2021 Mazda CX-9 Review
Price From $35,335- To $47,980
by SUViews Editor | Oct 10, 2021
There are several reasons to want to lay your hands on an SUV like the 2021 Mazda CX-9. While it provides you with adequate passenger space, it also offers decent cargo space to haul light luggage for road trips.
SUV enthusiasts often have different appetites while choosing vehicles. While some are fanatics of compact SUVs for their practicality and sportiness, some want something big with a large capacity to explore the world with their families, and others stand in between with a midsize option. Regardless of your choice, Mazda always has a product for your taste, and if you plan to have a midsize vehicle in your garage, the 2021 Mazda CX-9 is an excellent choice of crossover SUV you may want to consider.
Thanks to its outstanding features like sharp handling and good towing capacity, the midsize SUV has secured a place in the heart of SUV enthusiasts as well as automotive critics.
Performance, Engine, and Comfort
Let’s take an in-depth look into the 2021 Mazda CX-9, and look at its engine and performance, safety and reliability, fuel economy, and interiors. There are a few drawbacks here and there for sure, but overall, it’s a great purchase for those looking for an SUV under $50,000.
Engine & Performance
In terms of engine and performance, Mazda CX-9 is quite a good deal. It has a single powertrain option, which aims to offer a decent fuel economy, but doesn’t manage to offer much. Even when you’re driving on mildly patchy roads, you can expect a comfortable ride, in spite of having a somewhat rigid suspension.
CX-9 comes with an engine option of a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
Its turbocharged engine has raised different impressions. While critics say they would prefer an eight-speed automatic – as offered by V6 engines in most rivals – to CX-9’s six-speed, many drivers praised CX’s transmission for its seamless shifts. Regardless of what terrain you drive on, expect enough power both for highway and city touring.
Ride and Handling
One factor you want to consider in your choice of SUV is ride and handling, and the CX-9 won’t disappoint in this area. This is credited to its accurate steering, composed cornering ability, and accurate weight. While you can expect a comfortable ride with all models and trims, opting for larger alloy wheels will enhance comfort.
CX-9 boasts 3,500 pounds of towing capacity. This is not a remarkable figure, though, as most rivals can do about 5,000 pounds. However, many drivers don’t consider this a drawback, as this towing capacity is enough for decent luggage.
Mazda CX-9 comes with a stiff suspension, but despite this, the car is quiet and retains composure on ridges and small potholes. The seats are ventilated and heated to make everyone comfortable. Plus, rear passengers can adjust the climate for their area.
Safety & Reliability
CX-9 secures a laudable position on the list of SUVs with the highest safety rating. It earned a whopping five out of five points for overall safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. CX-9 also has the same remarkable figure in the side crash test. However, Mazda CX-9 can only boast 4 points in the frontal crash and rollover tests.
Also, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the CX-9 as “Good” in all six crash tests.
Compared to previous models, the Grand Touring and Signature trims now feature an improved exterior camera system. The top-level Signature trim boasts of an array of standard equipment, such as new quilted leather upholstery, a driver-attention monitoring system, and rear automated emergency braking.
Mazda CX-9 comes with brake lights, fog lights, taillights, along with headlights or daytime running lights. It is also equipped with ambient lighting. IIHS gave this midsize SUV a “Good” rating for its headlights’ efficiency at illuminating the road ahead.
Thanks to the i-Activ AWD® system, you can expect optimized traction on all roads. The system takes care of the shifts in road conditions and controls the power sent to each wheel accordingly. If you’re a serious off-roader, you can avail the Off-road Traction Assist for improved traction control.
CX-9 comes with an array of electronic safety features, including the rear cross-traffic alert, rearview camera, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitor, lane departure warning, and pedestrian detection. Other safety features include lane keep assist, driver attention monitor, adaptive headlights, and adaptive cruise control.
