2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV

#7
in Midsize SUVs
2018 MODEL

$32,130 - $44,315

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Overview

If you need a 7 Seat SUV that can cater to your family, there are plenty of options. However, if you also want good looks, an engaging driving experience, and tasteful interior for a reasonable price, checkout the 2018 Mazda CX-9 with a sticker price of $32,130.

The 2018 Mazda CX-9 has four trims equipped with same engine. It gets a powerful 2.5 L Turbocharged Inline-4 engine under its hood and the engine is tuned to produce 250 hp and 310-lb-ft of torque. The engine comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Front-drive is standard on all models, and all-wheel drive is available at every step of the way for an additional $1,800. Further, the CX-9 offers impressive fuel economy for such a large vehicle ; 24 MPG Combined.

See detailed review »

Pros

Remarkable exterior style

Agile Handling

Luxury interior

Fuel Economy

Cons

Some rivals have more advanced interior features

Cargo Capacity is low compared to rivals

250 hp engine feels underpowered next to the competitors

What's New?

G-Vectoring Control System to improve cornering stability

Automated Emergency braking and Blind Spot Monitoring are all now Standard in CX-9 lineup

Sport packages which include safety features and comfort level for the Sport trim level


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$32130

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

152 cu. in.

horsepower

227 hp @ 5000 rpm

torque

310 lb.-ft. @ 2000 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.6 in. ventilated front disc/12.8 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

115.3 in.

length

199.4 in.

width

77.5 in.

height

69 in.

curb weight

4166 lbs.

ground clearance

8.8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

135.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

14.4 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

payload capacity

1495 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.5 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/24/28 mpg

highway range

532 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV in Titanium Flash Mica color  2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV in Soul Red Crystal Metallic color  2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV in Sonic Silver Metallic color  2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV in Snowflake White Pearl Mica color  2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV in Machine Gray Metallic color  2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV in Jet Black Mica color  2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV in Deep Crystal Blue Mica color
Titanium Flash Mica

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.8

Engine

8.1

Fuel Economy

8.5

Interior

9.0

Exterior

8.1

Safety

8.1

Driving

9.5

8.4

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV Sport

Sport

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 7

$32,130 - $33,930

Configurations
Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (22/24/28)
Torque: 310 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm
Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/23/26)
Torque: 310 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm

 2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV Touring

Touring

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 7

$34,960 - $36,760

Configurations
Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (22/24/28)
Torque: 310 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/23/26)
Torque: 310 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm

 2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV Grand Touring

Grand Touring

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 7

$40,470 - $42,270

Configurations
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (22/24/28)
Torque: 310 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/23/26)
Torque: 310 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm

 2018 Mazda CX-9 SUV Signature

Signature

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 7

$44,315

Configurations
Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: AWD MPG: (20/23/26)
Torque: 310 lbs.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 10, 2018

8.4

Overall Rating


7.8/10
Features

 

8.1/10
Engine

 

8.5/10
Fuel Economy

 

9.0/10
Interior

 

8.1/10
Exterior

 

8.1/10
Safety

 
 
 

If you need a 7 Seat SUV that can cater to your family, there are plenty of options. However, if you also
want good looks, an engaging driving experience, and tasteful interior for a reasonable price, checkout
the 2018 Mazda CX-9 with a sticker price of $32,130.
The 2018 Mazda CX-9 has four trims equipped with same engine. It gets a powerful 2.5 L Turbocharged
Inline-4 engine under its hood and the engine is tuned to produce 250 hp and 310-lb-ft of torque. The
engine comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Front-drive is standard on all models, and all-wheel drive is available at every step of the way for an
additional $1,800. Further, the CX-9 offers impressive fuel economy for such a large vehicle - 24 MPG
Combined.

Features

7.8/10

This year CX-9 is offered in a total three variants namely, Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature. All variants are available with FWD or AWD configuration. A Standard 2.5L Turbo-4 paired with Six-speed automatic transmission is the only available powertrain configuration.

Trims Sport Touring Grand Touring Signature
MSRP (FWD) $32,130 $34,960 $40,470 N/A
MSRP (AWD) $33,930 $36,760 $42,270 $44,315
Features
  • Standard features on the Sport include 18-inch alloy wheels
  • automatic LED headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control
  • a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat
  • 60/40-split folding second-row seats
  • 50/50 split-folding third-row seats, a rearview camera
  • Bluetooth, Mazda's Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch display
  • and a six-speaker sound system.
  • The Touring trim adds to Sports features with automatic wipers
  • Heated mirrors
  • Power liftgate
  • Keyless ignition and entry
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • An 8-inch infotainment display and two USB ports in the second-row center armrest.
  • The Grand Touring trim further dresses things up with 20-inch wheels
  • Adaptive headlights
  • LED fog lights, roof rails
  • Sunroof, front and rear parking sensors
  • Head-up display with traffic sign recognition
  • Driver-seat memory functions
  • Retractable sunshades for the middle-row seats
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Aluminum interior trim
  • Additional interior lighting
  • Navigation system
  • a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system and satellite radio.

