Why the 2022 Mazda CX-9 Can’t Break Into the Top 3 Midsize SUVs

The 2022 Mazda CX-9 is one of the best midsize SUVs that you can buy. It’s a three-row SUV that offers a blend of safety features, excellent crash test ratings, and comfort. Yet it can’t quite break into Consumer Reports’ top three midsize SUVs. What is it that keeps the CX-9 from being able to compete with the 2022 Kia Telluride, 2022 Toyota Highlander, and 2022 Hyundai Palisade?

A dark colored 2022 Mazda CX-9 parked outside of a house.
2022 Mazda CX-9 | Mazda

Is the 2022 Mazda CX-9 a good car?

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Yes, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 is a good SUV. It has three rows and can seat up to seven passengers. The CX-9 comes with a host of standard safety equipment like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring. It also has lane-keeping assist. In addition, the 2022 Mazda CX-9 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, which is the highest safety award that a vehicle can win.

In addition, the CX-9 is loaded with features including heated front seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are also part of the new Mazda SUV.

The CX-9’s road test score isn’t as high as the top 3 SUVs

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Consumer Reports gives the 2022 Mazda CX-9 an overall score of 84/100 and a road test score of 79.100. While good enough for fourth place, these ratings don’t quite crack the top three. The 2022 Hyundai Palisade has an overall score of 87 and a road test score of 88, while the 2022 Toyota Highlander has an overall score of 88 and a road test score of 86. The number one SUV, the 2022 Kia Telluride, has both an overall score and a road test rating of 97.

There are several factors that put the CX-9 behind the Telluride, Highlander, and Palisade. It takes longer to stop from 60 mph than the other three SUVs – 7 feet longer than the second and third place Highlander and Palisade, and 12 feet longer than the Telluride. And while its predicted reliability rating is perfect, its predicted owner satisfaction score is just a 3/5. The Telluride has a predicted owner satisfaction rating of 5/5 while the Highlander and Palisade each have a 4/5.

The Mazda CX-9 is more expensive than the Telluride, Palisade, and Palisade

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The 2022 Mazda CX-9 price starts at $35,280. In comparison, the 2022 Kia Telluride price starts at $32,790, the 2022 Toyota Highlander is $35,205, and the 2022 Hyundai Palisade starts at $33,150.

In addition to being more expensive, the CX-9’s engine isn’t quite as powerful as the other three SUVs in the top three. It comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 227 hp and 310 hp matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard in the 2022 CX-9 and it gets 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

Both the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade come with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 291 hp. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. They also get 20 mpg in the city, and 26 on the highway and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The 2022 Toyota Highlander has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 295 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. and gets 22 mpg combined.

While the 2022 Mazda CX-9 is a good SUV, it isn’t quite as good as the 2022 Kia Telluride, 2022 Toyota Highlander, or 2022 Hyundai Palisade. While that doesn’t mean you should avoid it – its IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award is certainly not something to overlook – you may want to take a look at those other SUVs before spending more to potentially get less.

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