Earning a reliability score of 80 from J.D. Power, CX-9 is a reliable vehicle for fanatics of midsize SUVs to consider. While a reliability score between 91 and 100 is the best, 81-90 is considered great, and 70-80 is tagged “Average”. Any figure between 0 and 69 is considered fair.
Regardless, the CX-9 outperforms many of its rivals in terms of reliability.
On the fuel economy front, the CX-9 doesn’t perform well. It’s not particularly fuel-efficient– but considering similar vehicles out in the market, the numbers are not bad.
Mazda CX-9 comes with an optional all-wheel drive and is standard with front-wheel drive. While the all-wheel-drive option earns an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, the front-wheel-drive is rated with higher figures of 22 mpg and 28 mpg for city and highway, respectively.
The CX’s interior is one of its best selling points. The cabin is equipped with an upscale material with detailed styling.
Driver and Passenger Seats
In the front seat, both the driver and the passenger have enough legroom even for taller adults to stretch out. While the front row legroom is estimated at 41 inches, second-row and third-row passengers only have 39.4 inches and 29.7 inches of legroom, respectively.
These figures are enough for all categories of passengers to fit in comfortably.
The interior dashboard looks welcoming with intelligently arranged soft-plastic in key areas. Other materials that scale the interior up to compete with its rivals in the interior include brushed aluminum, blended with handsome graining. The Signature trim stands out with the inclusion of genuine rosewood. The steering wheel is positioned right in front of the driver, and not at an angular position, allowing a seamless view of the road, and greater control over the steering.
As expected of a midsize SUV, there is not enough space for bulky luggage. Those who have laid their hands on the CX-9 criticized it for its limited cargo space, which can only manage to occupy not more than 2 to 3 carry-on suitcases behind the third row. This is extremely low to what its primary rivals offer. For example, the Ford Explorer, a major rival in the class, can take up to thrice of this.
However, the third-row seats come with a flexible configuration, making it possible to fold them. Folding the third row creates an extra space to load in more bulky items. Also, the resultant extra space is flat to level with the existing cargo space, making it ideal for all categories of luggage.
Folding the CX’s seats is not limited to the third row. You can also fold the second row to increase the available space for more items. Those who have maximized this flexibility said they could arrange up to 25 carry-on cases in their SUVs, which sounds impressive.
With previous CX-9 models, it is vivid that Mazda pays attention to their products’ infotainment features, and this they buttressed in the 2021 Mazda CX-9. The car comes with the brand’s user-friendly infotainment system complemented with a 10.3-inch display. The screen is positioned in a specific way so that it is convenient for everyone to watch, the software is easy to use, and the graphics are crisp.
Features worth noting in the CX’s connectivity include the Mazda Connected Services, which enables remote operation like remote locking and start. This feature also provides users with their vehicles’ status remotely.
Other infotainment features include the Android Auto, HD radio, streaming studio, and Apple CarPlay, which all come standard. Apart from the base Sport trim, other 2021 Mazda CX-9 trims come equipped with a wireless smartphone charging pad.
Price and Extras
The 2021 Mazda CX 9 is available in 5 trim levels, namely Sport, Touring, Carbon Edition, Grand Touring, and Signature.
The Mazda CX’s price varies, depending on trims. The lowest price on the list is $34,000 for the Sport trim. This is a fair price compared to what many other vehicles in the class offer. The signature trim carries the highest price tag of $47,000, which is also a reasonable price for the outstanding features the trim offers.
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The vehicle is backed by a limited warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles, along with a 5-year powertrain warranty. However, you do not get complimentary maintenance with your purchase.
Mazda CX-9 has featured in different rankings and has always settled for top positions. In an evaluation of midsize SUVs by “US News”, CX-9 sits on the second position, evaluated in different categories. According to the site, which gave the car an overall score of 8.5 out of 10 points, the ranking was based on 42 pieces of data and information from various sources.
While competitors such as Hyundai Palisade or Kia Telluride come with a spacious cabin and storage area, Mazda CX-9 seals the deal with its standard safety features, updated infotainment system, and a sporty demeanor.