Skip the 2021 Mazda CX-9 and Choose One of These Alternatives Instead

Let’s get this out of the way. The 2021 Mazda CX-9 is a great pick. It ranks among the best vehicles in its segment, comes standard with plenty of features, and doesn’t cost all that much. But does that mean the Mazda CX-9 is the right choice for you? Not necessarily. While this year’s model may be pretty impressive, that doesn’t mean it’s the right vehicle for satisfying all of your daily driving needs. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the 2021 Mazda CX-9 that are definitely worth considering.

A metallic dark-gray 2021 Mazda CX-9 midsize crossover SUV sits in a home's driveway
2021 Mazda CX-9 | Mazda North American Operations

For a cheaper alternative to the 2021 Mazda CX-9, choose the Kia Telluride

Now, this year’s model is pretty affordable. Its base price is just under $34,000 and, as you would expect, only goes up from there. But at its most expensive? The 2021 Mazda CX-9 will only cost you a minimum of $46,605, which is fairly costly. For a cheaper alternative to the 2021 Mazda CX-9, consider the 2021 Kia Telluride. With a base price of $32,190, this year’s Telluride will only have you spending $42,490 at its most expensive.

The Kia Telluride doesn’t just have the edge when it comes to pricing. Unlike the Mazda CX-9, the Telluride comes standard with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty program, which includes a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, and a 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty. It also includes roadside assistance coverage for five years or 60,000-miles, whichever comes first. 

As for the CX-9? This year’s model comes standard with a 3-year/36,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. This year’s model is also standard with a 3-year/36,000-mile 24/7 Roadside Assistance Program.

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The Hyundai Palisade did better in road tests than the 2021 Mazda CX-9

For another worthwhile alternative to the 2021 Mazda CX-9, consider the Hyundai Palisade. According to Consumer Reports, this year’s Palisade did better in road tests than the new CX-9. While the CX-9 earned a 79 on Consumer Reports’ road test, the 2021 Hyundai Palisade earned an impressive score of 88. 

According to Consumer Reports, the Hyundai Palisade delivers “smooth, punchy acceleration with power from the V6 engine coming on in a linear fashion.” Its transmission, Consumer Reports explains, is also smooth and responsive. The CX-9, on the other hand, doesn’t offer the most comfortable accommodations for its driver. Consumer Reports explains that “rear visibility suffers because of a stylish sloping roofline that adds sleekness but shrinks the rear-side and back windows” too.

RELATED: The 2021 Hyundai Palisade Has 1 Huge Family Advantage

The IIHS says the 2021 Toyota Highlander earned better scores in this crash test

For a slightly safer alternative to the 2021 Mazda CX-9, check out the Toyota Highlander. While the IIHS recognizes both SUVs as a Top Safety Pick+, the Toyota Highlander did better in the IIHS’ front crash prevention: vehicle-to-pedestrian test. According to the IIHS, while the Highlander earned a ‘Superior’ rating in this test, the CX-9 earned an ‘Advanced’ rating.

The 2021 Toyota Highlander isn’t just a safer alternative to the 2021 Mazda CX-9. If you’re after a vehicle that offers plenty of perks, this year’s Highlander does just that. Unlike the CX-9, the Highlander comes standard with Toyota’s complimentary maintenance program. This complimentary program covers normal factory scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. It also includes 24-hour roadside assistance for two years and unlimited miles.

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This decision is going to take a test drive

If you’re in the market for an alternative to the 2021 Mazda CX-9, there are plenty of options to pick from. But to really get an understanding of which vehicle is right for you? That’s going to take a trip to the dealership.