Following its redesign for 2016, the second-generation Mazda CX-9 is entering its fourth year on the U.S. market. That means consumers already have a lot of data to review on the three-row SUV. Here’s a brief summary
- The 2017 model landed the top IIHS safety rating, while the ’18 edition got a Top Safety Pick award.
- After three years, CX-9 has had zero recalls and very few safety complaints on the NHTSA site.
- Consumer Reports graded it low on reliability, but did not present any data to back up that rating.
- Owners have loved the CX-9 and given it one of the highest satisfaction ratings.
At this point, the CX-9’s powertrain and quality interior have won over a fair share of drivers. In 2018, as Mazda prepped its updated model for dealerships, sales have climbed 17% through the first seven months of the year.
Soon enough, the 2019 model will be available nationwide. Here’s what’s new in this edition of the CX-9.
1. A retuned suspension
Every vehicle can benefit from a suspension upgrade, and Mazda engineers delivered one in the CX-9 for the new model year. In a statement, the automaker touted the car’s refined suspension and enhanced sound suppression via a thicker headliner and floor mats.
Mazda claims it will lead to a smoother and quieter ride in the cabin.
2. Tech upgrades
In the CX-9 Touring ($35,330), Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come factory-installed. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is also new. This trim gets a price bump of $370 from the ’18 model.
Opting for the CX-9 Grand Touring ($40,840) brings a new 7-inch adjustable gauge cluster display. (This feature first appeared in Mazda6 sedans.) Meanwhile, Grand Touring trims also include a 360-degree View Monitor. This trim also costs $370 more for 2019.
3. Grand Touring and Signature interior upgrades
Ventilated front seats, and power-folding door mirrors represent two new additions to the Grand Touring interior. Signature trim models ($45,365 with all-wheel drive standard) get a number of changes.
New LED grill accent lighting, rear exterior badging, Santos rosewood interior trim, and a hand-stitched leather steering wheel are the main highlights here.
4. Reviewing the basics
Every CX-9 runs on the Skyactiv-G turbocharged engine that delivers 250 horsepower (with 93-octane fuel) and an impressive 310 pound-feet of torque (any octane). Mazda’s i-ACTIV all-wheel drive is available in every trim and costs $1,800 for the upgrade.
The base CX-9 starts at $32,280, which represents a $150 price bump over the ’18 edition. Mazda’s Sport package ($1,290) takes the base model up a few steps with 18-inch wheels, LED lights, and plenty of safety tech.
5. The competition
Buyers in this segment will likely look at models like the Toyota Highlander ($31,230) and Honda Pilot ($31,450). Both of those have either a V6 standard (Pilot) or available (Highlander). Meanwhile, CX-9 will easily top both models in curb appeal.
As for fuel economy, CX-9 and Highlander lead the midsize SUV segment in real-world testing for 2018.
Mazda said the ’19 CX-9 will start arriving in dealerships in August and be available nationwide by September.