-9 received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the highest Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Furthermore, Kelly Blue Book (KBB) reports that the 2022 Mazda CX-9 includes safety features like “automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beams.”

The new Mazda CX-9 is on the small side of the midsize SUV crossover spectrum. While it still offers three rows of seating, the CX-9 has a maximum seating capacity of seven and only seats six when configured with second-row captain’s chairs.

Here’s how the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse stacks up 

The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse starts at $33,700 for the base trimmed front-wheel-drive (FWD) version. As mentioned, this is about $2,000 less than the base CX-9, and if AWD isn’t important to you, then the Traverse may be a good choice for your family. 

Powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine, the Traverse provides 310 horsepower with 266 lb-ft of torque. Fuel mileage for the FWD Traverse is estimated at 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, but the AWD rating is slightly lower, with 18 city mpg and 25 highway mpg. 

Like the 2022 Mazda CX-9, the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse received a five-star rating from the NHTSA but only managed a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS. The lower IIHS rating includes:

  • An “Acceptable” rating for side crashes
  • A “Marginal” rating for “Structure and Safety Cage”
  • A “Poor” rating for seat belt reminders 

Interior space is the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse’s best category and where it offers a clear advantage over the CX-9. A review from KBB notes that “all three rows are roomy and comfortable,” and it provides seating for up to eight adults and 23 cubic feet of cargo space compared to the CX-9’s 14.3 cubic feet.

Which midsize SUV crossover is the best fit?

If your family needs more interior space and seating for eight, the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse is the best choice, but if your family’s needs are less spacious, you should consider the 2022 Mazda CX-9. The CX-9 features sporty handling and styling with an AWD powertrain that delivers superior fuel economy.