The 2020 Mazda CX-9 earns praise for its luxury-focused features. But if you can do without the extra frills, it’s worth shopping for older versions of this SUV. The 2015 CX-9 is one model year that sticks out because of its lower price point and overall dependability. Could this SUV be the right one for you?
Overall reliability is the brightest spot on the 2015 Mazda CX-9
Consumer Reports considers the 2015 CX-9 as one of the most dependable versions to buy. CR recently initiated a new survey to identify the most reliable five-year-old midsized SUVs. The 2015 CX-9 made it on the list based on direct feedback from vehicle owners.
The 2015 CX-9 is the last model year from the generation that launched in 2007. As CR notes, it’s easy to overlook the CX-9 because there are so many three-row SUVs to pick from. However, this Mazda offers an unexpected car-like quality and athletic handling, making it a more enjoyable option.
Each 2015 CX-9 features a 273-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6 engine. Critics favored this V6 for its quick acceleration and responsiveness. In CR’s road test, the CX-9 performed well overall, even while towing heavier cargo. It can pull a trailer up to 3,500 pounds to 60 mph in just under 16 seconds. The CX-9 also shines for its smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission.
The CX-9 is a bit on the narrow-side, but it still offers generous head- and legroom. This SUV seats up to seven, and it’s easy to access each of its three rows. And while the current CX-9 generation has more advanced features, the 2015 version offers a few.
Base models will have cloth upholstery and standard tech, including Bluetooth connectivity, a 5.8-inch touchscreen, and HD Radio. For more amenities, you can shop for models with leather upholstery and heated front seats. Some models will also have more gadgets, such as a rear-seat entertainment system, navigation, and blind-spot monitoring.
Additional things to consider
As a new model, the 2015 CX-9, some reviewers didn’t rank the CX-9 as one of the year’s top SUVs. This is mostly due to the model’s poor rating in the IIHS small-overlap crash test. The CX9’s below-average safety score is why it didn’t receive CR’s formal recommendation. But since then, the 2015 CX-9 has proved to be reliable, and now CR officially recommends this model as a great used-car option. Separately, U.S. News ranked this model as the best large SUV of 2015.
It’s also important to note here that the NHTSA recalled the 2015 CX-9 twice. Once for a potential issue for its steering, the other for its airbags. Make sure these potential issues were taken care of with your auto dealer.
Based on CR’s survey data, owner satisfaction ratings are higher on the latest CX-9 generation, but the 2015 version gets kudos. Owners are most satisfied with their vehicle’s driving experience, value, and styling. Depending on mileage, you can get a 2015 CX-9 for under $10K.