The 2014 Mazda CX-9 is the largest vehicle offered by Mazda and even though it competes in a class with some lumbering and large beasts of the blacktop such as the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet traverse, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Nissan Pathfinder, the CX-9 is actually fun to drive with nimble quickness. Carrying the Mazda popular tag line, the CX-9 really does “zoom zoom” on the road leaving the competition in the dust with styling and agility that is usually reserved for much smaller vehicles.
Not only does the CX-9 offer a better performance than the competition, but it also offers a style that appears aerodynamically charged unlike the big boxy and hulky beasts it has to compete with. The only downside to the excellent style is a slight loss of interior space, one factor to certainly consider when selecting an SUV, but if style and performance are on the plate, the CX-9 has both in spades.
Only slight modifications have been made for the 2014 model year, keeping with the idea that a good thing is something to be left alone. The only additions are updated wheels and the inclusion of rear cross-traffic alerts for the Touring and Grand Touring models. This will add an even sportier wheel package and offer more information to the driver in order to provide an even safer ride than before.
Driving the CX-9 is like having a Miata on steroids to drive with excellent acceleration, quick and highly responsive steering and a suspension that both soaks up all road imperfections and keeps this big machine glued to the pavement. With all the handling control of a small car, the CX-9 is perfect for taking on winding canyon roads as well as darting in and out of city traffic with confidence that just isn’t found in the competition. Add to the control and acceleration one of the quietest cabins in the industry and its easy to see why the CX-9 is a popular choice for SUV shoppers. Using advanced noise reducing technology and an impressive insulation the occupants of the vehicle will only have to listen to the sounds they desire.
Supplying the power for this SUV is a well-designed and highly-tuned 3.7-liter V6 engine that offers 273 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque allowing the vehicle to tow up to 3,500 pounds with the Tow Prep Packages is added. Match this engine up with the six-speed automatic transmission and the fuel miles comes in at 17 city/24 hwy mpg for the front-wheel drive (FWD) version and 16 city/22 hwy mpg for the all-wheel drive (AWD) models. This powertrain offers great performance and decent fuel mileage to allow owners to enjoy the best of both worlds with this SUV.
Offering seating for up to seven full sized adults to fit comfortably and a very intuitive control panel the cabin of the CX-9 ins easy to understand and very comfortable to ride in. With an interior that can be chosen in either black or sand colors the overall feel is comfort based and control-oriented. With everything in place the driver can easily keep their eyes where they belong, on the road ahead.
Style and curves are found all over the outside of this vehicle. With a rising beltline a smooth angle transition from the hood to the windshield and all the way to the rear of this SUV the exterior offers a very pleasant change from the usual boxy feel of vehicles in this class. With a smiling and trapezoidal grill, chrome accents and narrow headlights, the front happily eats the road for lunch and asks for seconds. Add to this the newly designed and boldly spoked wheels and chrome tipped twin exhaust ports and the vehicle’s style is more than apparent becoming a well-dressed beast of the blacktop ready to zoom down the road.
The CX-9 is offered in three trims, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Even at the base, Sport model the vehicle is nicely equipped with tri-zone automatic climate control, a 5.8-inch touch screen infotainment system that adds an auxiliary port and six speakers, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and 18-inch wheels. The Touring model adds a blind spot monitoring system, a rearview camera, rear cross-traffic alert, leather upholstery, and heated and powered front seats. At the top of the list, the Grand Touring model brings a three-position memory driver’s seat, automatic bi-xenon headlights, a power tail gate, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and 20-inch wheels. All three models are offered with six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability and traction control.
Most of the optional features are built into packages and these options include a navigation system, a power moon roof, and a ten-speaker Bose premium audio system. The Grand Touring model offers a rear seat entertainment system that includes a DVD player and nine-inch screen. The Towing Prep package is available on all FWD models and standard for all AWD models allowing the SUV to tow up to 3,500 pounds. All of this can really make for a highly equipped SUV that offers plenty of comfort, style, control, and power for any owner to really enjoy.
The Sport model of the CX-9 comes in just under $31,000 for the FWD model and the Grand Touring starts out at $36,000, making this a very affordable large SUV. Adding AWD to any of the models and the price is increased by $1,600, which is a fairly easy increase to live with considering the added control offers by AWD. A fully loaded Grand Touring model comes in just over $40,000 making it still a very affordable vehicle, especially when all the added equipment is taken into consideration. Anyone shopping in the large SUV class needs to take a good look at the Mazda CX-9, it is truly a nice, stylish, and powerful SUV that will make the driver smile as it zooms down the road.