2018 Mazda CX-9 – Form, function and fun

Posted by Wheels On Edge about 4 months ago
Seven seats, style, sportiness and value. Can you have all four in one package? Those four factors usually don’t go hand in hand but Mazda is hoping to change that with the CX-9 SUV. 

Just on looks alone, the CX-9 scores big. Mazda’s design language translates well across its entire lineup and manages to make a big people carrier look lower and sleeker than you might expect a full sized people carrier to. The design is refreshingly clear of unnecessary creases and lines, giving the CX-9 a clean and refined appearance. 
That trend continues inside with a simple but elegant dashboard layout. It’s not the same level of refinement as you should expect in a full size SUV from a luxury brand, but it’s still very impressive for what it is. Even the plastics feel more premium than expected. Mazda’s CX-9 interior seems to focus more on functionality, keeping traditional button controls for quick access features like climate control. Mazda’s infotainment system is simple enough to navigate

The CX-9, being a full sized Crossover, features three rows of seating. The two front seats are comfortable and supportive. The second row isn’t quite as roomy, but is also adequate for anyone from kids to adults and is quite comfortable. But much like air travel, things get cramped the further back you go. Row three isn’t really suited for adults at all and actually take up a fair amount of the cargo space in the trunk. But thankfully both rows 2 and 3 of seating easily fold down and expand space considerably – though competing vehicles still have a leg up on total volume.
On the road, the CX-9 doesn’t feel as large as it is. Its light, direct steering make it a breeze to maneuver – even through tighter city streets. Road noise is minimal and rough surfaces are handled quite well. A large vehicle like the CX-9 isn’t the type of thing for spirited, performance oriented driving, but Mazda put more than a little Zoom Zoom in it. The 2.5L turbo 4-cylinder is especially responsive, getting drivers up to highway speed in just over 7 seconds. Despite its size, the CX-9 feels tight and planted through corners and curves. The crossover’s handling is likely due in part to Mazda’s “G-Vectoring Control” technology, which – put simply – makes minute reductions to the engine’s torque, shifting weight distribution ever so slightly, which Mazda says will aid handling.

The CX-9 may not necessarily carry the same prestige as some other full sized crossovers on the market, but it doesn’t need to, and it’s certainly not trying to be anything it isn’t. Starting at $36,400 in Canada, it’s a stylish, practical, economical and affordable option. Drivers who seek the most safety measures as possible will want to opt for i-ACTIVESENSE package, featuring safety tech like radar cruise control, lane keeping and departure assistance, pedestrian detection and collision mitigation. The package costs $900, but comes standard on the GT trim level.

Written by Shane Kalicharan

2018 Mazda CX-9, Car Review, 7 seater 

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