Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
With the summer upon us, I was excited to be able to use this time experiencing the 2021 Mazda CX-9. As we are still in a pandemic , road trips have easily replaced vacations that the airplane was the mode of transportation. This three-row crossover is the proper vehicle to grab the entire family, load the rear with luggage and enjoy the road.
The Mazda CX-9 is a rare example of a crossover that still blends a great deal of driving fun with all the utility thanks to a well-sorted chassis and communicative steering. The Mazda CX-9 is a mid-size crossover SUV manufactured since April 2006 by Mazda in Japan, at its Ujina #1 plant in Hiroshima Prefecture.
The CX-9 is eye-catching as soon as you see the long sloping hood that leads to the large Mazda symbol which is prominently placed on the sharply angled front grille. This Signature edition also adds LED lighting to the signature grille. The CX-9 comes equipped with LED headlights and fog lights. Also, its beautifully designed exterior has a steeply raked windshield and sweeping rear end. This three-row, 6 passenger SUV, sits on 20-inch alloy wheels. The body colored rear roof spoiler, aluminum roof rails and bright finish exhaust outlets added to sporty look of this mid-size crossover SUV.
Driving the Mazda CX-9 on our road trip out to Ocean City was a pleasure. Inside is an equally lovely cabin, dressed in class-above materials and high-tech features like ventilated front seats, a 360-degree-view exterior camera system, SiriusXM Travel Link, a digital gauge display. The luxurious Signature trim comes with a new wood trim inside and exclusive exterior badging. The CX-9 Signature also has NAPA leather surfaces, leather-stitched leather wrapping for the steering wheel and LED accents in the area around the gear shifter. The dashboard features an 10.25” touchscreen at the top of it. The system can be controlled via the touchscreen, a rotary knob, by buttons on the center console near the shifter and voice commands.
A variation of tunes came blaring from the 12 speaker BOSE system as we grooved throughout down the highway. It was a pleasure to be able to choose from Sirius XM, Pandora, Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The CX-9’s second row is a 60/40 split-folding bench seat while the third row is a 50/50 split-folding bench that flipped into the floor to create a completely flat cargo area.
The throttle response was quick and boost from the turbo is instantaneous. Sport mode in the six-speed automatic transmission definitely adds some pep in your step while the normal mode set us up for a more relaxed commute. The G-Vectoring Control system reduces engine torque to help settle the front end so the SUV would take the turns smoothly. The suspension setup has been refined to offer a smoother and quieter ride. The 227 hp, 310 lb-ft torque, SKYACTIV-G 2.5T turbocharged four-cylinder engine was surprisingly very good on gas averaging 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined. If you plan on pulling a trailer, know that the CX-9 has a maximum capacity of 3,500 lbs.
The Mazda CX-9 continues to earn a Top Safety Pick honor from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also gave the CX-9 a five-star result. Key safety features in i-ACTIVESENSE package in the CX-9 include traffic sign recognition, smart brake support, Mazda radar cruise control, automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane keep assist, adaptive front headlights, lane departure warning, front obstacle warning, distance evaluation, braking assist and pedestrian detection.
Mazda has a bumper to bumper warranty that covers 3 years or 36,000 miles, a Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles, 24 hour roadside assistance but complimentary scheduled maintenance is not an option. Key competitors to the Mazda CX-9 are the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Toyota Highlander and the Volkswagen Atlas. The model we reviewed comes in at $48,200.00 and very well worth price tag considering the size, safety and comfort of the vehicle. Please Enjoy the photo gallery