2015 Mazda CX-9 Review: A Family-Hauling Favorite

2015 Mazda CX-9 Review: A Family-Hauling Favorite

Overview: Introduced in 2007, updated in 2010 and again for 2013, the Mazda CX-9 remains one of the few three-row crossovers we actually find fun to drive. Even Mazda calls the CX-9 “the elder statesman” of its lineup, and it shows its age enough that its replacement is expected to appear at the Los Angeles auto show this fall. Although too old to reflect Mazda’s latest Skyactiv approach, the CX-9 is lighter than most competitors and still enjoys the advantage of a rigid structure. It’s also bigger inside than you’d guess from looking at its raked windshield and carlike shape. Its 3.7-liter V-6 makes 273 horsepower, routed through a six-speed automatic to either the front or all four wheels. Sales fell to just under 18,500 units last year. The 2011 peak of more than 34,000 was anomalous—in most years, about 25,000 buyers have found the CX-9’s mix of utility and dynamic mojo just right. That makes it a niche player in the un-minivan segment of seven-seat SUVs that includes the Ford Explorer, the Dodge Durango, the Toyota Highlander, and the (eight-seat) Honda Pilot. In comparison tests, the CX-9 beat all but the Pilot, and we still harbor fond memories of driving a 2008 model for a 40,000-mile long-term testREAD MORE ››

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