Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 Mazda CX-9 Drives Like a Luxury SUV

Mazda may be better known for its sedans, but Mazda also makes some great SUVs too. The Mazda CX-9 is one of those great SUVs, and there are many reasons why it’s such a beloved vehicle. Here’s a look at what makes the Mazda CX-9 such a great SUV.

What makes the Mazda CX-9 great

Consumer Reports gave the Mazda CX-9 a very high overall score of 86 out of 100 for a lot of reasons. Mazda is well-known for being a car company that cares about the safety of its customers, and the CX-9 is a reflection of that. Consumer Reports praised the CX-9 for coming with a lot of standard smart safety features, which includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a pedestrian detection system.

That said, many other automakers include those features into their SUVs. What really sets the CX-9 apart, according to Consumer Reports, is everything that has to do with its driving capabilities. Not only did Consumer Reports praise the CX-9’s ability to accelerate quickly thanks to its high amount of torque, but Consumer Reports also loved how comfortable and capable of an SUV it is. 

In fact, Consumer Reports said that the Mazda CX-9 “drives more like a German luxury SUV than the lumbering competition.” For reference, the CX-9 starts at about $34,000, while German luxury SUVs like the BMW X5 starts at almost $60,000. 

How the Mazda CX-9 achieved this feat

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The main reason why the Mazda CX-9 is so comfortable to ride and drive in is because of its suspension system. Consumer Reports said that the CX-9’s suspension allows it to absorb all of the road’s bumps and imperfections. Even if you choose to go with the more premium CX-9 models that are equipped with bigger wheels and tires, Consumer Reports said that the CX-9 is still a very comfortable SUV to be in.

On top of that, Consumer Reports said that, unlike other Mazdas, the CX-9 is also pretty quiet. For example, Consumer Reports compared the noise level inside the CX-9’s cabin to that of the Honda Pilot’s. One of the reasons why the CX-9 has a quiet cabin is because of its design, but another reason is because of its engine. 

The CX-9 comes with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and with regular fuel, it gets 227 hp, but with premium fuel, it gets 250 hp. Consumer Reports said that in terms of horsepower, the CX-9 is weaker than its peers. However, it stands out thanks to its 320 lb-ft of torque, which is more than its competition.

It does have some flaws, though

While the Mazda CX-9 is a great SUV, it does make some compromises. The CX-9’s high amount of torque gives it an effortless acceleration, but ultimately, its low amount of horsepower makes it significantly weaker than its competition. Furthermore, Consumer Reports said that the CX-9’s engine can sound bad when it’s being pushed to its limits. 

Another criticism that Consumer Reports had with the CX-9 had to do with its infotainment system. The CX-9 does come with a 7-inch screen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard as well. However, Consumer Reports said that the CX-9’s infotainment system had a rough learning curve that made it more difficult to use than compared to its competitors. 

Plus, despite having third-row seating, the CX-9 isn’t very spacious. Consumer Reports remarked that the passengers in the third row should be either kids or teens since it’s a very tight fit for anyone else. Similarly, the CX-9 doesn’t have the most cargo space available, which is another side effect of its design.