If you’ve been looking for a three-row SUV, you may be well served by a Mazda CX-9. And while it may be a bit more expensive than other competitors like the Kia Telluride or the Subaru Ascent, there’s a chance you can get a good deal on one. That’s because the Mazda CX-9 has the unfortunate distinction of being the worst-selling vehicle in its segment this year so far.
Why the CX-9 is slated to be 2022’s worst-selling midsize SUV
According to GoodCarBadCar, the CX-9 has sold only 30,885 vehicles in the U.S. during 2022. This figure puts it well behind its competitors, like the top-selling Toyota Highlander, which has moved 202,558 units.
It’s also well behind models like the Telluride (88,706) and the Ascent (56,274). The closest model in sales to the CX-9 is the Honda Passport, which has moved 37,704 units in 2022.
Unfortunately, these figures are not far off from last year’s CX-9 sales. In 2021, the CX-9 only moved 30,793 units. The next worst-selling midsize SUV, the Passport, managed to sell 48,524 vehicles, while the third worst-seller, the Ascent, managed to sell more than double (68,562) what the CX-9 sold. And these numbers are a far cry from those of 2021’s best-seller, the Highlander, which moved 244,858 units.
The CX-9 did sell almost double the number of vehicles in November (4,025) than it did in October (2,311). In fact, November was the first time since March when Mazda cracked the 4,000 mark in monthly sales, which might signal good things to come in the long run.
Could the Mazda CX-9 still outperform this projection?
But could a good November help the CX-9 outperform the expectation the CX-9 will be the worst-seller in the segment? Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely.
Every other vehicle in the segment has consistently notched higher monthly sales on average than the CX-9. And without some massive supply-chain disruption that leaves Mazda unscathed or a miraculous marketing push, the CX-9 probably won’t move 10 or 20 thousand more vehicles in December than expected.
Now, it is worth noting that these sales figures aren’t complete. The GoodCarBadCar sales data doesn’t include October and November sales figures for multiple Chevy, GMC, Jeep, and Nissan models.
However, even with this missing data, the CX-9 is on track to be the year’s worst seller, as these other vehicles have consistently averaged higher monthly sales than the CX-9 through September.
Are these numbers a reflection of this Mazda SUV?
Despite its awful sales year, the Mazda CX-9 isn’t an awful SUV. Actually, far from it. It’s gotten good reviews from U.S. News and World Report, among other publications. And it offers decent value for its price, even if you can get a less expensive comparable vehicle.
But the CX-9 offers engaging performance and handling, driven by a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine. This engine, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, generates 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, increasing to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft if you use 93-octane rather than 87-octane fuel. CX-9s also come with AWD and offer 20 / 26 mpg city/highway.
The CX-9’s handling is aided by its sleek design. But that same sleek design reduces its cargo space below that of every competitor. Legroom is also restricted, though it still provides more than some other midsize SUVs. And the CX-9 comes with a generous heaping of tech amenities and advanced safety systems.
Inside the cabin, you’ll find a 10.3-inch infotainment display paired with a 4.6-inch instrument display and a six-speaker audio system. There are also rain-sensing wipers, daytime running lights, a three-zone climate control system, heated front seats, and more.
On top of those features, the CX-9 also comes with auto high beams, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alerts, and lane-keeping assistance. In short, this Mazda offers a lot. It’s a shame it’s not catching on more with consumers.