 

  • Which adds exterior LED accent lighting
  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Rosewood interior trim.
  • All-wheel drive is standard on the Signature

Sport trim includes most of the essential features. There are certain packages depending on preferred trims. The touring and Grand touring can be ordered for sophisticated interior composing of premium materials that add over the standard feature.

We Recommend

The Touring variant makes more sense according to us. It is expensive than Sport variant, but the extra amount buys you comfort and safety features like automatic wipers, Heated mirrors, cruise control, Lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.

Engine

8.1/10

“In a segment where V-6 power is basic, Mazda took a risk by offering a turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the CX-9’s sole powertrain in the hope of gaining a fuel-economy advantage. The turbocharged inline-four sounds gutsy and managed an impressive result in our acceleration testing, where the competition featured V-6 power.” – Car and Driver

Engine and Transmission

All the trims are equipped with powerful 2.5L turbocharged 4-Cylinder churns out 250 Horsepower at 310 lb-ft torque. This turbo engine is coupled with Six-speed Automatic transmission system. The alternative AWD variant adds some more torque to the figures at the cost of fuel economy.

Models Mazda CX-9 Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
MSRP $ 32,130 $ 30,900 $ 30,925 $ 31,030
Engine 2.5L SKYACTIV-G 4-Cylinder Turbo

3.5L V6

3.6L V6 SIDI VVT

 

2.7L 4-Cylinder(DOHC) 16-Valve
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic 9-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic
Power 250 hp 280 hp 310 hp 185 hp
Torque 310 lb-ft 262 lb-ft 266 lb-ft 184 lb-ft

Among the cars compared here, the Chevy Traverse leads the pack with 310 hp V6. The CX-9 compares well with the 280 hp Honda Pilot. However, the Highlander lags behind all the cars with a measly 185 hp 2.7L I4.

Acceleration

Mazda CX-9 accelerates briskly for its size and does 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Even though it might not take the first place with respect to acceleration in the competitive set, the turbo engine coupled with Six-speed automatic transmission provides excellent responsiveness.

Models Mazda CX-9 Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
0-60 MPH 7.2 sec 6.1 sec 6.5 sec 8.9 sec
Quarter mile 15.7 sec 15.1 sec 15.6 sec 15.4 sec
Engine 2.5L

3.5L

 

3.6L 2.7L

Emission (Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

7.4 8.0 8.4 8.0

However, some of the competitors are significantly faster. The Honda Pilot can do 0-60 in mere 6.1 seconds. Also, the Chevrolet Traverse is similarly quick doing 0-60 in 6.5 seconds thanks to its generously powered V6.

Braking and Handling

Braking is one of the fields where the Mazda excels. Also, SUV’s like CX-9 are large and large vehicles do not tend to fare well when shown corners. However, the CX-9 suspension and steering are delicately calibrated to provide responsiveness and supple ride.

Model Mazda CX-9 Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Brake Front(in) 12.6 12.6 12.8 12.9
Brake Rear(in) 12.8 13.0 13.0 12.2
Curb weight(lbs.) 4166 4288 4713 4165
60-0 MPH (ft.) 123 128 126 126

The braking system on the CX-9 consists of 12.6” brake pads in the front 12.8” brake pads in the rear.  The car is able to do 60-0 mph in under 123 feet as a result of a relatively low curb weight. Stopping distance is shorter than any other competitor in the segment.

Towing

CX-9’s maximum towing capacity is 3500lbs - least in its class. Chevrolet Traverse secures first place with a maximum towing capacity of 5200lbs and Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander secures the next places with a maximum towing capacity of 5000lbs. This makes a huge difference of 1700lbs between Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9.

Model Mazda CX-9 Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Capacity (lbs.) 3500 5000 5200 5000
Drive Train AWD AWD AWD AWD

Fuel Economy

8.5/10

Although the Turbo I4 is not as powerful as the V6 in the competitors, it does pay dividends with impeccable fuel efficiency.  Opting for the CX-9 AWD trims drops down the mileage by 2mpg in both City and Highways.

“With a light right foot, the 2018 Mazda CX-9 manages combined mileage in the low-20s.” - Carconnection

Model Mazda CX-9 Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
MPG (city) 22 18 18 20
MPG (highway) 28 26 27 24
MPG (combined) 24 21 21 22

CX-9 remains one of the best fuel efficient cars in its class. Competitors like Honda Pilot, Chevrolet transverse, and Toyota Highlander are thirstier by 3mpg, 3mpg, and 2mpg respectively.

Interior

9.0/10

“Pretty much everything about the CX-9's interior feels right and thoughtfully designed. This is a new benchmark for non-luxury SUVs, and other manufacturers should take notes on how Mazda makes the most of available space and how quality components all contribute to a favorable impression.” - Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The CX-9 offers spacious first and second row and the seats are supportive. The driver has a commanding view of the road ahead thanks to high ride height and large glasshouse. Impressively, even the third row is comfortable for adults as long as it’s used for short commutes.

