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The 2023 Mazda CX-9 is an excellent option if you’re considering buying a three-row midsize SUV. As one of the most popular new SUVs, it’s earned its reputation. For the 2023 model year, the CX-9 is touted as a comfortable model with a high-quality interior, sporty handling, and a relatively quiet highway ride. However, there are five trim levels in the lineup, so which should you choose? Experts and buyers only enjoy a few trims in the lineup. There are only two 2023 Mazda CX-9 trims worth buying.

Which 2023 Mazda CX-9 trim should you buy?

A gray 2023 Mazda CX-9 midsize SUV is parked.
The 2023 Mazda CX-9 | Mazda

Searching for the best 2023 Mazda CX-9 trim will turn up a few different answers. Within the lineup, five different trim levels vary significantly in equipment. Moreover, it’s worth noting that all versions are a solid choice, but some offer much less value than others. Edmunds highlights the three-row midsize SUV in a few ways. For example, a premium interior, highlighted by the Signature trim, strong acceleration, sporty handling, a comfortable ride, and a quiet ride on the highway.

Surprisingly, the best trim levels for the CX-9 are also the cheapest. According to Edmunds, the Grand Touring trim is the most popular, which sits near the top of the lineup. Buyers likely choose it for its second-row bench seat with heating and other luxurious amenities—however, experts like the value provided by the bottom-tier Touring and Touring Plus models much more.

Experts agree on the best 2023 Mazda CX-9 trim

A steel gray Mazda CX-9 midsize SUV model parked outside of an excluded forest home

First, Edmunds recommends the CX-9 Touring trim for a few reasons. For example, its “generous level of standard content” for a base model. The Touring trim was previously a mid-tier version of the three-row SUV, so moving to the base model makes it very valuable. Alternatively, Edmunds recommends spending a little extra to get the Touring Plus version. It adds ventilated seats, a third-row bench, roof rails, and other extras for a low cost.

Alternatively, Car and Driver also recommend the 2023 Mazda CX-9 Touring. “The entry-level Touring model offers plenty of desirable features right out of the gate, including a power-operated rear liftgate, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and keyless entry with push-button start. This model also comes standard with second-row captain’s chairs—a feature many three-row SUV buyers want.”

Buy the Touring Plus for added seating

As both experts agree, the 2023 Mazda CX-9 Touring base model is the one to buy. However, it comes with second-row captain’s chairs. Any buyers who require extra seating can opt for the Touring Plus model, which adds a bench seat. Fortunately, the Touring Plus costs $42,625, just $2,600 more than the base model.

Although more expensive, buyers get other amenities besides the extra passenger space. For example, a dark-finish grille, 20-inch black-painted wheels, roof rails, ventilated seats, and driver’s seat memory settings. This comes in addition to the Touring standard features, like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, triple-zone automatic climate control, a 10.25-inch infotainment system, a wireless charging pad, and more.

Not all 2023 Mazda CX-9 trims are worth buying

In conclusion, only two 2023 Mazda CX-9 trims are worth buying. The Touring model provides the most bang for your buck. The new base model is the way to go if you want an affordable but luxurious three-row midsize SUV. Alternatively, the Touring Plus trim adds additional seating with a bench seat in the rear. It’s worth buying for the added space if that’s something you require, as it also adds more features.