In the five years since its introduction, Apple CarPlay has come a long way. Originally, it was an option offered only on a few vehicles with limited apps. Now, it’s a fully developed tech feature that many buyers expect to find on new cars. The 2020 Mazda CX-9 is a midsize SUV that offers Apple CarPlay integration on most—but not all—trim levels.
This 227-hp, turbocharged seven-seater has been upgraded this year with a variety of new infotainment, safety, and convenience features. These upgrades should help the CX-9 to compete with the likes of rivals such as the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander. Let’s take a look at what these offerings are, with thanks to Mazda and Car and Driver.
Infotainment and connectivity features in the Mazda CX-9
The Sport trim level is the CX-9’s base model. Its standard infotainment system can be controlled through its 7-inch full-color touchscreen display, a rotary knob, or buttons surrounding the knob. Other standard infotainment tech includes voice command, SMS text message audio delivery and reply, E911 automatic emergency notification, and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio capability.
The Sport also has “smart” FM radio, thanks to the Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) as well as Aha, Stitcher, and Pandora internet radio integration. This trim level also is equipped with two USB ports in the front console.
New this year for the Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature models is the larger 9-inch touchscreen. Mazda has boosted the size of the display by one inch for these higher trim levels. Also, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard on these trim levels. An additional two USB charging ports have been installed in the second row in these trim levels.
For the Grand Touring and Signature trims, a 12-speaker Bose surround-sound system and SiriusXM satellite radio are standard features. They are also part of a $2,100 optional package available on the Touring model.
Safety and security features
The 2019 Mazda CX-9 was an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, thanks to headlight options and crash prevention features that were offered on some of the SUV’s trim levels. For 2020, Mazda continues to step up its safety game. Its collection of advanced safety features known as i-Activsense comes standard across all of the CX-9 models.
Mazda categorizes these advanced features according to function. For example, there are active safety technology covers features that help to prevent accidents from happening. They include adaptive headlights, automatic high-beam control, driver drowsiness detection, and lane-keep assist.
Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, hill launch assist, radar cruise control with stop and go, lane departure warning, rear-view monitoring, and forward-collision warning are additional active safety features.
The pre-crash safety technology offered in Mazda’s safety suite is designed to reduce the risk of an accident. Features included here are low-speed emergency braking for both forward and reverse motion plus acceleration control. The latter sounds an alarm and engine power is shut off if a driver accidentally presses the accelerator instead of the brake.
All trim levels come standard with LED headlights and taillights, heated outside mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. These models also are equipped with Mazda’s proprietary G-Vectoring Control Plus system that stabilizes the vehicle while changing lanes or driving in bad weather conditions.
Additional safety features that are standard on the Grand Touring and Signature models are fog lights and front and rear parking sensors. They are part of the optional package for the Touring trim.
Standard security features for the Sport trim level are a remote keyless illuminated entry system and push-button start. Higher trim levels have Mazda‘s advanced keyless start and entry system as standard. It uses a key fob to send radio waves to the CX-9 to unlock or lock its doors or open its liftgate without the driver ever having to take the fob out of his or her pocket or purse.
Another standard security feature that comes on the trim levels higher than the Sport is HomeLink, a wireless garage door opener system. This system is integrated into the CX-9’s auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
Special comfort and convenience features for Mazda CX-9 models
Each trim level above the Sport model is equipped with new standard convenience features that make the Mazda CX-9 more enjoyable for its passengers. For example, the Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature trim levels all have power-adjustable second-row seats.
Second-row captain’s chairs are available on the Touring model and are standard in the Grand Touring and Signature trim levels. Buyers who splurge for the Grand Touring trim will get heated captain’s chairs and a power liftgate.
The Sport model starts at $34,835 and the top-level Signature trim starts at $47,160. No matter which trim level buyers opt for, the 2020 Mazda CX-9 provides plenty of infotainment, safety, and convenience features.