Model Mazda CX-9 Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Passenger capacity 7 8 8 8
Passenger Volume (ft. cube) 135.1 151.7 150.8 144.9

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

 

39.3/57.9/41.0 39.5/62/40.9 41.3/62.1/41 40.7/59.3/44.2

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

 

38.5/58.1/39.4 39.9/62/38.4 40/62.2/38.4 39.9/59.6/38.4

Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

35.4/53.1/29.7 38.9/57.6/31.9 38.2/57.5/33.5 35.9/55/27.7

Infotainment System

The CX-9 features am 8-inch infotainment system with intuitive interface and well-organized menu structure. More importantly, the rotary controller offers an effortless means to roam through the options even while driving. Bose premium audio system caters to the audiophiles.

Cargo

CX-9 has plenty of room for 7 passengers and more. With 50/50 split third row and 60/40 split second row, CX-9 offers room for plenty of cargo and passengers. By folding both the rows flat, you get an impressive 71.2 cubic feet of cargo space.

Model Mazda CX-9 Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Behind 3nd row (ft. Cube) 14.4 16.5 23.0 13.8
Behind 2nd row (ft. Cube) 38.2 46.8 58.1 42.3
Behind 1st row (ft. Cube) 71.2 83.9 98 83.7

Competitors, however, offer more space. The Chevy traverse, for example, provides a cavernous 23 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats up and a whopping 98 cubic feet of cargo space with second and third row folded.

Exterior

8.1/10

“If you’re looking for a bit of elegance in your next family hauler, the CX-9 has it in spades. Dressed in Mazda's "Soul of Motion" design philosophy, the CX-9's sheet metal emphasizes sweeping forms, organic shapes and the idea of movement even at rest. We think it's beautiful.” – Kelley Blue Book

Design and Styling

Mazda’s Soul of design philosophy was implemented in the CX-9. Its elegant and dynamic design with exquisite proportions makes it the most admirable SUV. With the use of Lightweight materials, the Curb weight of CX-9 falls at 4166 lbs. which is almost the least in its class.

Model Mazda CX-9 Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
curb weight(lbs.) 4166 4288 4713 4165
Length(in) 199.4 194.5 204.3 192.5
Width(in) 77.5 78.6 78.6 75.8
Height(in) 69.0 69.8 70.7 68.1
Ground clearance(in) 8.8 7.3 7.2 8.0
Wheelbase(in) 115.3 111 120.9 109.8
Track width(in) F/R 65.3/65.2 66.3/66.3 67.3/67.0 64.4/64.2

The 2018 Mazda CX-9 is 199.4 inches in length and 77.5 inches in width. The CX-9 has a height of 69-inch which is the lowest amongst its rivals after Toyota Highlander. The car has the best ground clearance of 8.8 inches, so you won’t scrape the bottom of your car on bumps. CX-9 has a wheelbase of 115.3 inches which provides better stability to the car.

Other Exterior features:

  • LED headlights with auto on and auto height control
  • Intermittent rear wiper/washer
  • Rear Privacy glass
  • Dual exhaust outlets
  • Body Color rear roof spoiler
  • LED Combination tail lights

Safety

8.1/10

The CX-9 Touring gets advanced driver assistance systems like blind-spot monitor, automated emergency braking, and rear cross-traffic alert. More high-end radar-based systems are available in the CX-9 Grand Touring and CX-9 Signature.

Some of the standard Safety features are as follows:

  • Hydraulic Brake Assist
  • Passenger Sensing system
  • Full-suite of Air Bags
  • Stabili Trak Electronic Stability Control System
  • Tire Pressure monitoring system
  • Intelligent Crash Response System

Competition

Honda Pilot Vs CX-9

The Honda Pilot is a better car to buy for most of the customer. We say this because the Pilot offers more power, more spacious interiors, more cargo capacity, more towing capacity, and is similar to the CX-9 in terms of the feature list.

The CX-9 does offer more fuel efficiency though thanks to its Turbo I4 engine. Also, the CX-9 will be a better buy if good looks, upscale interiors, and a sporty driving characteristics rank higher on your list.

Chevrolet Traverse Vs CX-9

Both the Cars are 3-row SUV’s that offer front or All-wheel drive options. CX-9 seats 7 passengers and Traverse can accommodate up to 8 passengers. 3.6L V6 Engine of Traverse significantly more powerful than CX-9 and offers better acceleration despite weighing more.

Toyota Highlander Vs CX-9

The Toyota Highlander offers a more spacious cabin, a larger cargo capacity and the reliability if Toyota. However, the CX-9 offers significantly more power, is more efficient, has sportier driving dynamics, and looks considerably more expensive. We think the CX-9 is a better buy.

Final Verdict

The CX-9 flawlessly merges practicality with fun. It looks far more appealing than any three-row SUV at similar price range and the interiors can put far more expensive cars on notice. The fuel efficiency is impeccable and all these come with the decent reliability of the Mazda brand. So, if you want a three-row SUV but do not wish to put up with all the boredom associated with it, the CX-9 is a decent choice.

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