Trucks & SUVs

Dodge Durango vs Mazda CX-9

The Dodge Durango and the Mazda CX-9 are both family-oriented SUVs that boast acceleration and performance, but how do they really compare? The Dodge Durango vs the Mazda CX-9: Which is the better family SUV? What makes them similar and what makes them different?

2020 Mazda CX-9 side
2020 Mazda CX-9 side | Mazda

In terms of the ultimate family car, the SUV is ever popular for its sport and versatility. Of the family SUV’s certain makes and models are known for certain specialties. The Toyotas like the Highlander and the 4Runner are known for reliability. Hyundais like the Santa Fe or Kias like the new Telluride tout absolute value.

Power and performance

The 2020 Dodge Durango is easily a family driver. While both the Mazda SUV and the Durango boast a reputation for performance, the Durango takes the edge with its V6 and V8 engine offerings. Still, the 2020 Mazda CX-9 delivers plenty of power to its wheel with the 4 cylinder with which it comes equipped.

If you want an SUV with a little extra excitement, both the CX-9 and the Durango are great choices. If you want power paired with excellent fuel economy, go with the 2020 Mazda CX-9. On the other hand, if you don’t mind sacrificing some efficiency for a more robust towing capacity, the 2020 Durango is probably more your speed. If you want to take the boat out every weekend, choose the Durango. But if you know you’ll be road tripping it once a month to far and remote climbing destinations, the Mazda CX-9 will do it cheaper with its more efficient highway mpg.

2019 Dodge Durango SRT towing a boat down a country road
2019 Dodge Durango SRT | Dodge

How do they handle?

Car and Driver notes that the 2020 Durango does a good job of keeping the muscle car mentality. But toning it down enough to be comfortable and user-friendly –– making it a great family vehicle. The Mazda CX-9 is perhaps a little more nimble, with its spritely inline 4. Car and Driver says, “the 2020 CX-9 is clearly the driving enthusiast’s family hauler. Surprisingly light on its feet, it often feels as if you’re driving a smaller SUV.”

Space, seating, and cargo

The Dodge Durango shows specs that seat 6, while the Mazda CX-9 is set up for 7. If you need that extra seat, the Mazda will do better for your needs. As far as interior quality goes, Car and Driver says “the CX-9‘s interior welcomes passengers with an upscale cabin that wouldn’t look out of place in an Audi.” Mazda has an edge in terms of luxury in its Signature trim that comes accented by true wood.

2020 Mazda CX-9 interior rear
2020 Mazda CX-9 interior rear | Mazda

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But it falls behind where cargo space is concerned. Though the Mazda CX-9 does provide ample cargo space with all of the rear rows folded, there’s only 14.3 cubic feet behind the third row. Whereas the Dodge Durango’s liftgate opens up to 17.2 cubic feet of gear storage.

Price

The Dodge Durango and the Mazda CX-9 each have similar starting price ranges. However, the Durango does have a slightly lower price range with its SXT trim starting at $31,990. It tops out with the R/T which starts at $45,490 and can easily rack up into the $60,000s when you start adding options.

2020 Dodge Durango SRT
2020 Dodge Durango SRT

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The Mazda CX-9 Starts in the Sport trim for $35,835 and climbs up to the Signature trim which starts at $47,160. Its top trim is pretty fully loaded though, so buyers are less likely to take the price too high with additional upgrades. Still, they are very comparable in price.

In fact, these two SUVs are neck and neck as they go through the paces. The Durango has the CX-9 with its V8 option, larger cargo, and burly towing capacity. But the Mazda wins over the Dodge in terms of fuel economy, luxury interior materials, and passenger space. In the end, the choice will be determined entirely by the needs and preferences of the specific buyer.