2018 Mazda CX-9 Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

Mazda CX-9 Overview

A friend and I hopped into the exquisitely designed 2018 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring on a rainy Saturday morning. Our objective; purchase a pair of glass end tables and two crystal lamps to complete my  living room makeover. Mission accomplished—with sheets of rain pouring down on us—we hurriedly pushed our filled-to-the brim shopping carts to the CX-9’s cargo hold.

At that moment, the handsome Mazda’s power rear liftgate became our new best friend. It also allows you to program it to your preferred height for those times you don’t want it opened to full capacity. Of course, we wanted it opened all the way that day.  To our delight, the Mazda’s ample cargo space seemed limitless when it gave us easy ability to reconfigure its three rows of real estate.

Driving home on the rain slicked streets, I felt in complete control of the seven-passenger SUV . It was absolutely smooth sailing—except for a few unavoidable potholes. Mazda’s all-wheel drive system actually considers the weather, the terrain and traffic when it apportions power to each drive wheel. It knows when it’s raining or snowing. The system can also sense when you’re driving uphill, downhill, or on level ground. This results in an exceptional sense of control when you’re at the wheel under inclement conditions. Arriving at my home, we warily inspected our fragile cargo and were pleased to see that nothing had shifted nor were there any nicks or scratches.


In other words, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 surely knows how to safely deliver the goods.

The CX-9’s modern design exuded a cool blend of stylish sophistication, laced with a degree of urban sportiness. The set of 20-inch alloy wheels amplified its athletic look. Further, the cabin was posh—without pretension. We thoroughly enjoyed the power moon roof, which introduced a semblance of brightness into the Mazda, even on that gray day. During our two-hour drive, we shifted from listening to Motown to Bruno Mars-- blasting the Bose Centerpoint 2.0 surround sound system’s 12 crystal clear  speakers and subwoofer. This was yet another bright spot on an otherwise gloomy day.

With all of these qualities and capabilities, the 2018 Mazda is a quintessential multi-tasker. Though considered a mid-size SUV, it  carries passengers and cargo like a full-size . An ideal transporter for busy parents on the go, the CX-9 is also versatile enough for a weekend getaway to the mountains. Once there, you’ll find the Mazda lives up to its maker’s reputation for delivering an engaging driving experience too. Despite its size, the CX-9 does indeed possess the soul of a sports car.

Power comes from a 250-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 310 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. Fuel mileage came in at a passable 20 mpg in the city and 26 for the AWD trim.

What’s more, you will be traveling in utter safety. While I always appreciate a superb design aesthetic, I am more concerned about the security  of my passengers and me. Among the Mazda’s protective features are numbered rear cross traffic alert,  lane-keep assist, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.

Here on the east coast, temps routinely dip into the teens on winter mornings. Unfazed, the CX-9 makes a chilly drive bearable with heated seats in the first and second rows. There is also a heated steering wheel, which means I could drive without my gloves. Meanwhile, the wiper de-icer made clearing the windshield effortless.


Pricing for the Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD starts at $42,270.


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