The 2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature Hits With the Zoom Zoom

Mazda is one mainstream brand that’s incredibly enticing. Not only is Mazda, one of the most reliable brands, but its focus on luxury at a valued price makes it even more compelling. One of the carmaker’s most tempting buys is the new 2021 Mazda CX-9. A standard CX-9 gives you plenty, but if you can afford to splurge, you’ll want the Signature model.

About the 2021 Mazda CX-9 Signature 

2021 Mazda CX-9 on a road through the woods
2021 Mazda CX-9 | Mazda

On the outside, you’ll be able to distinguish a CX-9 Signature model by its front grille with Mazda’s Titanium Gray Metallic finish, chrome molding, and aluminum roof rails. Once you get inside the cabin, the top-of-the-line Signature trim will make you think you’re riding in a Mercedes. Signature models have luxe trimmings, including quilted premium leather upholstery and real wood trim. You also get more frills such as overhead LED accent lighting, privacy glass, and a power-sliding glass moon-roof. Pricing starts at $46,605.

Second-row seat of the 2021 Mazda CX-9 with quilted leather.
2021 Mazda CX-9 with captain’s chairs | Mazda

Signature models come with second-row captain’s chairs and a center console. Compared to the regular second-row bench, the captain’s chair’s setup provides easier access to the third-row. The only thing you may not like about this configuration is that it reduces seating capacity from seven to six.  

Side-view of the CX-9 front row.
2021 Mazda CX-9 front-row seat | Mazda

Overall, the CX-9 is comfortable to ride in, but its interior space is on the slim side compared to other midsize SUVs. The available cargo room is also limited. The CX-9 redeems itself in the tech department, though. All models now come with a 10.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, advanced safety features, including forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring, are standard. Naturally, Signature models come with more gadgets, such as a surround-view camera system. 

Does the CX-9 Signature trim come with any performance enhancements?

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All CX-9s come with the same powertrain that consists of a turbocharged 227-hp four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic. What makes the Signature edition more impressive is that it comes with Mazda’s i-ACTIV AWD with Off-road Traction Assist. This AWD system allows you to feel more comfortable in challenging road conditions, including snow. It also helps to optimize fuel economy. CX-9s with AWD have an EPA rating of 23 mpg overall, which is average for the midsize SUV class.

While the CX-9 isn’t the most potent option in the class, it has no problem reaching higher speeds. Critics especially recognize the CX-9 for its sharp handling, which lives up to Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom” catchphrase. The CX-9’s ride comfort also makes it more reminiscent of an actual luxury car. 

“Most midsized three-row SUVs feel rather mundane to drive. By contrast, the CX-9 feels alert and hunkered-down when driving through the corners. As such, its driving experience leans more toward a German luxury SUV than a lumbering box.”

Consumer Reports

Reliability is an even greater selling point

A Mazda CX-9 on display at an auto show
A Mazda CX-9 on display | Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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An advantage the CX-9 has over its mainstream and luxury competitors is reliability. Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Mazda CX-9 an above-average score or predicted reliability. This ranking indicates that you’ll have a more enjoyable ownership experience and fewer trouble spots.